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  1. #1
    Member dantolen's Avatar
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    Devil's Slide hill ... eeek >.<

    To all north to south Pacific coast goers, be VERY careful on highway 1 crossing a hill called Devil's Slide before Half Moon Bay. There is absolutely no shoulder, potholes, road constuction, steep curvy road, high traffic, and the road is right on the cliff.

    There is another old scenic bike path that crosses the mountain safely, which I didn't know about, but be sure to ask the locals in the town before the hill about the scenic bike path before you head up highway 1.

  2. #2
    Bike touring webrarian
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    There is a local bus that can take you past Devil Slide. It is Samtrans route 294. Devil's Slide is the worst bit of asphalt on entire Hwy 1, in my opinion and should be avoided at all costs.

    If the bus doesn't work for you, hire a taxi in Pacifica.

    I've ridden from SF to LA several times and never ridden on it. I have my wife drive me to just past it and start in Montera.

    Ray
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  3. #3
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'll be headed that way myself in a few weeks. I found another thread where an alternate route was discussed, including that bike path. I created a map of this alternate on ridewithgps.com and need some input from those who are familiar with this route. I haven't ridden it, so it may contain errors which I would like to correct. The route basically is:

    - South of Daly City, take Skyline Blvd out to its intersection with San Bruno Ave where the bike path begins
    - Stay on bike path past San Andreas Lake and Crystal Springs Reservoir
    - Back on Skyline Blvd at Crystal Springs Dam
    - Skyline to Ralston Ave. (Hwy 92) to Caņada Rd.
    - Caņada Rd. to Woodside Rd.
    - Woodside Rd. to Portola Rd.
    - Portola Rd. to Old La Honda
    - Old La Honda to La Honda
    - La Honda to PCH

    The areas I'm wondering about:

    1. Skyline Blvd from its intersection with PCH to the start of the bike path
    2. Skyline Blvd. crossing over Crystal Springs Dam. Is this rideable (Google Maps will not route a bicycle over the dam)?
    3. Which is preferable, Woodside/Portola/Old La Honda/La Honda/PCH, or Woodside/La Honda/PCH?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Edit: According to Caltrans, the tunnel project routing traffic under the mountain at Devil's Slide is scheduled for completion in late 2012. Once that's open, hopefully cyclists will be able to ride traffic-free on the bypassed section, which would be fantastic.
    Last edited by simplygib; 09-11-11 at 01:44 PM.

  4. #4
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    Don't know about your first 2 questions.

    Old La Honda is better than La Honda, less traffic. It has some steepness to it. Good job avoiding Hwy 92, do not be tempted by that one, it's very busy and dangerous.

    In Woodside, Mountain Home Road is better than Woodside Road.

    After you get the top of OLH and cross Skyline, you descend, and the intersection with La Honda warrants care, you'll be descending steeply and you do need to stop at that stop sign.

    There's a store in San Gregorio- it was featured on a TV commercial during one of the recent bike tours - I think it was the Colorado tour, where there are two guys standing in front of a store messing around with their phone/computer thing which was the product being advertised.

    Alteranatively, you can turn off La Honda at Pescadero Road which has less traffic, this does add a climb, but it takes you through Pescadero, where the country store has some of the best baked goods on the coast. SEriously do not miss this store. You can also get there off Stage Road, which runs between San Gregonio and Pescadero - I prefer this to the coast, less traffic, and it's nice scenery. It's hilly.
    ...

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    beck20percent..jpgeasy packed dirt and gravel route circumvents the devils slide completely between pacifica and montera, you can look down on the devils slide tunnel from the route above on old san pedro road.

    planet of the apes ride writeup in a guide book link there.

    pacslim6..jpg many thanks to pacifica slim (in the gray and black beckmontara1..jpg of bike forums for showing me the route.


    its easy to pick up heading north; just turn inland just past Montera into the McNee Ranch state park and head generally uphill....drops down into pacifica.from the north, head inland at the linda mar shopping center, then Adobe drive to higgens way and the start of the old san pedro road. pacslim5..jpg a very pleasant respite and good riding on hardpack thru california eucalyptus and grasslands.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 09-11-11 at 03:08 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    I rode from SF to Half Moon Bay a few years ago and the whole Devil's Slide thing didn't seem as bad as people make it out to be. The worst part was climbing the hill up from Pacifica. There's no shoulder and the road is narrow. On the other hand, at least you aren't riding next to a cliff on the way up. Just do it when traffic is light (not on weekends).

  7. #7
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    easy packed dirt and gravel route circumvents the devils slide completely between pacifica and montera, you can look down on the devils slide tunnel from the route above on old san pedro road.
    That's great info. Thanks for posting. I mapped it on ridewithgps here. Does that look about right?

    Edit: Thor29, thanks for the input. Bicycling the Pacific Coast offers the same suggestion - to avoid times of heavy traffic. But for those who would prefer to skip that section anyway, I created some alternate routes (below).
    Last edited by simplygib; 09-12-11 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplygib View Post
    - South of Daly City, take Skyline Blvd out to its intersection with San Bruno Ave where the bike path begins
    - Stay on bike path past San Andreas Lake and Crystal Springs Reservoir
    - Back on Skyline Blvd at Crystal Springs Dam
    - Skyline to Ralston Ave. (Hwy 92) to Caņada Rd.
    - Caņada Rd. to Woodside Rd.
    - Woodside Rd. to Portola Rd.
    - Portola Rd. to Old La Honda
    - Old La Honda to La Honda
    - La Honda to PCH
    I live in the area and ride many of these roads frequently. When you get to Woodside Rd., I'd suggest taking either Whiskey Hill Road or Mountain Home Road to Sand Hill Road which quickly changes name to Portola Rd. Climb Old LaHonda Rd. toward Skyline Blvd. The climb is around 3.2mi and averages 7-8%, with a couple of steeper sections. The road is narrow and winding, but there is little car traffic.

    Cross Skyline and descend Old LaHonda Rd. until it merges with Highway 84/LaHonda Rd. LaHonda Rd often has no shoulder and there can be a decent amount of car and motorcycle traffic, especially on weekends. Because of the car traffic, I generally try to get off it as soon as possible. If your goal is to head south, consider turning left onto Pescadero Rd. just after the Apple Jacks biker bar.

    Fair warning: Pescadero road is steep in places, but there's very little car traffic. It's pretty popular with motorcyclists on the weekend, however. Follow Pescadero Rd. into the town of Pescadero (@ the junction with Stage Rd). Have lunch at Duarte's Tavern or the Arcangeli Bakery. The bakery has a nice picnic area hidden behind the store. Their home-made artichoke garlic bread is great! Duarte's looks like a dive, but they have great soup and pies.

    When you're done with lunch, take Cloverdale Rd. to Gazos Creek Rd. until you join up with Highway 1. If you don't plan to have lunch in the town of Pescadero, you can take the Butano Cutoff to save yourself a little bit of riding.

    2. Skyline Blvd. crossing over Crystal Springs Dam. Is this rideable (Google Maps will not route a bicycle over the dam)?
    It's been a long time since I've ridden in that area, but I don't remember any specific prohibition against riding across the dam. There's not a bike lane, but not a lot of traffic, either. If you run into trouble, take Crystal Springs Rd. east, then follow Polhemus Rd. southeast. Just after Polhemus crosses Highway 92, you can take the Ralston Ave. Bike Trail over to Caņada Rd.

  9. #9
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Don't know about your first 2 questions.

    Old La Honda is better than La Honda, less traffic. It has some steepness to it. Good job avoiding Hwy 92, do not be tempted by that one, it's very busy and dangerous.

    In Woodside, Mountain Home Road is better than Woodside Road.

    After you get the top of OLH and cross Skyline, you descend, and the intersection with La Honda warrants care, you'll be descending steeply and you do need to stop at that stop sign.

    There's a store in San Gregorio- it was featured on a TV commercial during one of the recent bike tours - I think it was the Colorado tour, where there are two guys standing in front of a store messing around with their phone/computer thing which was the product being advertised.

    Alteranatively, you can turn off La Honda at Pescadero Road which has less traffic, this does add a climb, but it takes you through Pescadero, where the country store has some of the best baked goods on the coast. SEriously do not miss this store. You can also get there off Stage Road, which runs between San Gregonio and Pescadero - I prefer this to the coast, less traffic, and it's nice scenery. It's hilly.
    Thanks Valygrl. I looked at some of your suggested route on Google Earth. Looks like a beautiful ride. Might be a nice distraction after hundreds of miles of coast at that point, slide or no slide.

  10. #10
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I live in the area and ride many of these roads frequently. When you get to Woodside Rd., I'd suggest taking either Whiskey Hill Road or Mountain Home Road to Sand Hill Road which quickly changes name to Portola Rd. Climb Old LaHonda Rd. toward Skyline Blvd. The climb is around 3.2mi and averages 7-8%, with a couple of steeper sections. The road is narrow and winding, but there is little car traffic.

    Cross Skyline and descend Old LaHonda Rd. until it merges with Highway 84/LaHonda Rd. LaHonda Rd often has no shoulder and there can be a decent amount of car and motorcycle traffic, especially on weekends. Because of the car traffic, I generally try to get off it as soon as possible. If your goal is to head south, consider turning left onto Pescadero Rd. just after the Apple Jacks biker bar.

    Fair warning: Pescadero road is steep in places, but there's very little car traffic. It's pretty popular with motorcyclists on the weekend, however. Follow Pescadero Rd. into the town of Pescadero (@ the junction with Stage Rd). Have lunch at Duarte's Tavern or the Arcangeli Bakery. The bakery has a nice picnic area hidden behind the store. Their home-made artichoke garlic bread is great! Duarte's looks like a dive, but they have great soup and pies.

    When you're done with lunch, take Cloverdale Rd. to Gazos Creek Rd. until you join up with Highway 1. If you don't plan to have lunch in the town of Pescadero, you can take the Butano Cutoff to save yourself a little bit of riding.



    It's been a long time since I've ridden in that area, but I don't remember any specific prohibition against riding across the dam. There's not a bike lane, but not a lot of traffic, either. If you run into trouble, take Crystal Springs Rd. east, then follow Polhemus Rd. southeast. Just after Polhemus crosses Highway 92, you can take the Ralston Ave. Bike Trail over to Caņada Rd.
    Thanks sstorkel - I updated the map with your suggestions as well as Valygrl's, keeping the "can't miss" bakery on the route. Food always is a priority, after all.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplygib View Post
    Thanks sstorkel - I updated the map with your suggestions as well as Valygrl's, keeping the "can't miss" bakery on the route. Food always is a priority, after all.
    Consider taking Cloverdale and Gazos Creek rather than heading directly to Highway 1. They're generally warm and sunny with no cars. Highway 1 will likely be cooler, windier, and have much more traffic. If you're planning to ride down the coast, you'll get more than enough of that...

    FYI, the bakery has a website. If you like artichokes, don't miss the artichoke garlic herb bread! Especially if you arrive when they're coming out of the oven...

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simplygib View Post
    That's great info. Thanks for posting. I mapped it on ridewithgps here. Does that look about right?
    That looks right. its the old road. blacktop still pokes thru in places. the writeup in "short rides around San Francisco" is spot on.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #13
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Consider taking Cloverdale and Gazos Creek rather than heading directly to Highway 1. They're generally warm and sunny with no cars. Highway 1 will likely be cooler, windier, and have much more traffic. If you're planning to ride down the coast, you'll get more than enough of that...
    Thanks - I added your suggestion to an alternative map.

    So to summarize, here are three optional inland bypasses of Devil's Slide:

    1. Old San Pedro Road (hardpack dirt)
    2. Daly City to Pescadero State Beach
    3. Daly City to northern tip of Aņo Nuevo State Reserve
    Last edited by simplygib; 09-12-11 at 10:37 AM.

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