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Old 10-20-07, 07:07 PM   #1
jimples
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What is it about Tunitas Creek?

Today's route for me was Kings Mountain -> Skyline -> 92 -> 1 -> Lobitos Cut-Off -> Tunitas Creek -> Kings Mountain, plus the 12 miles each way to get there. I'd never biked any of those roads except for Kings Mountain. Granted, it was more mileage than I've ever done and it was more climbing than I've ever done (you guys are making me stronger!), but that middle section of Tunitas Creek. Damn!

Was I just tired and sore from all of the extra miles, or is it really as steep as it seems? I mean, our group was positively chugging up Kings at the beginning of the ride, and we all got freakin' crucified out there!

And that last two and a half miles of "ha! it's almost flat, but it's not!" is like adding insult to injury!
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Old 10-20-07, 07:08 PM   #2
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Today's route for me was Kings Mountain -> Skyline -> 92 -> 1 -> Lobitos Cut-Off -> Tunitas Creek -> Kings Mountain, plus the 12 miles each way to get there. I'd never biked any of those roads except for Kings Mountain. Granted, it was more mileage than I've ever done and it was more climbing than I've ever done (you guys are making me stronger!), but that middle section of Tunitas Creek. Damn!

Was I just tired and sore from all of the extra miles, or is it really as steep as it seems? I mean, our group was positively chugging up Kings at the beginning of the ride, and we all got freakin' crucified out there!

And that last two and a half miles of "ha! it's almost flat, but it's not!" is like adding insult to injury!


Nope, not your imagination.... the middle section is just as steep as it seems
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Old 10-20-07, 07:36 PM   #3
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Nope, not your imagination.... the middle section is just as steep as it seems



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Old 10-20-07, 07:53 PM   #4
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I think it's more the fact that the middle section comes near the end of a long ride. That's what makes it tough. I ride up Tunitas all the time from HMB, and it's not too bad when I'm fresh.
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Old 10-20-07, 08:44 PM   #5
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I think it's more the fact that the middle section comes near the end of a long ride. That's what makes it tough. I ride up Tunitas all the time from HMB, and it's not too bad when I'm fresh.
I agree. I think Tunitas is easier than Page Mill or Kings Mountain. Except for the steep half mile in the middle, the rest is easier than Old La Honda. However, since Tunitas is usually the 2nd or 3rd climb of the day, you do feel it. BTW - I don't think the steep part of Tunitas is any worse than Moody or Crestview or Redwood Gulch.
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Old 10-20-07, 11:04 PM   #6
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yeah, thanks for that trying to plan a ride down your way in the next few weeks.... not with you though... I don't have a recent death wish
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Old 10-20-07, 11:06 PM   #7
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I agree. I think Tunitas is easier than Page Mill or Kings Mountain. Except for the steep half mile in the middle, the rest is easier than Old La Honda. However, since Tunitas is usually the 2nd or 3rd climb of the day, you do feel it. BTW - I don't think the steep part of Tunitas is any worse than Moody or Crestview or Redwood Gulch.
I think the harder part of Tunitas is that there are so many of those switchbacks (that look exactly the SAME) that you feel like its never going to end... so maybe its more of a mental thing???
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Old 10-20-07, 11:38 PM   #8
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Usually Tunitas is a kick in my pants because I've come from Pescadero and been beaten to death by headwinds.

The "trick" to Tunitas creek I've been told is to break it into thirds. With the second section being the worst. I haven't figured out how to determine that though, because to me.. the entire thing might was well be the "second" part.
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Old 10-21-07, 05:44 PM   #9
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Usually Tunitas is a kick in my pants because I've come from Pescadero and been beaten to death by headwinds.

The "trick" to Tunitas creek I've been told is to break it into thirds. With the second section being the worst. I haven't figured out how to determine that though, because to me.. the entire thing might was well be the "second" part.
On my first (so far only) time up Tunitas, silentben pointed out that there are mile markers spray-painted on the right hand side of the road, from 7 or 8 miles to the top. Turns out they are both a blessing and a curse, but that might help you break it up...
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Old 10-21-07, 06:08 PM   #10
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On my first (so far only) time up Tunitas, silentben pointed out that there are mile markers spray-painted on the right hand side of the road, from 7 or 8 miles to the top. Turns out they are both a blessing and a curse, but that might help you break it up...
I've never noticed those numbers, but to be honest, I don't think they are very useful. There are 4 parts to Tunitas. The first 3 or 4 miles climb very gradually along side a pretty creek. When you come to the end of the creek, there is a sharp right hand switchback turn and the half mile steep section starts. The steep part ends at a left hand switchback and then there are another couple of miles of gradual climbing along side the Purissima Creek Open Space Preserve. When you get to the Star Hill Road intersection, the road levels off and becomes practically flat all the way to Skyline. If you want more climbing, turn right at Star Hill Rd and left at Swett Rd to get to Skyline.
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Old 10-21-07, 10:35 PM   #11
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I hate going down Tunitas, my hands cramp & neck aches. I did it on my Dual Sport moto when I had it, and it wasn't all that better with a suspension. Haven't been up it in a while, think I'll check it out tomorrow if anybody is interested.
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Old 10-21-07, 10:50 PM   #12
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Ahpook.

I've seen the mile markers but only near the top. Blessing and a curse indeed. I remember seeing the "2mi. to top".. then after a while.. "1mi. to top". All I could think of was.. dude, no way I only went a mile.
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Old 10-22-07, 12:50 AM   #13
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So... going up Tunitas Creek (the middle part) is easier than going up Old La Honda Rd? I did a recon down on Tunitas Creek last month and it's a hell of a ride down. I mean... it's dark/wet on some parts, a lot a switch back, plus potholes too? You gotta have a deathwish goin' down that thing... And lastly, aren't bikes not allowed on 92 past Skyline Blvd (down to HMB)???
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Old 10-22-07, 09:26 AM   #14
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Last months HMB ride with Sesamecrunch went about 2 miles up Tunitas (to the steep part) and turned around. Crikeys! Like riding a jackhammer coming down!

I've ridden it 3 or 4 times, I think. I actually like it - yeah, there's that steep bit, but otherwise it's nice and cool, and you're almost guaranteed there will be no cars.

But it requires going to the coast to ride it, and that makes a long day for me - minimum of 70 miles if I ride from home, so I don't do it very often.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:33 AM   #15
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So... going up Tunitas Creek (the middle part) is easier than going up Old La Honda Rd? I did a recon down on Tunitas Creek last month and it's a hell of a ride down. I mean... it's dark/wet on some parts, a lot a switch back, plus potholes too? You gotta have a deathwish goin' down that thing... And lastly, aren't bikes not allowed on 92 past Skyline Blvd (down to HMB)???
If you exclude the steep part, Tunitas is easier than OLH. The steep part is so short that some people would consider that to be easier than all of OLH, too. Both roads are not much fun going down because of the narrow width and blind corners. OLH has lots of residential car traffic coming up. Tunitas has its share of motorcycles.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:36 AM   #16
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Ahpook.

I've seen the mile markers but only near the top. Blessing and a curse indeed. I remember seeing the "2mi. to top".. then after a while.. "1mi. to top". All I could think of was.. dude, no way I only went a mile.
Is Skyline the top? Star Hill Rd is around 2 miles from the top, so those markers are in the flat part of Tunitas, right?
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Old 10-22-07, 01:55 PM   #17
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Jimples, how was that stretch of 92 from skyline to the coast? I have ridden it exactly once and at the time, the last few miles leading into Half Moon Bay were absolutely terrible! No shoulder and a lot fast moving cars in both directions. It's a real shame since the initial descent from skyline was repaved recently and has beautiful, wide bike lane.

I seem to vaguely remember lots of orange cones and some road work going on .. it makes me wonder if they were widening the road at all. Writing a letter to the County of San Mateo about making this stretch of highway more bicycle accessible is still on one of my to-do lists.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:42 PM   #18
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Johnny99 -

The mile markers I saw are just past Star Hill, or in the vicinty of. I'm guessing Skyline is the top because if you cross skyline you end up on Kings Mountain.
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Old 10-23-07, 02:46 PM   #19
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I've only done that loop twice, but man, Tunitas Creek is nuts. I can't understand why Google maps marks it as a yellow road (just like 84,92, and 1) when the pavement is awful, it's only about a lane and a half wide, and it is rather windy. It's like torture to encounter it near the end of a ride.
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Old 10-23-07, 06:33 PM   #20
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We just did the Tunitas loop this Sunday the 21st and I enjoyed it.
http://www.chainreactionbicycles.com/tunitasloop.htm
Maybe because I popped in my 12-27 and used a different bike. I struggled a bit at the bottom of Tunitas but I was enjoying the cool and fresh air. Difinitely a better ride than the Calaveras/Palomares ride for me. Maybe I should try the Calaveras/Palomares with this bike and see.
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Old 10-23-07, 10:49 PM   #21
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Jimples, how was that stretch of 92 from skyline to the coast? I have ridden it exactly once and at the time, the last few miles leading into Half Moon Bay were absolutely terrible! No shoulder and a lot fast moving cars in both directions. It's a real shame since the initial descent from skyline was repaved recently and has beautiful, wide bike lane.

I seem to vaguely remember lots of orange cones and some road work going on .. it makes me wonder if they were widening the road at all. Writing a letter to the County of San Mateo about making this stretch of highway more bicycle accessible is still on one of my to-do lists.
You're right about the shoulder all but going away for the last few miles, but realize that on weekends in the summer and fall, the road is bumper-to-bumper gridlocked with traffic all the way from Skyline down to the coast. When you're going faster than the cars, the traffic is totally manageable.

Unless you're dumb like we were and weaved around through the cars. Disturbingly exhilarating.

They're widening the section within the city limits of Half Moon Bay, but that doesn't help for the section between the city limit and the big hill.
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