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San Jose to Watsonville

Old 04-10-10, 01:27 AM
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San Jose to Watsonville

I'm in the early stages of planning a loaded bike tour down the coast, starting in San Jose. In the past, I've gone directly over the Santa Cruz Mountains. This time, I'd like to try something a little less strenuous, going south parallel to 101 and then cutting across to the coast. Looking at the terrain, the most obvious route is the Pajaro Gap, along Hwy 129/Riverside Dr. I'm a little concerned though that this highway might not be a good choice for cyclists, since it seems to have narrow shoulders and is a designated truck route.

Can anyway make a recommendation for or against this route? And if it is a poor choice, can anyone suggest an alternate route that doesn't involve too much climbing and is reasonable for cycling on?

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Old 04-25-10, 11:46 PM
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I have not ridden over 152 personally, but I have driven it with a cyclists eye - the bad part to me seemed to be the descent down the coastal side rather than the climb. The road is narrower and there are few opportunities to move aside to let cars pass.

Here's a route some folks did last year that does dirt/fireroad instead of the 152 climb, but still descends 152 - perhaps one of the participants will chime in:

nobody mentioned it being bad on the writeups:\
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Old 04-26-10, 07:35 AM
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Although not the shortest route you can work your way down to San Juan Batista and take Anzar/Carr over toward the coast. Anzar is not really much of a climb. Roads are reasonable with not too much traffic.
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Old 05-13-10, 02:05 PM
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What rdtompki said. From Gilroy south, you'll be on 101 for a bit, but there's a shoulder. Get off at the 129 exit, and go left. Turn right on Anzar Road, follow it to Carr which takes you down into Aromas. From there, continue up Carpenteria, and either go right on San Juan Road and stay on it or (better option in my opinion) go left at Tarpey and stay on that. Both take you to Watsonville. I've ridden 129 through the Pajaro gap many times, and it's never pleasant and often scary. Better the more scenic, quiet backroads.
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