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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am an older (40) cat 4 racer who is staying in San Carlos for 3 days next week with my racing bike and wanted to know if someone could direct me to any long weekday group rides that leave from there or near there? Additionally, I have received many recommendations of rides but if someone could point me to the epic climbs in the area that have the least cars that would be great. Not looking for too much free info - but just jumping off points I can always fire up Google maps myself if I need more

Thanks in advance!


Nik
(New York City)
 

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Old_school_nik said:
Hi,

I am an older (40) cat 4 racer who is staying in San Carlos for 3 days next week with my racing bike and wanted to know if someone could direct me to any long weekday group rides that leave from there or near there? Additionally, I have received many recommendations of rides but if someone could point me to the epic climbs in the area that have the least cars that would be great. Not looking for too much free info - but just jumping off points I can always fire up Google maps myself if I need more

Thanks in advance!


Nik
(New York City)
Don't know about group rides, but the closest "epic" climb has got to be King's Mountain, which starts in Woodside off of Woodside Road (Hwy 84). It's a good climb and a fun descent. The road gets a little tight in the first section, but on a weekday, you should have no issues.

Kings Mountain tops out at Skyline, where it meets Tunitas Creek, which was recently raced as part of the Tour of California. Tunitas is a terrible descent, so nobody goes down it. But if you want to do another "epic" climb, you could head south on Skyline, pick up Hwy 84 and descend to the ocean, then pick up Tunitas at the bottom. Descend Kings Mountain to return to wherever you started.

Another climb in the area is Old La Honda road. It's only about 3 miles, but it's not easy. It's the local benchmark climb, and everyone knows their fastest time up it. It also tops out at Skyline. Turn right at the top, go to Hwy 84, and descend back to the valley. Hwy 84 is a fantastic descent. It gets traffic, but if you are a reasonable descender you can usually keep up or outpace most of it, so it's no big deal.

Going up Hwy 84 is not recommended.
 

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If you have a car at your disposal, you might also consider Mount Hamilton Road in San Jose. Park the car at or close to the intersection of Alum Rock and Mount Hamilton Road and ride up to the Lick Observatory...19 miles of climbing (with a few dips). This s a fairly narrow mountain road with little traffic. The descent is not dangerous for an experienced rider, just be aware of the possiblity of the occasional oncoming car and potential for gravel on the road here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
these are great so far...

Thanks, I think I will be able to borrow a car to go just down the road and do some of those. I'll check out the ride list now...
 

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mohair_chair said:
Hwy 84 is a fantastic descent. It gets traffic, but if you are a reasonable descender you can usually keep up or outpace most of it, so it's no big deal.

Going up Hwy 84 is not recommended.
I don't consider myself a decent descender and I have outpaced cars on this descent. The top part is not as steep for about the first mile so cars will pass you but then it gets steep and you have gravity on your side.

If you can make your way north you can also try Mount Diablo or even Mount Tam. I've never ridden either of these (nor Mount Hamilton, which is high on my list, BTW) but I hear that they are great climbs.

You could always try riding your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge then make your way to Mount Tam and back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
route?

Squidward said:
I don't consider myself a decent descender and I have outpaced cars on this descent. The top part is not as steep for about the first mile so cars will pass you but then it gets steep and you have gravity on your side.

If you can make your way north you can also try Mount Diablo or even Mount Tam. I've never ridden either of these (nor Mount Hamilton, which is high on my list, BTW) but I hear that they are great climbs.

You could always try riding your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge then make your way to Mount Tam and back.

I am very familiar with Mt Tam area is there a simple way to ride to Golden Gate from San Carlos?
 

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When are you here? What days? There's group rides every day depending on your schedule.

Also, I can ride with you maybe.

fc
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
francois said:
When are you here? What days? There's group rides every day depending on your schedule.

Also, I can ride with you maybe.

fc

Monday afternoon 3/2 (not sure If I can ride that afternoon) Definitely Tuesday morning for as many hours as I can stand. And then Wednesday morning/day too.

My hosts schedule will determine some of my schedule the couple doesn't ride.

Nik
 

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On Wednesday morning there is an ACTC/Western Wheelers Hills'R'Us ride. Check www.westernwheelers.com for rides schedule.

For epic climbs in vicinity, do Page Mill (even better, Moody/Page Mill). Kings Mountain is shorter and not as hard but very beatiful. If you have any chance, try to fit West Apline into your schedule: it starts in redwoods at Pescadero Road near 84 and La Honda and goes to Skyline at Page Mill. It is fantastic. And, of course, Tunitas with its brook and redwoods is a must.
For descents, Page Mill and Kings Mountain are terrific.
Do not forget to do some Highway 1 riding. Perhaps, take 92 to Half Moon Bay and ride 1 to Tunitas, climb Tunitas to Skyline and ride Skyline back to 92.
 

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Nick:

If you can manage to get up early enough, meet Mike Jacoubowsky (Owner of Chain Reaction Bicycle) at the corner of Olive and Canada Tuesday or Thursday at 7:00-7:30AM. His Tuesday/Thursday ride takes you over Kings Mountain Road and perhaps up Tunitas or Pagemill if he has time. He usually rides with a group of local racers, which should make for a spirited ride.

CHL
 

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Old_school_nik said:
I am very familiar with Mt Tam area is there a simple way to ride to Golden Gate from San Carlos?

El Camino? It can be done, but probably not the nicest ride. I'd take Cal Train into SF and from there ride along the Embarcadero to Golden Gate bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok, so 84 and 35 are ok to take a bike on?

mohair_chair said:
Don't know about group rides, but the closest "epic" climb has got to be King's Mountain, which starts in Woodside off of Woodside Road (Hwy 84). It's a good climb and a fun descent. The road gets a little tight in the first section, but on a weekday, you should have no issues.

Kings Mountain tops out at Skyline, where it meets Tunitas Creek, which was recently raced as part of the Tour of California. Tunitas is a terrible descent, so nobody goes down it. But if you want to do another "epic" climb, you could head south on Skyline, pick up Hwy 84 and descend to the ocean, then pick up Tunitas at the bottom. Descend Kings Mountain to return to wherever you started.

Another climb in the area is Old La Honda road. It's only about 3 miles, but it's not easy. It's the local benchmark climb, and everyone knows their fastest time up it. It also tops out at Skyline. Turn right at the top, go to Hwy 84, and descend back to the valley. Hwy 84 is a fantastic descent. It gets traffic, but if you are a reasonable descender you can usually keep up or outpace most of it, so it's no big deal.

Going up Hwy 84 is not recommended.
Ok, so 84 and 35 are ok to take a bike on? 84 is ok only from East to West - and Tunitas from West to East right (climbing?).

Now if I do the loop you suggest that dumps me off at Highwway 1 on acean do riders use highway 1 south on weekdays is that consideded reasonably safe?
 

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Old_school_nik said:
I am very familiar with Mt Tam area is there a simple way to ride to Golden Gate from San Carlos?
There is a fairly popular route that mostly follows Canada Road from Woodside to Skyline Blvd to San Francisco, then the Great Highway and Lincoln Drive to the Golden Gate Bridge. There are a couple of places where Skyline Blvd merges with I-280 and Hwy 1 freeways. You can take parallel bike paths (when they are open) or parallel city streets (when the exist) or riding on I-280 is legal in a couple of places. You can find route maps on bikely or mapmyride. Check with the San Mateo county parks department about bike path closures/detours.
 

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Old_school_nik said:
Ok, so 84 and 35 are ok to take a bike on? 84 is ok only from East to West - and Tunitas from West to East right (climbing?).

Now if I do the loop you suggest that dumps me off at Highwway 1 on acean do riders use highway 1 south on weekdays is that consideded reasonably safe?
Hwy 84 gets a lot of traffic, especially on weekends. Going down on a bicycle is much more fun than going up. Hwy 1 is very safe except around Devils Slide. I think there are bike lanes or wide shoulders on Hwy 1 all the way from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz. Hwy 35 gets a lot of very fast motorcycle traffic on weekends and there are no bike lanes, but they usually try not to hit you. Weekdays are much quieter.
 

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Old_school_nik said:
Ok, so 84 and 35 are ok to take a bike on? 84 is ok only from East to West - and Tunitas from West to East right (climbing?).

Now if I do the loop you suggest that dumps me off at Highwway 1 on acean do riders use highway 1 south on weekdays is that consideded reasonably safe?
For the most part, Hwy 1 is just fine to ride on. There is usually a nice wide shoulder, and you can't beat the views. Except for around Half Moon Bay, which is a city, it's just you and the scenery.

Hwy 35 is great riding in any direction. Classic bay area riding.

The valley side of Hwy 84, from where the climb starts at Portola Road to the summit (where it meets 35) is not recommended, but that is a great descent to finish your ride on.

If you were to ride Hwy 84 from the summit down to the ocean, most cyclists would stop just short of Hwy 1 at a "town" called San Gregorio. There's a store there--the only one for miles and miles--so that's where everyone fuels up. The store is at Stage Road, which you would then take northward to reach Hwy 1. Then you have a short but fast descent down to Tunitas, which is at the bottom of the descent.

Stage Road southward is a great ride, into the town of Pescadero. You could then take Pescadero road back to Hwy 84. It's mostly a gradual climb with a steeper section close to the end, known as Haskins Hill, and a good fast descent down the other side. Then you can pick up Hwy 84 and finish climbing to the summit. Or, if you want another epic climb, take Alpine Road (aka, West Alpine) to the summit. For my money, Alpine is the closest thing we have locally to a climb in the real Alps. From Pescadero to the summit is a pretty good test of your fitness. It's almost cheating to do it in winter. Try July, when it's 105 degrees!
 

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mohair_chair said:
Stage Road southward is a great ride, into the town of Pescadero. You could then take Pescadero road back to Hwy 84. It's mostly a gradual climb with a steeper section close to the end, known as Haskins Hill, and a good fast descent down the other side. Then you can pick up Hwy 84 and finish climbing to the summit. Or, if you want another epic climb, take Alpine Road (aka, West Alpine) to the summit. For my money, Alpine is the closest thing we have locally to a climb in the real Alps. From Pescadero to the summit is a pretty good test of your fitness. It's almost cheating to do it in winter. Try July, when it's 105 degrees!
Alpine Road is a much more fun climb than Hwy 84 from La Honda up to Skyline. Alpine Road has great scenery and almost no traffic. Hwy 84 gets pretty busy/noisy and there is no shoulder. Tunitias Creek Road is also a much better climb to Skyline than Hwy 84. With all the great alternatives, I haven't climbed Hwy 84 in years and I can't think of any reason why I'd want to.

Also, I cannot remember it ever being 105 degrees in Pescadero. Even the sunny parts of Alpine Road rarely get above 90F. Just remember to bring enough water, since there is no where to refill once you get above Pescadero Road.
 

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johnny99 said:
Also, I cannot remember it ever being 105 degrees in Pescadero. Even the sunny parts of Alpine Road rarely get above 90F. Just remember to bring enough water, since there is no where to refill once you get above Pescadero Road.
I did Alpine Road when it was 105 degrees. I have no idea what it was in Pescadero, but obviously it will be cooler there. On Alpine, it was 105. There was no breeze, either. The heat just hung there in the air. In the trees it wasn't too bad, but on the exposed upper part, it was like riding in an oven. It was brutal. We ran out of water that day, and I bombed the descent of Page Mill to cool off. I don't think I've ever gone down that road faster than I did.
 

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lml1x said:
El Camino? It can be done, but probably not the nicest ride. I'd take Cal Train into SF and from there ride along the Embarcadero to Golden Gate bridge.
Old_school_nik said:
Ok, so 84 and 35 are ok to take a bike on? 84 is ok only from East to West - and Tunitas from West to East right (climbing?).

Now if I do the loop you suggest that dumps me off at Highwway 1 on acean do riders use highway 1 south on weekdays is that consideded reasonably safe?
I would avoid El Camino Real. It's not that you can't ride it but there really isn't a shoulder and a lot of folks who drive on that road think it's a highway so I consider it to be fairly high risk.

I would ride up Ralston to Skyline then head north. Check this out. The only problem is that part of the route, from Larkspur Drive to San Bruno Bl, is closed during the week. I'm not even sure if it is open on the weekends. There's really no easy way past this junction, too.

Highway 35, around Highway 1, is a bit dicey going to and from but it's not bad if you keep your wits about you. Riding across the GGB back to the Highway 1 intersection is pretty much the same route that the Tour of California took when they rode through here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks so much to all who responded.. one more question

Thanks so much to all who responded (please let me repay the favor if you ever come to NYC and need to get some good rides in... one more question though.

From the golden gate bridge is there an genrally accpeted "best route" from North end of bridge to Muir Woods or panoramic highway areaa? On Google maps the roads are all over the place and is there one easy to follow road - and thanks again!

Nik
 
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