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Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 18th 06, 09:38 PM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
msnoonan
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Posts: 5
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

Does anyone know of a good alternative to Highway 1 (north-south) when
traveling from the San Francisco bay area (Oakland) south to San Luis
Obispo? I am planning on 3-day trip from Oakland to San Luis Obispo
and I did a trial ride last weekend on the suggested route, starting at
the end of the BART line in Daly City and followed Highway 1 for about
40 miles south to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse just south of Pescadero.
The 4-mile ride over Devil's Slide is almost suicidal and enough to
make me re-think traveling Highway 1 at all. That 4-mile stretch has
narrow lanes through construction areas, no shoulders, steep grades,
and way too many cars traveling at freeway speeds. The rest of the
ride down to Pescadero is adequate in that it has adequate shoulders
and nice views, but on the Sunday that I did the ride, there was
non-stop traffic all going way too fast for my liking. I'm looking to
avoid the Devil's Slide stretch entirely and maybe connect to Highway 1
further south, maybe even as far south as Monterey. Or maybe there are
some more bike-friendly routes from the Bay area to San Luis Obispo
that avoid these heavy traffic routes? I don't care if I need to add
100 miles to my trip just to stay off those high-traffic roads.

Ads
  #2  
Old September 18th 06, 10:43 PM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
Rick
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Posts: 47
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?


msnoonan wrote:
Does anyone know of a good alternative to Highway 1 (north-south) when
traveling from the San Francisco bay area (Oakland) south to San Luis
Obispo? I am planning on 3-day trip from Oakland to San Luis Obispo
and I did a trial ride last weekend on the suggested route, starting at
the end of the BART line in Daly City and followed Highway 1 for about
40 miles south to the Pigeon Point Lighthouse just south of Pescadero.
The 4-mile ride over Devil's Slide is almost suicidal and enough to
make me re-think traveling Highway 1 at all. That 4-mile stretch has
narrow lanes through construction areas, no shoulders, steep grades,
and way too many cars traveling at freeway speeds. The rest of the
ride down to Pescadero is adequate in that it has adequate shoulders
and nice views, but on the Sunday that I did the ride, there was
non-stop traffic all going way too fast for my liking. I'm looking to
avoid the Devil's Slide stretch entirely and maybe connect to Highway 1
further south, maybe even as far south as Monterey. Or maybe there are
some more bike-friendly routes from the Bay area to San Luis Obispo
that avoid these heavy traffic routes? I don't care if I need to add
100 miles to my trip just to stay off those high-traffic roads.


If you miss the section from Carmel to the town of Morro Bay you will
miss some of the most exquisite scenery for cycling through around.
Traffic on that section of Hwy 1 is not too bad after Labor Day; I
would skip it between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but other than that
it is fine.

Have you bought one of the books on the Pacific Coast cycling routes,
either the Spring and Kirkendall or the Lonely Planet? If you had you
would know that you will need to stay off Hwy 1 in a good portion of
the distance from Santa Cruz to Monterey. Other than those freeway
sections, and Devils Slide, IMO Hwy is the best route.

If you are bound and determined to stay off Hwy 1 the alternatives are,
IMO, worse, including some stretches on Hwy 101 (and you thought 1 was
bad). From SF to Gilroy there are some nice inland roads to take
(though one of the better does dump you on I280 for a couple of short
stretches!). South of Gilroy it gets a bit dicey. You can get on Hwy
25 and take it all or partway south. If you take it all the way you
will reconnect to the Hwy 101 corridor using Hwy 198 to San Lucas.
From there you can cut westward on Lockwood-Jolon road and from there

take Jolon Rd back to 101 or continue on Interlack and Nacimiento Lake
Dr. to Paso Robles. If you take the first option, you will need to
ride 101 for part of the way into Paso Robles; get the Bicycle map from
CalTrans District 5 as it shows where bicycles are allowed/not allowed
on 101. You can take side roads paralleling 101 down to Atascadero,
but then again, if you stay on that corridor you will have to return to
101 for at least some time in the Cuesta Grade area. You can ride on
101 down the Cuesta grade to the outskirts of SLO, but then will need
to exit and take city streets. There is an old stagecoach road that
you can ride down as an alternative. Another alternative from Paso
Robles to cross to the coast on Hwy 46 and then take Hwy 1 down around
Morro Bay and into SLO. Similar thing from Atascacdero; take Hwy 41
across and then Hwy 1 into town. One other note on this route; the
parts that are away from 101 you are on you own - no services. So
carry plenty of water and be prepared to fix and equipment problems.

- rick

  #3  
Old September 18th 06, 11:26 PM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
Chris Neary
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Posts: 96
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

South of Gilroy it gets a bit dicey. You can get on Hwy
25 and take it all or partway south. If you take it all the way you
will reconnect to the Hwy 101 corridor using Hwy 198 to San Lucas.


The only connector from Hwy 25 before Hwy 198 is G13 into Paso Robles.

At the Hwy 25/Hwy 198 intersection you can continue straight on Peachtree Rd
(which becomes Indian Valley Rd). IVR will take you to San Miguel. In San
Miguel pick up River Road to get to Paso Robles.

My bike club has ridden from SF to Paso Robles many times, usually with the
following route:

DAY 1: East SF Bay to Hollister.

DAY 2: Hollister to King City via Hwy 25

DAY 3: King City to Paso Robles using Hwy 198 continuing on the route
described above.

An alternative option has been to ride to Watsonville the first day, piddle
around Monterrey the second and then ride to King City via Carmel Valley Rd
(G16).

You can take side roads paralleling 101 down to Atascadero,
but then again, if you stay on that corridor you will have to return to
101 for at least some time in the Cuesta Grade area. You can ride on
101 down the Cuesta grade to the outskirts of SLO, but then will need
to exit and take city streets.


Hwy 101 does have a nice wide shoulder now (even on Cuesta Grade). You only
need to ride 101 between Santa Margarita and SLO. Not really "fun", but not
crazily stupid, though. There are a few hardy souls who bike commute via
Cuesta Grade.

There is an old stagecoach road that
you can ride down as an alternative. Another alternative from Paso
Robles to cross to the coast on Hwy 46 and then take Hwy 1 down around
Morro Bay and into SLO. Similar thing from Atascacdero; take Hwy 41
across and then Hwy 1 into town.


My preference for routes would be:

1) Hwy 46 & 1(best shoulder with low traffic)
2) Cuesta Grade (Stressful but short)
3) Hwy 41 & 1 (Little shoulder on Hwy 41, significant traffic)
4) Stagecoach road (Dirt road, AFAIK, seems dicey for a road bike)

One other note on this route; the
parts that are away from 101 you are on you own - no services. So
carry plenty of water and be prepared to fix and equipment problems.


Good advice! On the upside, traffic will *not* be a issue.


Chris Neary


"Science, freedom, beauty, adventu what more could
you ask of life? Bicycling combined all the elements I
loved" - Adapted from a quotation by Charles Lindbergh
  #4  
Old September 19th 06, 04:44 AM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
msnoonan
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Posts: 5
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

Thanks for the reply. This is good information. Yes, I do have the
Spring and Kirkendall book. They warned about Devil's Slide on page
196 "The road is very narrow. Try to reach this area as early as
possible to avoid the afternoon traffic". They refrained from using
the word "suicidal". Actually, I didn't want to eliminate all of
highway 1, just eliminate Devil's Slide, but there just didn't seem to
be a good route from the east bay around the south bay because you'd
have to go thru San Jose. I forgot about the Dumbarton bridge and that
bikes were allowed. The ride down from where I live in Moraga to Niles
Canyon Rd (84) is no problem (Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, Palomares).
If there is a good route from Palomares Rd/84, over the Dumbarton
bridge, and then over the hill to connect to highway 1 somewhere around
San Gregorio, that would be great. If you have a favorite route, I'd
like to hear it. I've seen La Honda and Tsunitas Creek mentioned on
various route sheets. I have no problem taking highway 1 from there on
south. The traffic seemed to die down a bit around Pescadero.

  #5  
Old September 19th 06, 06:33 PM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
[email protected]
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Posts: 134
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

At the Hwy 25/Hwy 198 intersection you can continue straight on Peachtree Rd
(which becomes Indian Valley Rd). IVR will take you to San Miguel. In San
Miguel pick up River Road to get to Paso Robles.

This section sounds familiar. The SLO brevet series used this route
several times. Their 600K ran from the mission at San Juan Bautista
down to Paso Robles via this route. If you want quiet country roads,
this is it. One morning we rode the 50 miles from San Miguel to 198 on
Peachtree Rd / Indian Valley Road and did not encounter a single car.

Once we got to Paso Robles we would take highway 46 west to Old Creek
Road. That was another quiet country road that took you to highway 1
just north of Morro Bay. We would take Hwy 1 into SLO from there.

Hope this helps,
Tom

  #6  
Old September 20th 06, 12:27 AM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
Rick
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Posts: 47
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?


msnoonan wrote:
Thanks for the reply. This is good information. Yes, I do have the
Spring and Kirkendall book. They warned about Devil's Slide on page
196 "The road is very narrow. Try to reach this area as early as
possible to avoid the afternoon traffic". They refrained from using
the word "suicidal". Actually, I didn't want to eliminate all of
highway 1, just eliminate Devil's Slide, but there just didn't seem to
be a good route from the east bay around the south bay because you'd
have to go thru San Jose. I forgot about the Dumbarton bridge and that
bikes were allowed. The ride down from where I live in Moraga to Niles
Canyon Rd (84) is no problem (Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, Palomares).
If there is a good route from Palomares Rd/84, over the Dumbarton
bridge, and then over the hill to connect to highway 1 somewhere around
San Gregorio, that would be great. If you have a favorite route, I'd
like to hear it. I've seen La Honda and Tsunitas Creek mentioned on
various route sheets. I have no problem taking highway 1 from there on
south. The traffic seemed to die down a bit around Pescadero.


Let's get a bit of things out of the way first. Unless you have a
masochistic tendency, never descend Tunitas Creek Rd., at least not
until they completely repave it. The first 7 miles from Skyline is
brutal (yes, I have done it). Tunitas Creek is a good *ascending*
route, a terrible descending route. Actually, even if they repave, the
steep, narrow canyon is not a real good descending road anyway.

By the time you get over the Dumbarton, you are quite a bit south of
Old La Honda road (a good ascending road) and Kings Mtn (another good
road from the east side that aligns with Tunitas Creek Rd. on the west
side). As far south as you would be the standard ascents to Skyline
would be Page Mill or Hwy 9. Page Mill is a bit brutal for most folks
- about 8.5 miles of climbing with grades to almost 20% in places and
some extended sections of 12-14+%. Unless you like climbing that might
not be the road for you (I used to live near the bottom and climbed it
at least once a week, so I am not against climbing it). Hwy 9 is a bit
longish, about 8 miles from Saratoga to the top, but it is steady and
mostly in the 5-7% grade range.

Let me throw out a couple of options:

1) Take BART to Milbrae. From there you can make your way towards
Skyline and go up and over to the coast at Hwy 92 or can work down the
Peninsula and take Old La Honda to Skyline and then down W. Old La
Honda/Hwy 84; you can continue on Hwy 84 to San Gregorio or can turn on
Pescadero Rd. to catch Hwy 1 at Pescadero. The latter will avoid the
northward swing of Hwy 84 at the cost of climbing over Haskins Hill
(about 2 miles of moderate grade).

2) Head further south in the East Bay and descend Calaveras. Follow
along the east side of Santa Clara valley using roads and, if you like,
Coyote Cr. trail. Work your way down past Gilroy, staying east of 101
as much as possible, to the Hollister area then cut back northeast a
bit to catch Hwy 129 to Watsonville. If you follow out on Beach past
Watsonville you can catch onto the standard Pacific Coast route at the
junction of Beach and Thurwacher.

- rick

  #7  
Old September 20th 06, 03:26 AM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
msnoonan
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Posts: 5
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

Even more good suggestions. I think I have a plan. According to what
I'm seeing, after you get over the Dumbarton bridge, you're in good
shape to get to Pescadero via 84 and Pescadero Rd. I have no desire to
take BART to Millbrae and I should forget about Tunitas Creek. I
carved this route section from
http://felixwong.com/news/2002/05/fremont-beach-100/ and I think it
should work (more or less). I'm assuming I can figure out a way to get
from the intersection of Palomares and 84 to the Dumbarton bridge in
Newark. Maybe just take 84 all the way? Does it get any worse than
the section between Palomares and Sunol?

Cross West onto Dumbarton Bridge bike path (on south side of Bridge)
L. (south, then west) on Willow Rd. in Menlo Park (next intersection
after University and 84)
R. (north) on Middlefield Rd.
L (west) on Ravenswood Rd.
Ravenswood becomes Menlo Ave; go straight (west)
R (north) on University for a couple of blocks.
L (west) on Santa Cruz Ave.
L (south) on Alameda de las Pulgas
R (east) on Sand Hill Rd.
R (north, then east) on Old La Honda Rd.
R (north) on Skyline Blvd. (CA-35)
L (east) on CA-84
L (south) on Pescadero Rd
L (south) on US-1
Follow the ACA Pacific Coast Section 4 map (San Francisco to Santa
Barbara) to San Luis Obispo.

Piece of cake.

  #8  
Old September 20th 06, 05:45 AM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
Rick
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Posts: 47
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?


msnoonan wrote:
Even more good suggestions. I think I have a plan. According to what
I'm seeing, after you get over the Dumbarton bridge, you're in good
shape to get to Pescadero via 84 and Pescadero Rd. I have no desire to
take BART to Millbrae and I should forget about Tunitas Creek. I
carved this route section from
http://felixwong.com/news/2002/05/fremont-beach-100/ and I think it
should work (more or less). I'm assuming I can figure out a way to get
from the intersection of Palomares and 84 to the Dumbarton bridge in
Newark. Maybe just take 84 all the way? Does it get any worse than
the section between Palomares and Sunol?


From Palomares to Mission is not that bad, though a bit narrow with

traffic. The part from the junction with Mission goes through a lot of
town (Fremont/Newark). Though it is a bit longer, I prefer to just get
on Paseo Padre and follow it around, but others will probably differ.

Cross West onto Dumbarton Bridge bike path (on south side of Bridge)
L. (south, then west) on Willow Rd. in Menlo Park (next intersection
after University and 84)
R. (north) on Middlefield Rd.
L (west) on Ravenswood Rd.
Ravenswood becomes Menlo Ave; go straight (west)
R (north) on University for a couple of blocks.
L (west) on Santa Cruz Ave.
L (south) on Alameda de las Pulgas
R (east) on Sand Hill Rd.
R (north, then east) on Old La Honda Rd.
R (north) on Skyline Blvd. (CA-35)
L (east) on CA-84


An option here is to just continue west on West Old La Honda; it joins
up with 84 a couple of miles down from Skyline. The left turn onto Hwy
84 W from W. Old La Honda is a bit blind, so a lot of folks turn right
and go up the road a hundred feet or so to get a longer look at what is
coming from below.

L (south) on Pescadero Rd
L (south) on US-1
Follow the ACA Pacific Coast Section 4 map (San Francisco to Santa
Barbara) to San Luis Obispo.

Piece of cake.


- rick

  #9  
Old September 22nd 06, 04:31 PM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
Ray
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Posts: 10
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

I realize this might be a heretical suggestion, however, I would simply
ride to Pacifica and take a cab (order a van?) to Montera, just past
Devil's Slide. The first time I rode to LA from SF, I got a friend to
drop me off in Montera and the ride from there is very nice.

Ray

  #10  
Old October 17th 06, 03:41 AM posted to rec.bicycles.rides
msnoonan
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Posts: 5
Default Alternative California north-south route to Highway 1?

In case anyone wants to know the result, I did the ride last week.

Day 1 was 118 miles Moraga to Santa Cruz. I went down Redwood Rd to
Polamares, thru Fremont via Paseo Padre Pky (much nicer than Thornton),
over the Dumbarton bridge to Sand Hill Rd, then over Old La Honda and
thru La Honda and Pescadero, and then a left on Highway 1 to Santa
Cruz. I prefer this route over the BART to Daly City to Half Moon Bay
route. It may be longer and have more hills, but there are sections of
the route, such as Palomares, Old La Honda, and Pescadero Rd that are
very remote and scenic and had virtually no traffic when I was on them.
Daly City to Half Moon Bay is traffic and more traffic, especially on
the weekend.

Day 2 was 102 miles Santa Cruz to Lucia. I followed the "ACA section
4" route to the letter and have no complaints about their route
choices. However, you rarely even see the ocean for the first 50 miles
or so. I stayed day 2 evening at the overpriced Lucia Lodge. Didn't
have much choice as I wasn't camping and there are few lodging choices
within 20 miles of Lucia and I wanted to break up the ride into 3
relatively equal chunks.

Day 3 was 87 miles from Lucia to San Luis Obispo again following "ACA
section 4" route. Again, no complaints about their route selection.
Since the daylight is short in mid-October, I started each day at first
light - roughly 7:00 AM, and completed each day with 1-2 hours of
daylight to spare (except for day 3 when I had 3-4 hours of daylight to
spare).

If I were to do the ride again, I might try to do it during the long
daylight hours of June/July, and try to make it in 2 days, stopping
somewhere around Monterey on Day 1. Or does that take it out of the
realm of "recreational ride" and out it in the realm of "endurance
cycling"?

 




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