Bike rides in the Santa Cruz Mountains have a new look

Here’s the view from Old La Honda Road that makes my day.

Gone are the days when I rode from home on 50-100 mile rides through the Santa Cruz Mountains.

It’s more like 45 miles after driving to Skyline and parking. You’ve got to adapt, and adapt I will.

Today I drove up Hwy 9 and noticed some cyclists dutifully picking up roadside garbage. I commend them. I’ve done that too.

Skyline Boulevard between Page Mill Road and Hwy 9 no longer has a stoplight. The slide has been repaired and the road widened.

I headed down Alpine Road and took solace in wearing a long-sleeve jersey. It wasn’t as nice today as yesterday.

A bike rack and deck at Loma Mar Store look inviting.

First stop, Loma Mar Store to visit the owner. They have great pastry and coffee, among other delectable deli dishes. The entire building is out-of-this-world beautiful. Visit and you’ll see why it took five years to build.

When I arrived in Pescadero I noticed a dense fog blanketing the ocean, so I headed up Stage Road under sunny skies and a refreshing breeze.

The ride up Hwy 84 has the usual moderate traffic, but less than on the weekend. I turned onto Old La Honda Road to enjoy the solitude — one of my favorite roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The views…

That’s what I call a nice culvert. This one is near the larger repair/slide that doesn’t look as nice.

The culverts have been repaired, so no more closures.

Skyline Boulevard brought me back to the real world. It was getting late in the day, so commuters blasted by at 60-70 mph while thumbing their noses at the 914 millimeter (three-foot) rule.

To top off the enjoyable ride, my neck didn’t hurt much. Advil helps.

I’m not a fan of riding in dense fog. Right turn on Stage Road.

4 Responses to “Bike rides in the Santa Cruz Mountains have a new look”

  1. jamesRides Says:

    Good to hear that you are still riding the Pescadero loop. I don’t like riding up 84 because of the speeding traffic, so I always ride 84 down. Relative velocity between the traffic and the bike is less. Unfortunately that limits opportunities to ride up west Old La Honda. It looks like what a lot of riders do is ride down 84 from Skyline to west Old La Honda, and then ride back up west Old La Honda, so I’ve started doing that on colder days when I don’t want to freeze in the depths of the West Alpine gulch.

    Worth Noting: Within the last year they’ve vastly improved the shoulder on west Highway 9 from Boulder Creek to within about 2 miles of the Skyline/35 interchange, so that is worth checking out if you haven’t ridden it in a while.

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Thanks for the Hwy 9 tip. Weekend riding in the Santa Cruz Mountains is no longer fun. It would be better to see widening between Boulder Creek and Santa Cruz where traffic is the heaviest.

  3. Cathy Switzer Says:

    Wednesday’s “Hills R Us” ride was Page Mill

  4. Cathy Switzer Says:

    … West Alpine, Haskins Hill, Arcangeli’s for lunch, Stage, 84, West OLH, Skyline and 84 back to Shoup Park. Beautiful day, we’d enjoy your company anytime! Thank you for your routes and stories.

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