This road ain’t going nowhere. Not. Let’s enjoy West-side Old LaHonda while we can!

It’s funny the rituals you get into. When it was raining for months on end (or seemed to be), you get into the habit of waking up, opening the shades a bit and checking to see how wet the streets are. This morning, I knew it was going to be nice outside, but I still did exactly the same thing. Woke up, opened the shades a bit and expected to find wet streets. Thank goodness that’s over!

Just a few of us this morning, under bright skies with strong shadows, just the way I like it. Eric, George, Karen and, just for the run up to Skeggs, Marcus (that’s his usual gig; I don’t recall how long it’s been since he’s done the whole ride with us). A pretty easy pace up the hill, although I did try one hard interval, dropping back for a couple hundred meters and then sprinting back up to the lead group. I made it, but with nothing in the tank to spare (thanks partly to the beginning of a cold that I noticed coming on last night and can now confirm its quite real tonight).

This section of west-side Old LaHonda may not have much of a future

Road conditions were surprisingly good; most have held up well despite three solid weeks of rain. Most, not all. That crumbling section of west-side Old LaHonda is becoming narrower by the day, with a very soft, energy-sucking feel as you ride across it. There’s simply nothing supporting the asphalt they’ve dumped onto it, in a cheap attempt to keep the road intact. It’s not going to work; I got the feeling that a single truck driving over that section would be enough to do it in. There are many other areas where the surface is crumbling, but not in danger of falling away, as adjacent hillsides have slipped and basically changed the land the road sits on.

I doubt that the county has the funds to do much road reconstruction these days, and for the few homes along the road, it probably wouldn’t be too much of a hardship for them to have to either head up to Skyline or down to 84 if the road were split in two. The ideal situation for cyclists would be if there remained enough of a cow-path that we could still get through, but not cars.

3 thoughts on “This road ain’t going nowhere. Not. Let’s enjoy West-side Old LaHonda while we can!

  1. Sonoma Mountain Road #2 near Santa Rosa (not the Petaluma one) completely collapsed at the Summit about 5 years ago. Not sure if they ever fixed it, but it would have been a very expensive fix, the road was rolling down the hillside and it was pretty gnarly. Not rideable, but you could cyclocross over it. The residents I talked to said they were fine with it as it was – no random traffic going over the hill. Made for excellent cycling. I should go back and check it out – but I suspect it’s still this way because Google Street View stops halfway up the hill on both approaches.

  2. Hi Mike, I was on west old La Honda today and I agree that it is not looking good. We most likely are not finished with the rain and with more rain comes more deterioration to the road surface. The narrow section could be washed away entirely. Also descending West Old is now a dangerous proposition as there are too many loose gravel sections.
    Good luck to all of the foolhardy cyclists who will still attempt to bomb down that road.

    I read somewhere that the road was first paved in 1982, which surprised me. I am not sure it has been repaved since .

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