Tag Archives: Tunitas

Coastal Classic again!

This has to be the most-common moderate-distance ride I do- the Old LaHonda/Pescadero/Tunitas Creek loop. It’s the go-to ride because it’s safe, it’s reliable (you know where to find food & water), it’s challenging if you want to make it challenging, or just a bit on the “tough” side it you want to take it easy. But there’s no way to really take it easy, ‘cuz you’ve got a few hills along the way-

Old LaHonda (1300ft)
Haskins Grade (800ft)
Stage Road climbs 1, 2 & 3 (about 400ft each)
Tunitas Creek (2000ft)

Total time on the road runs from 3.75 to 4.5 hours, depending of course on how much time you spend at the Pescadero Bakery! But even though it doesn’t take very long, and it’s not even very far (from my place in Redwood City it’s just 58 miles), it still feels like you’re quite a distance from home as you head out past Loma Mar on your way to the coast.

Today Kevin and I had an earlier start than usual (on the road by 8:30am) because he had to be back in time for a 1pm on-line video game contest of some sort, one of those things where you form teams and go after military objectives, which sounds better than saying you’re trying to kill as many people on the other team as possible. Kevin was a bit concerned that we weren’t going to make it back in time, but y’know, after doing this route so many times, it’s not like I don’t have a handle on it. But there may have been a reason for some of his uncertainty, as this was only his 3rd time back on the back after 17 days off due to a kidney issue and tonsillectomy.

Jerry climbing up Tunitas on a beautiful winter day!
Jerry climbing up Tunitas on a beautiful winter day! We sold him that Trek back in 2003; it’s seen a lot of miles since.

He needn’t have worried. While he wasn’t particularly fast going up Old LaHonda, finishing less than a minute ahead of me (22-something), he held up fine everywhere else. We even skipped the near-mandatory stop at the Pescadero Bakery after checking to make sure we had a few energy bars, just in case. And Tunitas Creek provided the opportunity to chase down some rabbits, including Jerry, a very good customer of ours (seen in the photo). We arrived back home at 12:30, plenty of time for his game.


One hot ride today! 65 very tough miles. 95 degrees.

90, 95 degrees, who's counting?

What better way to prepare for the heat we’re likely to encounter in France than riding up Page Mill Road when it’s 90-95 degrees? Making it especially tough is having Page Mill as the first hill of the day. That’s one mean way to start a ride. Page Mill is one of those hills it’s really tough to get a rhythm on; that bottom section starting just past the golf course/country club turnoff is just plain ugly, and it’s not until you get past Foothill Park that you can really get a handle on it. And that handle is pretty darned slippery, especially between park gates 3 & 4, where it’s gut-wrenchingly steep and you’re thinking why didn’t you go up Old LaHonda instead, an easier grade with lots of shade?

Adding insult to injury is Strava claiming I got a personal best on the climb, at 47 minutes. Umm… no. It wasn’t that long ago I did it in 44, and my son probably could have closed in on that time today too, except that he was being relatively-civil and stayed with me all the way up. OK, it seemed like it wasn’t that long ago, but since I loaded the last three years worth of data from my Garmin into Strava, maybe it was longer ago than I thought!

A beautiful day on West Alpine

We wasted no time heading down West Alpine for another date with Haskins Grade, a climb that Kevin claims to hate but is getting much better at, getting his own personal best today at 9:52 despite not climbing it for time. At least not until the last half mile or so when he noticed his time was pretty good and rode the rest hard. Funny how that works.

I’d like to say it was a fun run out to Pescadero, but not really; the stiff headwind and heat made it pretty tough. The upside? It’s rare that a cold Coke tastes as good as it did today!

Heading north on Stage we once again faced a headwind, yet did pretty good times up the two hills, primarily because motivation was provided by rabbits (cyclists ahead of us). Speaking of rabbits, I should have mentioned we had earlier seen a rabbit the size of a small deer as we rode Arastradero between Alpine and Page Mill. It was seriously huge!

The lower and middle sections of Page Mill proved to be Kevin’s undoing; we’d normally climb Tunitas in 45 minutes or so, but he was barely able to turn the pedals for a while. He can out-climb me dramatically on the first couple big hills of the day, but eventually he wears out and I keep on going. He did a miraculous recovery when the steep stuff ended though, charging the rest of the way at a pretty respectable pace.

In the end a tough ride with the unexpectedly-high temps causing a pretty significant weight loss (6.5 pounds for me) due to not drinking enough, even though I tried. Maybe I did drink enough and I burned 6.5 pounds of fat? Don’t I wish!