Epicenter Cycling - Santa Cruz Bike Shops

Santa Cruz Locals Making a Difference

1730 Mission St, Santa Cruz 831.423.9000 - 8035 Soquel Dr, Aptos 831.662.8100

Bikes Change Lives : Peter

We had a lot of adventures this year on our bikes: cycling to San Francisco, cycling through Big Sur to Morro Bay, cycling San Francisco again… and cycling three weeks in Maine!

For us, the 90 miles along the coast from Santa Cruz County to San Francisco is a really awesome experience right outside our home. Our first time going up the coast, we left La Selva Beach and got to Costanoa early afternoon and hiked in the area.

The following day we passing through Half Moon Bay taking the new trail around Devil's Slide into Pacifica. From there, you've got to climb some pretty steep hills until finally catching site of The Great Highway. Here, you can either cruise along the highway, or take the adjacent hike/bike trail passing the SF Zoo until reaching the Windmill at Golden Gate Park.

There, it was springtime on our first visit and the area was awash in blossoming tulips in every color and numbering in the thousands. After taking pictures, we picked up our bikes and cruised along JFK Drive enjoying the horticulture, the monuments and buildings, and the people of San Francisco until reaching the Panhandle and making our way to our night's lodging.

On our second trip to SF we left La Selva earlier, and made it all the way to Half Moon Bay State Park's Hike & Bike campground. It was late by then, and the wind and the fog was blowing in off the ocean. A easy meal of hot soup, nuts & dried fruit then chocolate for dessert. That night the cold ocean wind blew against our tent forcefully at more than 40mph. It was mighty cozy in our down sleeping bags, though.

In the morning we decided to (or now I'm told, I decided to...) take the old highway from Half Moon Bay to Pacifica in order to avoid the narrow two lane highway on either side of Devil's Slide.  

In my defense, it was, after all, an alternative route suggested on Google Maps. It wasn't until the asphalt had ended and we were pushing our bikes with fully loaded panniers and rolled sleeping pads atop our bike racks up a steep dirt fire road, that I really started to get a bad feeling about this route.

We finally reached a plateau with a nice view back on the coast and where we'd been an hour ago.  The dirt fire road twisted along the slopes of Mount Pedro as we ascended higher. The road then gave way to just a single track. Occasionally a mountain biker would pass and cheer us on, and then we'd see them looking back at us like we were really some dumb asses.  When there was nothing left to climb, the trail snaked high above Devil's Slide. Old WWII concrete observation post/rifle pillboxes could be seen below us.  

As we started to near Pacifica, we met a old local on a hiker who told us that the "road" had been used by motorcyclists in the 1930's, so the State Highway Department had dynamited the road on the hairpin turns, and that was why it was like a hiking trail rather than an abandoned road.

We survived, finally entering Pacifica six hours after we'd started. It was nearly 3pm, so we snacked on a late lunch, and headed up the hills to reach the Great Highway, then Golden Gate Park and our finally our day's rest.

It was a heck of an adventure!