Author Topic: Good news about CA coast!  (Read 3466 times)

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Offline MrBent

Good news about CA coast!
« on: June 28, 2008, 04:23:59 pm »
I was in northern California recently and stumbled upon an article in the SF Chronicle.  It seems that a huge bypass construction dealing with the whole Devil's Slide section between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay is "nearing" completion.  I've ridden the central CA coast a couple of times--Sonoma County to Santa Barbara--and Devil's Slide was always devilish, primarily because of the narrow road, tons of traffic, tight turns.  We found it to be the only seriously unpleasant section of the ride.  Almost everything else was fun--much, much better than the Oregon coast in my opinion.

The new bypass will involve major tunnel(s) and bridge (s)--forget how many--and bicycle travel has been explicitly, specifically worked into the design!  Yahoo! The bad news?  It won't be open for travel until 2011 or 2012.  If I recall, the bridges are just about done but the tunneling is taking longer.

I'll almost certainly ride the coast again before the construction is finished, but when it's done, sweeeeet.

Cheers,

Scott


Offline DWW

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 09:48:38 pm »
Going to ride the coast in June. Is this portion completed? Any tips?

Offline MrBent

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2011, 10:17:36 am »
I just checked the [urlhttp://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/dslide/index.html]Devil's Slide project website[/url], and it looks to be open early 2012, which is a setback, of course, from the earlier projected opening of early 2011.  So it looks like you'll have to battle Devil's Slide old-skool style.  The information on the site seems to indicated that the existing Hwy 1 will remain open after the bypass is completed.  This will then make it a nice cycling option.  From what I understand, the tunnel and bridge will have excellent cycling shoulders, however.

Devil's Slide is one of the most notorious sections of the CA coast ride with often heavy, obnoxious traffic and very little to no shoulder.  I've survived it three times.  This time, I climbed slowly on a loaded recumbent trike, and things went pretty well.  My wife did the same thing later in the season and had to deal with a particularly nasty psycho driver laying on his horn and scaring the hell out of her.  One cyclist she met, a fellow who'd been riding the west coast for months, said that Devil's Slide was BY FAR the worst section he encountered.  I suggest that if you have the option, do it very early on a Sunday morning.  You'll bypass any commuter traffic, and heavy trucking will be at a minimum.  Unfortunately, even when the new bridge and tunnel are completed, the steep, narrow, slow, shoulderless section right above Pacifica will remain unchanged.  Sigh...

Scott

Offline DWW

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 10:13:46 pm »
 >:( Well, thank you Scott for checking. If you know, how far from GG Bridge is this section? If we leave Saturday morning, would we encounter this the first day (saturday) or the second (Sunday)? 

We plan on making Half Moon Bay (short day) the first day and New Brighton the second and I don't remember where this portion of roadway is.

The horn blaring (and the finger) happened to me last time I rode that portion, but from a driver going North. Aren't some drivers ASSSHOLES! 

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 01:01:34 pm »
I was on one stretch of the PCBR that had shoulders that were so littered with pieces of  bark from trees on logging trucks, the shoulder was largely uncyclable.

I remember a Seven Devils Road.

I remember a long series of switchbacks near a town named Legget.

The PCBR is one quite hilly way to go, but the scenery if really unusually beautiful to a flatlands guy from Florida.

By the time I got to a rise nicknamed "The Hill" that other cyclists fretted about, I didn't even notice it.

Offline MrBent

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 10:44:33 am »
Starting from the bridge or thereabouts, you'll get to Half Moon Bay easily.  I was on a loaded trike and had no problems getting there in less than a day.  New Brighton was my next night, too.  Those are two nice hiker/biker sites.  Half Moon Bay is one of my favorites.  One variation you may want to consider:  At some point on the Adventure Cycling route, you leave the main highway and jump onto Skyline Blvd.  Although quiet, the grades are extraordinarily steep.  This last time, I stayed on the highway--excellent, wide shoulders--until I could take the turnoff for Hwy 1 to Pacifica.  Technically, this stretch is "no bikes allowed," but the shoulder is good, it's a very fast down hill, and you're only on it for a couple of minutes, literally.  I prefer it now to the standard route.

Have a great tour.

Scott

Offline DWW

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2011, 12:53:59 am »
Thanks Scott. Still unclear whether I will encounter Devils slide between GGB and Half Moon Bay or HMB and New Brighton? That'll tell me wether to leave Saturday or Sunday to avoid the crush as you suggest.

Getting excited. I retire in 3 weeks and my daughter is going to shift adjust so we can ride on T,W and TH's here to avoid the weekend crush and get in shape. YAHHHOOOOOOOOOOO!

Offline cgarch

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2011, 12:06:56 pm »
Devil's Slide is between GGB and HMB. It is just south of Pacifica and north of Montara.

Offline DWW

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2011, 04:47:50 pm »
My plan, then will be to arrive Saturday, stay the night and leave Sunday to try to avoid heavy congestion. THANKS!

Offline MrBent

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2011, 01:06:50 pm »
One other option:  A few years ago, there was a devil of a slide on Devil's Slide, and the road was closed for a long time.  It was this closure that pushed Caltrans to finally get the bypass started, I think.  I happened to be riding the coast that year.  What to do?  Well, I rode along the Marina to the docks and piers and picked up the train in SF, which has a bicycle-specific car, and took that to San Mateo.  There I transferred to a bus and was dropped off in Half Moon Bay.  I missed some riding, of course, but in retrospect, given the nastiness of the Pacifica/Half Moon Bay riding, it was a fine way to go.  The buses have conventional front bike racks--easy.

Have a great ride.  Oh, one other thing: Camping in Big Sur is great.  Julia Pfeiffer is good; Kirk Creek is one of the best; Plaskett Creek is terrible.  Skip it at all costs.  The hiker/biker in San Simeon is not great.  If you can, get a room at the Hostel in Cambria--very nice!

Scott

Offline james2u

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 11:59:42 pm »
  In 2006 we took detour around Devils Slide, a fire road/singletrack through the hills and back onto HWY.1. The route was popular with the locals and much preferred than the alternate at the time. The local bike shop directed us to the trail head. http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=34028&v=4F
James

Offline PeteJack

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 04:26:39 pm »
I recently rode up Devils Slide. At at the start, just out of Pacifica, my chain jammed in the rear wheel. Instant stop with no shoulder. I had to fix it quite literally in the ditch. What a pain. The chain was so tight that the only way I could get enough slack in the thing to even take the back wheel off was to remove a derailer pulley. All while squatting in the ditch and trying not to drop parts. So make sure your machine is in shape before you go there. Actually as hills go it's not that bad if you don't break down.

Offline Nubo

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2011, 01:11:26 pm »
...  Unfortunately, even when the new bridge and tunnel are completed, the steep, narrow, slow, shoulderless section right above Pacifica will remain unchanged.  Sigh...

Scott

And in my experience that section is scarier than Devil's Slide itself.  As said, it's slow going with no shoulder, and also it's twisty and cut through a woods so the sight lines are short.  Ride as smoothly and steadily as possible; minimize stopping and try to be visible.  A good tail light is a recommended here and help counteract the shady spots. 

Offline Norsman

Re: Good news about CA coast!
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 08:13:40 pm »
When I cycled the coast two years ago this was by far the worst section.  (The bridge across the Columbia was a distant second). Unfortunately I had to go through during rush hour and absolutely hated it.  I saw that they were working on improvements and assumed that they would work on the bottom section once the tunnel was nearing completion.  If they don't widen the bottom section then it will still be a terrible ride for cyclists.