Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dirtmoon Pacific Ocean Way

Wednesday, November 11th. This route roughly parallels the Half Moon Bay way road “commute”, but on as much dirt as possible and avoids riding along Hwy 1. Christon was the only one brave enough to join me.

• Climb up to Sweeney Ridge. View of the bay from the Portola Expedition monument on the top:
• Descend Baquiano trail to Fassler Ave, and then a dirt bit by the water tower. The Baquiano trail switchback is well packed and much nicer than the alternate fireroad that goes straight down.
• Pedro Mountain Road (“Planet of the Apes”). Amazingly no fog today.
• Cut through eastern Montara on a road wiggle with small dirt cut-through to Sunshine Valley Rd.

• Hop across Hwy 1 on Cypress Ave and ride through the portion closed off to autos to a road along the ocean that is falling apart as if they paved the dunes.

• Continue on some scenic oceanside dirt by turning towards the ocean whenever the trail forks, all the way past the airport.
• Mix of paved and dirt horse trails through Half Moon Bay along the ocean.
• Nature break and refill water bottles at the restrooms along the ocean. Then left turn on Kelly Ave to cross Hwy 1 at a stop light. (It's possible to continue on the ocean trail to Poplar St, but it has no light crossing and there tends to be a lot of traffic.)

• Main St to Higgins Purisima Rd which goes from flat artichoke fields to steeply climbing 600 feet and then throws that gain away by descending into Purisima Creek Open Space.

• Purisima Creek Trail. Sure, it's beautiful at first as it gently rises amongst the giant redwoods. Then it kicks you with 1,100 feet of climbing over 2 miles. This climb is exceptionally hard, especially with the high race gearing of my cross bike, but not as bad as when I rode it last in hot dusty July afternoon heat. The slightly damp fireroad gave better traction.
• Kings Mountain descent to water bottle refill on Tripp Rd (only carried 1).

• After all of that we wanted to get to work as fast as possible and with as little elevation gain as manageable. Being on cross bikes however, it was hard to resist horse trails along the sides of the road, a quick jaunt in Arastradero Regional Preserve, a nice little fireroad that connects Purissima Rd (that dreaded name again, and Los Altos Hills spells it with 2 s's cause they're fancy) with Okeefe Ln.

Recorded map (click link below for details and more pics):

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