Classy road bike rides on the SF peninsula

Road Cycling Collection by
komoot

The views. The hills. The pain. The San Francisco Peninsula offers plenty of these three. And we know, being an avid road biker, you cherish them all. To make sure you are getting exactly what you ask for, Ergin from bayarearides.com has put together a collection of his favorite rides on the San Francisco Peninsula just for you.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

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    Devil's Slide (old Hwy 1) đź‘ş

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    One of the World's iconic roads, in 2014 the frequently landslide-damaged Highway 1 received a tunnel to avoid the particularly dangerous cliffs at Devil's Slide south of Pacifica. The original roadbed is now a bike path along the ever precarious Devil's Slide cliffs between Montara and Pacifica.
    For more labeled photos and highlights check out the full tour komoot.de/tour/9984759

    Tip by
    Traveler
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    Cañada Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Riding on Cañada Road is very safe. There's a generous paved shoulder along the entire length of the road and the traffic is light.

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    Old La Honda Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Once the "real" climb on Old La Honda starts (roughly at the first hairpin curve), it lasts for almost exactly three miles until you meet with Skyline Boulevard, and averages a grade that is a touch under 8%. Naturally, there are brief spots where it's considerably steeper than that, but all such spots recorded by my GPS receiver had a grade less than 14%. The climb will not feel like any special challenge to anyone who is used to doing road climbs, but it's a good workout. The road is very narrow but its traffic is extremely light. There is a double yellow dividing line along the middle in the earliest stretches of the climb, but it soon disappears and doesn't re-emerge until you reach Skyline.

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    Portola Valley

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    The ride takes you through the (very) well-to-do town of Portola Valley, which usually ranks as one of the top 10 in the US in terms of average household income. You may have heard that Portola Valley has a higher population of horses than of people. While that seems to have been true only in much earlier years, this is still a town with a very high rate of horse ownership and, just like in the neighboring Woodside, you shouldn't be surprised if you encounter residents heading to the corner store on horseback.

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    Lobitos Creek Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    It has several more minor ups and downs along the way. It's nothing that could be considered challenging, though, and you soon settle into the valley of Lobitos Creek and end up almost back at Highway 1 via a mildly twisty descent.

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    Skyline Boulevard

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    On Skyline Boulevard, after pedaling for only a minute or two, you start a one-mile descent that ends at the intersection of Skyline and Route 84. This descent acts as a nice cool-down segment after the climb on Old La Honda. The intersection at the end of this downhill segment would also serve well as a rest stop or a lunch break, because it features the popular Alice's Restaurant as well as one or two other eateries and a general store. On nice weekends, you'll find this intersection hopping with weekend warriors using it as a rest stop or a meeting point.

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    Junipero Serra Boulevard

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Junipero Serra Boulevard has a generous, paved bike lane in both directions for the entire length of the ride.
    Car traffic is everpresent on this route, and it can get particularly busy during commute hours on weekdays, though this shouldn't concern you much because (other than having to switch to the left-hand side of the right-turn lane at some intersections) you will be mostly independent of the traffic lanes in your own bike lane during this ride. Meanwhile, weekends with good weather will result in heavy bicycle traffic, in which case it would be worthwhile to pay extra attention to fast riders that might be approaching from behind, at least when you're stopping or resuming after a stop.

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    Route 9

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    The grade of the climb is very steady overall. After gradually ramping up over the first 2.5 miles of the climb, the grade settles at a very even 6.5% for a while. Over the last third of the climb, it inches up slightly to 7%. But, you're much more likely to notice the local fluctuations of the grade around some of the tighter curves, than you are to feel this miniscule change in the average.

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    Climb Big Basin Way - Route 236

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    The traffic on Route 236 is certainly lighter than Route 9, but don't expect it to be deserted. Big Basin is a pretty popular park, and this road is its main artery. The road is narrower than Route 9, but its surface is still smooth and comfortable.

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    Bear Creek Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    On your way out of Boulder Creek, you turn onto Bear Creek Road before even losing sight of the town center. This road starts out like a "suburban" drive of Boulder Creek, following along more or less flatly, lined with residences. It continues for quite a distance in that form. Bear Creek Road has a bit more paved shoulder space than Route 236, ranging more frequently up to two feet in width, but this is diminished to as little as a foot in width through parts of the steep climb on this road. That steep climb, comes after the road becomes deserted.

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    Pescadero Creek Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Most of Pescadero Road lacks shoulder space that's usable by cyclists. That's not too much of a concern, though, because Pescadero Road sees only light to moderate traffic.

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    Stage Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

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    Tunitas Creek Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    This narrow road initially threads more or less flatly through mostly bare coastal hills and past a few farms. Along this part, you'll also encounter The Bike Hut. This is an unattended "supply shack" for cyclists at Potrero Nuevo Farm that is open 24/7. You can find snacks, drinks, as well as emergency supplies and spare parts there and you're expected to leave payment for what you take based on the honor system.

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    Kings Mountain Road

    Road Cycling Highlight (Segment)

    Kings Mountain Road arrives about one mile into the descent portion of your loop. This is a narrow and very twisty road that descends for a little over four miles without a break. The overall average grade of this descent is about -7.5%. The first three quarters of the descent (before the entrance of Huddart Park) is a two-lane road divided by a dash yellow line down the middle, where I'd qualify the lane widths as "fair", though there are no marked shoulders. The last quarter of the descent is divided by double yellow solid lines and features lines marking the outer edges of the lanes, but the shoulder space outside those lines (if any) hardly ever exceeds a foot in width. The pavement is quite good and is almost never broken. The descent is fast and exhilarating, with almost all of it taking place under moderate tree cover. While car traffic on this road is very light, it's not non-existent. Make sure you keep that as well as the popularity of this road with cyclists in mind as you decide which speed you should maintain through this descent.