Half Moon BayGazos Creek/Pescadero/Purisma Creek — Saturday, May 26, 2012

As mentioned in pre-ride post, “Coach Ben” had said “This is the ride you need to do tomorrow”, so I begged for a carpool, spent part of the evening rotating my tires (new on front, front onto rear) and this morning headed off across the flats (Sacto-Alcatraz for the largest stretches, very pleasant on an early Saturday morning) to Bill’s house for the drive down to Half Moon Bay. About 22 riders today on Steph’s ride, about 1/2 & 1/2 Grizzlies and folks from her other cycling club. Nice mix of folks and all strong riders…

Always enjoy Stephanie’s rides, too – as she offers a ride briefing with exactly the right amount of essential detail on what to expect on the course, and the cue sheet was clear and easy to follow, too. Map also provided (actually, the cue sheet only took up a small portion of the map sheet… a total of about 15 turns over 56 miles). Sweet!!
Sat May 26 3/TM/56 Half Moon Bay to Pescadero Loop
Take a fun holiday weekend roll down Highway 1, past the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and then looping inland for lunch in Pescadero. Great views, artichoke bread, and possibly some berry pie await. Return via San Gregorio, but avoiding the hard slog up Tunitas Creek. There will still be some climbing on our return, but nothing you can’t handle. Meet in front of the fire station in downtown Half Moon Bay (1191 Main Street) at 9:30 a.m. for a 9:45 roll out. Bring water, lunch and/or $$ for that berry pie. Rain cancels: contact leader by cell phone that morning (she’ll be camping nearby) if in doubt. Stephanie Clarke (510) 501-3030.

All made the longish car trip down to Half Moon Bay (thanks to Bill K for the car pool opportunity!) and it was definitely worth every mile. We all bundled up in our extra layers for the start (chilly and foggy coastline, a bit windy but nothing “jangly”), and heated up on the long climbs along Hwy 1 southbound. A lot less car traffic on the Coast Hwy than I had anticipated (esp for a holiday weekend), which was a welcome treat.
My first time cycling this section of Hwy 1. Very nice.

Also my first ride on Gazos Creek Road, amazingly beautiful and a splendid way to get to Pescadero for artichoke-garlic bread and a grand picnic lunch in the backyard picnic area of Norm’s Market/Arcengeli Bakery (http://www.normsmarket.com/store/page.php?p=about_us). I passed on the bread and some of us were hoping for hot soup, which they did not have, however i gladly “settled” for a giant cup of mocha from the self-serve espresso/coffee/cocoa machine, and hands-down the BEST bear-claw in the entire world… light, fluffy dough, sweet, moist almond/sugar filling… umm umm umm. Went down well with my PB, banana & quince jelly sandwich i’d made and brought from home, lively conversation with fellow cyclists, both on on our ride and otherwise, who were enjoying this great rest-stop.

Stage Road much more pleasant today than i ever remember from past rides… perhaps the good company, perhaps the cooler weather, perhaps just having become a bit stronger on the climbs as well as less fearful in descending than i was in the past…. rode with Cliff most of the day (Hwy 1 section, then again after lunch on Stage Rd, Hwy 1, Tunitas and the pastoral stretches that came between Lobitas Creek Cutoff – Purisma Creek Road and the finish. Thanks to Cliff, who was kind enough to pedal really, really slowly and stick with me as I literally walked my bike the entire last climb (about 1/2 mile??) after leg cramps set in around mile 50 (yeah, duh – maybe i should have had more of my water than 3 oz, and started my electrolyte drink earlier too, instead of filling up on coffee drinks both on the car trip down to the start and again at lunch in Pescadero…. do ya THINK????)….. Cliff not only gallantly He not stayed with me until i was able to mount my bike again (top of hill!!) but then persisted with repeated offers until i accepted the gummy salt-fix “margarita” flavor chomps (hmmm, every Sherpa needs a Sherpa, sometimes?).

Back at the finish, Bill/Katherine were waiting patiently at the car and a bit perplexed at why i was lagging so much on my home-pony stretch, since I had started out on the ride so strong ….. so we loaded up my bike and i decided to forego both the restroom break (not needed that much, i’d sweated out all the fluids i’d ingested) and my original plan of changing into the dry civies i’d brought along in the backpack. It all worked out fine and i enjoyed my flat bonus miles between Albany & north Oakland…. as well as the great company & conversation on the carpool w/ Bill & Katherine, and the riding camaraderie throughout.

i’d repeat every moment, in a heartbeat… well, maybe i’d make more of a point to drink my cool fluids during the ride… and possibly i’ll bring my camera next time, too… long, long stretches with no traffic… moments of complete silence except for the wind in the eucalyptus trees and grasses and the birds singing, cows & horses hanging out in the pastures…. this time of year still technicolor green, too. stunning, really, and peaceful, too.

peace out.


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1 Response to Half Moon BayGazos Creek/Pescadero/Purisma Creek — Saturday, May 26, 2012

  1. Jim O'Melia says:

    Great ‘ad’ for this ride. It’s now on my list of rides ‘to do’. Thanks, Sherrie (and Stephanie for leading). jim O

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