Coast Ride avoids headwinds

Gary Westby rides toward the coast on Cloverdale Road.

Gary Westby rides toward the coast on Cloverdale Road.

Would we have headwinds on the Coast Ride to Santa Cruz? Lately the wind has been out of the south on the coast, which I think is a not unusual pattern in the depth of the summer.

We knew there would be the usual gloomy fog, but it keeps the temps down, so you can’t really complain.

Gary Westby met me at the base of Old LaHonda Road where, as fate would have it, along comes Ted Mock and Joe Terhar, veteran riders I’ve known forever.

We chatted about the latest events, and it was good to see that they’re still riding strong.

Gary, 39, is the champagne buyer at K&L Wine Merchants, an upscale store in Redwood City that’s known far and wide for its outstanding collection of wine, beer and spirits.

Gary often travels to France to select fine champagne, meeting vintners and trying their latest vintage. It’s a thankless job but someone has to do it.

We rode up Old LaHonda at a friendly pace and greeted the fog at Skyline. After descending Hwy 84 we hung a left on Pescadero Road and continued over to the coast via Cloverdale Road and Gazos Creek Road.

The much feared headwinds did not materialize on the coast. It was pretty much calm the whole way to Santa Cruz.

Dogged by the all too frequent leg cramps, I couldn’t make much speed, but Advil, coffee and a banana kept me in the saddle.

I showed Gary the best route out of Santa Cruz, taking El Rancho Drive parallel to the south side of Hwy 17. We took Bean Creek Road from Scotts Valley, a nice route to Glenwood Highway.

Of course, we took Mtn. Charlie Road to reach Summit Road, where Gary headed home via Skyline and I rode down Old Santa Cruz Hwy. My ride totaled 108 miles.

Sometimes summer rides down the Coast can be uncomfortable, but this one turned out to be a delight, worthy of a champagne toast. Gary…

Gary rides past the blue silo house on Mtn. Charlie Road. You've got to love the owner's creativity.

Gary rides past the blue silo house on Mtn. Charlie Road. You’ve got to love the owner’s creativity.

6 Responses to “Coast Ride avoids headwinds”

  1. ted pauly Says:

    impressive ride…how do you get to el rancho from hwy 1?
    How long did this take you? How can you take long breaks and just bust out a ride like this ray? Is it mental as a certain point? rough guess on total elevation? Keep on keepin’ on!!

    • Ray Hosler Says:

      We got to El Rancho by cutting through the Ross parking lot, which is next to the San Lorenzo River. There’s a bridge across the river here and the road leads to Ocean Avenue where you cross at a light. Then there’s a frontage road. Left at the stop sign under Hwy 1 and wind your way through govt. buildings. You’ll have to look at Google maps based on this description.

      We stopped at Davenport and that was it other than a pit stop at a gas station in Scotts Valley. I was riding on experience, not having ridden much the past 3 weeks due to travel. Probably not the best idea.

  2. ted pauly Says:

    okay. for the record. what is the route you take to get from Lexington Reservoir to Los Gatos?

  3. Ray Hosler Says:

    Los Gatos Creek Trail. Getting there is the trick. Take Old Santa Cruz Hwy all the way to the on ramp at Bear Creek Road overpass. Ride 17 for a quarter mile to the next exit that takes you over Lexington Reservoir dam.

  4. ted pauly Says:

    Thanks Ray. I guess I haven’t tried this route because it just seems totally nuts to me to even imagine riding my bike on hwy. 17. But I suppose that there is enough room on the shoulder/side of the road for cyclists to make their way for this short stretch of road? I assume that you feel safe doing it? I want to give it a try.
    I am impressed that you can take a few weeks off, and then just get back on your bike and pull off such a long ride. I don’t think I could do it Ray. And it sounds like you are not even eating or drinking that much. I guess the new generation just keeps getting softer?
    Keed on riding!


  5. jkeehan Says:

    I rode that stretch of 17 once about 25 years ago. I remember a wide shoulder with a lot of rocks on it which was a bit unnerving at 30 + mph.

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