Mt. Umunhum’s popularity puts cyclists in peril on Hicks Road

Hicks Road at Guadalupe Reservoir in 2010. Need shoes?

UPDATE, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017: I rode Hicks today to see if Black Friday was an anomaly. It looks like it was. Not as much traffic today. Still much more than a weekday, with 44 motor vehicles observed in about six miles mid-day. There’s only about 125 parking spaces on all of Mt. Umunhum. If it does get crowded on a summer weekend, that could be an issue. Who wants to drive all that way to find there’s no parking?

Imagine my surprise riding Hicks Road today as car after car whizzed by on the narrow road with no shoulders bound for, no doubt, Mt. Umunhum summit.

Was there a Black Friday sale underway at the summit? I can’t think of any other reason for so much traffic. Now that the summit is open and this Friday being a semi-holiday, it makes sense. I didn’t find any planned events in New Almaden that would cause traffic.

If this is going to be the pattern going forward, then cyclists must avoid riding on Hicks Road weekends starting at Camden to the Mt. Umunhum junction. I’m guessing the New Almaden side of Hicks will have less summit traffic.

It’s really sad to see yet another country road turned into a Laguna Seca training course.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) needs to take responsibility for managing traffic to the summit. There should be a car limit and registration for access, similar to what is happening at the popular Muir Woods National Monument.

While I’m on the topic, why doesn’t MROSD/county/state arrange for a shuttle bus service on weekends to the more popular parks in the Santa Cruz Mountains? I’d wager that half the traffic on weekends is generated by well intentioned mountain bikers and hikers out to enjoy park land.

2 Responses to “Mt. Umunhum’s popularity puts cyclists in peril on Hicks Road”

  1. Mount Umunhum Says:

    Agree…. it’s very dangerous to be a bicyclist on Hicks *and* Mt. Umunhum roads. Today was the busiest day ever on the mountain.

  2. Jay Newman Says:

    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I have been riding up Hicks and Mt. Umunhum since 1993 as far as I could go before encountering mean rednecks. I have been up twice on weekends since it has been open to the top and, while there is definitely more traffic, still absolutely love it. Drivers, for the most part, drive under the 25 mph limit and give me and my companions room. The decent, now that the road is repaired is fantastic when before it was absolutely terrifying.
    It is best to be on Hicks by 10 am. Fewer cars and fewer drunks.
    Don’t let the low lifes push you around! You have as much right to the road as they do, and in fact, you are, essentially subsidizing them with your equal tax contribution but MUCH lower impact on the infrastructure.
    More riders are needed on Mt Umunhum to slow the traffic and encourage more to try a better way to see this beautiful place. By bicycle!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: