Old La Honda Road in the days of dirt

Old La Honda Road (west) in 1986, less than a mile down, before it was paved.

For those of you who weren’t around, here’s what Old La Honda Road looked like on April 13, 1986, a fine Sunday in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The road was good dirt, except during wet winters when we had to negotiate mud holes.

During those wet days we typically avoided using the road.

Paving took place sometime in 1987.

Charlie Kempner and Jim Westby worked at Avocet/Palo Alto Bicycles.

San Mateo County completed its mission to pave every dirt road in the early 1990s. I think it was Higgins-Purisima Road (Higgins Canyon Road today) and Lobitos Creek Cutoff in 1987, followed by Lobitos Creek Road around 1991-93.

Jim Westby and Jeff Justice ride Lobitos Creek Road on a cold day, December 13, 1987.

5 Responses to “Old La Honda Road in the days of dirt”

  1. Brian Cox Says:

    At the top and bottom of this dirt section, there were signs “Impassable in wet weather”. Jobst Brandt once commented that it could be “deep gumbo” and related a story of some rider having his shoe pulled off his foot while walking through it with bike.

  2. Stefan Eberle Says:

    Fascinating…thanks for sharing!

  3. Richard Mlynarik Says:

    Lobitos Creek Road held on to a gravelled dirt surface for a few more years; mid 1990s until it was paved. (Or “paved” — “Republican roads”, as Jobst would say.)

  4. Brian Cox Says:

    To split some hairs, SMC has at least 2 official county roads with dirt sections: the goat track that is now upper east Alpine Rd and Gazos Creek Rd from the gate to Markegard’s train yard.
    The former has been closed to the public since the mid 1970s and impassable to 4-wheeled vehicles since the middle section washed out (20+ years ago). The latter was closed in the mid-to-late 1960s, reopened for a few years in the mid-to-late 1990s, and then re-closed to those without a key (or bolt cutters).

  5. Reid Perper Says:

    Hello Ray – You may remember me from Avocet / PA Bicycles back in the early 1980s. I was hired to help with the engineering design work. I spent a lot of time with Jobst Brandt working on various Avocet projects and discussing all sorts of other topics. I will always remember Jim Westby parked his bike in the bathroom! I have been reading your blog and was inspired to get a couple of your books. Many great memories! Thank you!

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