Posts Tagged ‘Santa Cruz’

Pacific Coast Ride – What Else?

March 24, 2013

Nice day on Gazos Creek Road. Once upon a time I rode here when it was dirt.

Nice day on Gazos Creek Road. Once upon a time I rode here when it was dirt.

With weather like today, my plan naturally turned to a Pacific Coast ride to Santa Cruz. Clear skies and mild temperatures added to the usual tailwind common this time of year.

What more could you ask for? As I took Cloverdale Road along comes Lindsay Crawford a retired airline pilot and ex-racer from the 1960s-70s. Lindsay must have enough frequent flier miles to fund his trips to Europe for another 50 years. He likes to do L’Etape du Tour in France — part race, part tour following routes of the Tour de France. Hard-core would be the best way to describe it.

No sooner does Lindsay pass by when along comes a Team Radio Shack triathlete, probably a professional judging by his fitness. He asked me about routes home from Santa Cruz. He liked the idea of hammering up Hwy 9, as opposed to his past rides up Zayante Road.

I drafted for about a mile before he rode away, leaving me to a more civilized pace of 20 mph with the tailwind, and a 44 mph downhill.

Well, so far the most expensive coffee I’ve had is $2.25, at Arro’s restaurant in Davenport. They have a nice selection.

Santa Cruz surfers looked to be enjoying the decent waves and a competition. The nearby seals basking on a rock outcropping barked their approval.

Santa Cruz Lighthouse serves as a surfer museum.

Santa Cruz Lighthouse serves as a surfer museum.Click here for larger size.

Rumble on the Coast

April 11, 2012

Rumble strips on Hwy 1 between Santa Cruz and Davenport add another obstacle for cyclists to overcome.

A proposal to add rumble strips on a 10-mile stretch of Hwy 1 from Davenport to Santa Cruz has cyclists up in arms, and I can’t blame them.

Rumble strips make cycling hazardous. They reduce your options when maneuvering around road debris and parked cars. This stretch of highway has plenty of parked cars whose drivers use nearby beaches.

Rumble strips have been gouged into the middle of Hwy 9 between Saratoga and Skyline Boulevard. These strips haven’t changed driving habits all that much, from my experience. Because they’re in the middle of the road, they don’t affect cyclists.

There’s one stretch of Hwy 108 east of Sonora that has a long rumble strip. On the steep descent to Sonora on many a Sierra ride I’ve cursed these strips up and down. They’re positioned in a such a way that if you ride to the left you’re in traffic, but if you ride to the right you’re in a ton of debris and glass. At 40 mph there is little room for error.

I’m also wondering just what kind of rumble strips are proposed. There are quite a few different arrangements, some worse than others for cyclists.

On stretches of Hwy 1 with 5-foot shoulders and no parking, rumble strips might not be so bad. That’s not always the case on this stretch of road as it passes beaches and state parks with parked cars.

Caltrans generally does a good job maintaining our roads and making them safe. I hope they listen and take cyclists’ needs into consideration. Hwy 1 is one of the best places for cycling in all of California. Let’s not ruin it.