Weekend Round-Up: Rough Road

Weekend Round-Up: Rough Road

Our poor friends! It’s a wonder that they still talk to us after all the crazy adventures we take them on. This weekend, we invited Seth and Amy along on our first overnight bike tour. It was epic.

Of course, the ride seemed like it was going to be a cinch. Only 25 miles each way, we do three times that in a normal weekend…no biggie. Our friends arrived at 11 on Saturday to load up the bikes with trailers and hit the road.

We made it a whole seven miles before stopping for lunch at Park Chalet. Yum, nothing like a bloody mary and truffled macaroni and cheese to kick off a long distance bike ride. From lunch, we rode down along the coast to Daly City and our first set of very steep hills. Our poor friends started to look a little dubious. Then through foggy vistas of the ocean at Mussel Rock and down to Pacifica – a surfing mecca and home to the fanciest Taco Bell in America.

Still going pretty well at this point, we turned up toward the hills for Pedro Mountain Road (also called Planet of the Apes Road). Rob’s guidebook praised this road – it had once been the only way across to Half Moon Bay, we figured it was closed about 20 years ago, but didn’t think to research it any further.

Turns out that the road was last used in 1937…and even in the 1800’s had a terrible reputation for being “a very bad road up over a high mountain.” The remaining pavement on the trail was barely visible in most places and the path was rarely more than 3 feet wide. With our friends and our bike trailers we climbed…and climbed…and climbed, often having to get off the bikes to get over rough terrain.

At least there were nice views and a lot of very pretty wildflowers! We made it down the crazy road and to our accommodations for the night around 5:30. Rob booked private rooms at the very pretty Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel. Our rooms were tiny, but clean and with an incredible view of the beach and coast.

We had dinner at a North Indian restaurant in town, watched the sun set at the beach and read away the rest of the evening.

The next morning, we were up early and out on the bikes in a hope to avoid traffic. Quick breakfast at the local cafe in Montara before facing the horrible Devil’s Slide road. This busy highway is dangerous and full of cars, but much faster than the mountain road. Once we got back to Pacifica it seemed to be smooth sailing.

…Until we hit Daly City and those giant hills again. We managed okay (go spin class!) but our friends bonked hard and Seth’s knee started to hurt. So we quickly came up with plan B. Rob put their bike cart inside ours and I looked up the nearest train station to get back to the city. We were quite the sight on BART:

Back at home for showers and ice. We had lunch at Woodhouse Fish Company and walked around the neighborhood. At 3:30, Rob and I helped pack our bruised and battered friends into their car. Hot baths and naps in the afternoon, we spent the rest of the evening watching Giro d’Italia.

You can see all our photos from the weekend online.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Amber at 3:50 pm

    You guys are AMAZING! I can’t believe you did that ride – big kudos to you.

  2. Katie at 4:40 pm

    Oh, look at the views from that hostel! Maybe someday your friends will conveniently forget the bruises and battery and remember how gorgeous it was. Makes me want to brave those hills.

  3. Jill at 5:30 pm

    Sounds like a great weekend, despite the bruises! You guys rock!

  4. Chris at 4:28 pm

    Park Chalet is a wonderful pit stop! My favorite place to take visitors in the city. If I was on your ride, that’s where I would’ve quit lol.