Google Docs link, with images:
Something we didn’t do last year was the Climb and Coast Century, which in the Spring is entitled the Ides of [Month] and in the Summer Guns of August. Some just realized it’s our chance now to do this epic ride in 2021, so here goes.
This classic started in 2014 when some people got the notion to swing back from Pescadero the hard way and a bunch of people devised the route.
The route’s spectacular, and it’s your only chance to do it. It’s not practical to do on your own. It’d be hard to round up others to do it. It will probably never be an organized century ride. So, it’s because we are a cohesive and capable club we can have this nice thing.
Turns out the weather is pretty warm on Saturday, with high of 86 in Los Gatos, and 79 in Felton.
The route starts with classic climb Highway 9, then North on Skyline to West Alpine with its sublime rolling hills/ocean view, descending to San Gregorio turning left on to Stage Road to Pescadero and maybe artichoke bread (around 11:00 AM). Most rides have to head back at this point, but we venture onward and Southward to what’s otherwise undiscovered country on Cloverdale Road (which only 1/10 as many have ridden as eg 84 to Stage). There’s some time on Highway 1, just enough to get some beach views, then back inland on the much nicer Swanton.
After Swanton it’s back on Highway 1 to Davenport, where we’ll have lunch at Whale City Bakery. We usually pull in at 2:00 PM. It’s sorta hard to have lunch at WCB, because it’s very crowded. There’s a market there too, where Cliff Bars etc are available. Stock up, because there’s a lot of bonking that’s occurred on the way back.
Things get serious again after lunch, because then it’s the Bonny Dune climb (4.4 miles, 7% grade). We will probably all be riding together up until this point, but now with fatigue and lots of climbing, it will be probably be most practical to form into forward and rear Elements. The next regroup is at Felton Covered Bridge County Park. The forward Element will be getting water and using bathroom there, but eventually must go, confident that the Rear Element isn’t lost or in bad way. So, if you are in the rear on Bonny Dune, find others and stick together so that when you get to Felton Covered Bridge you’re good whether the other riders are there or not. No solo please, this remote area is no country for lone men.
Turning onto Bonnie Dune From Highway One. Starts out easy enough!
It can get confusing after Bonny Dune, here’s a guide so no one gets lost. Again.
The Felton-Empire Grade descent is the absolute best, save for the distress of knowing you’ve got to climb it all back.
Regroup in Felton not at the light, but head straight for the Felton Covered Bridge Park. Bathroom and water!
Only one more climb now, the familiar Zayante. The handy Zayante Deli Market‘s half way up (but no bathroom).
Don’t regroup at Zayante and Skyline, but turn right on Skyline until you find
- Redwood Estates Upper Park (Kiddie park on Summit, at crest. Has water)
The descent is Mountain Charlie/OSC, and then counterclockwise around Lexington (longer, reservoir side). The unpaved LGCT’s not so dreaded now, because it ends triumphantly in town. Probably about 5:00 PM.
For those without the time or fitness yet for a 100 mile century with 10,000 feet of climbing there are some peel away shorter options,
- San Gregorio, Pescadero then back, 78 miles, 8390 ft climb.
- Out and back to Pescadero, 74 miles, 8600 ft climb
- Leave off San Gregorio, 96 miles, 10,655 ft climb
Find some others that are so opting, and form an element to head back with.
2014 Fly By, 2014., 2015, 2016 and 2016 (Guns of August), 2017, 2017 (Guns of August) Moving time’s been around 6-1/2 to 7 hours, elapsed time 8-1/2 to 9-1/2 hrs. So, that’s getting back around 5:00, it’s a long day!
When: 8:00 AM
Where: Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company, 101 W Main Street, Los Gatos