9/26/06: Tunitas Creek (39.2 Miles)

After spending the night in Half Moon Bay, I rode back over the hill to Palo Alto on Tunitas Creek Road.

The first 10.5 miles were along Highway 1 South to Tunitas Creek Road. It was windy and cold, but after a couple of miles I warmed up and was okay by the time I reached Tunitas Creek. I’ve heard from so many people about how Tunitas Creek seems to go on forever with miles of incredibly steep road that slowly grinds riders’ legs into jello.

Tunitas Creek is 9.2 miles long but its really only the 5 miles in the middle that are steep. The first 3 miles and the last 2.5 miles are pretty flat. Furthermore, the first mile of the climb is gentle and there are short flat spots along the way that provide moments of relief. There are a couple of brutally steep parts of the road but I don’t remember any of them being longer than .5 miles. On the whole, Tunitas Creek Road is difficult but it isn’t as hard as Page Mill. Of course, it would have been harder if I had done the Coastal Loop in one day rather than splitting it over two days.

As far a scenary goes, I was blown away. Tunitas Creek is much more isolated than most of the other climbs in the area. There is virtually no traffic and the road is very narrow as it winds through towering redwoods next to a small creek.

After reaching the Sklyine, I made a right and climbed back to Highway 84 which I took down into Menlo Park and then coasted back to Palo Alto.
Here are my stats:

3h & 22s

39.17 miles

13.0 avg mph

35.2 max mph

131 avg heart rate

165 max heart rate

1153 calories

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