If you are looking for a great ride along the northern California coast this is a good one. I do it pretty often and it never gets old. You’ll be coast-side the whole time with spectacular views of the Pacific and may even catch some sightings of whales if you keep your eye out.
You get a good amount of climbing in but no climb is longer then approximately 1.3 miles with most grades about 5-7%. There are a few steeper parts here and there but they do not last long.
Bike Route Details
Elevation: 4,564 ft.
Moving time: 4hrs 37min @ 16.5mph
Temperatures: In general, expect it to be colder in Half Moon Bay and warm up as you head south. I see temperature differences as big as 12-15 degrees.
Winds: The prevailing wind in Half Moon Bay is NW. This means you are going to get a push down the coast and fight it on the way home unless you get lucky enough to catch a south wind which is a dream to get the push all the way home. If you leave early you can beat the NW wind, it will pick up around Davenport around 10:30/45am as the fog lifts.
On the way back there are a few places to duck out of the wind, but it will add miles to your ride. The worst winds on the way home will be around Swanson Berry Farm by Scott Creek. You will get some relief from the bluffs heading north to Waddell Creek Beach. One you hit Waddell Creek expect a lot of wind, it’s not one of the best kite surfing spots in North America for no reason. You will not suffer too much as you watch a sea of kike surfers shredding it up. (If you see surfers and not kites you are either there really early or you caught a south wind) You will get some wind going past Año Nuevo State Park and then hit a stretch between Highway 1 Brewing Company and Pigeon Point Lighthouse where it can beat you up a little. Good news is once you go around the bend from the lighthouse the worst is behind you. You can get some wind headed back into Half Moon Bay, but the good news is that is generally all downhill (1-3% with a few small bumps) headed into town.
Places to stop for food and water headed south:
If you need something early you can make a left on Pescadero Creek Rd. at mile 15, go down about 1.8 miles and make a left onto Stage Rd. Small down, plenty of places for food, water etc… I use Pescadero County Bakery, it has snacks, soda, water spigot on the side of the building, outhouse out back along with a bike work stand and tire pump. (go along the north side of the building to get to the back of the building)
Highway 1 Brewing Company. Gas station in addition to the restaurant. Snacks, water, soda etc…
Davenport. Several stores and restaurants. I use Arros store right next to the Davenport Cafe. They have bathrooms and a place to sit down. There are plenty of other places in town I use this as my stop on this route because it’s the first place headed south, has soda and bikers snacks like power bars and things. If you want a good burger Roadhouse Restaurant about fifty yards south is really good.