Took advantage of the Labor Day Weekend to go on another bike camping adventure. This time we headed south to Half Moon Bay. There is a nice hike and bike camp there on the beach for $7 per person per night with hot showers for 50 cents. The campsite has several picnic tables and one fire pit, which makes for a nice evening campfire social. The campground was riddled with gopher holes but they kept to themselves. It's just a few steps away from Francis Beach, where you can rest and regroup. Not recommended to swim here, but there is a lifeguard tower farther south.
Getting there: We pretty much took Hwy 1 and followed the Google Map bike route, but with some modifications. Rode over a huge nail after Mori Point and had to stop and do some repairs. There are some annoying areas where there is fast moving traffic and a narrow shoulder. The answer to this is to leave early! My favorite part was the new Devil's Slide dedicated pedestrian and bike path with awesome views of the Pacific Ocean!
The last 6 miles or so is mostly bike friendly. The Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail is nice. There was a bridge out on the last bit so we had to take the detour on Pilarcitos Ave to Kehoe, then Frontage Road, Naomi Partridge Trail, then right on Kelly Ave. to the camp entrance. Total moving time was 3:18 and 34.6 miles with 1,751 ft. elevation gain. We got there in time to set up camp and see a beautiful sunset. For dinner, we headed to Tres Amigos and had delicious burritos to go and socialized with other cyclists around the fire at the camp. The next day we had coffee, homemade oatcakes and fresh fruit from Andreotti Family Farm at camp and went on a morning ride to explore the rest of the Coastal Trail. Some of it was paved but the rest of it is rough single track better suited for mountain bikes or cross bikes. I managed to do it on my road bike without falling. We took the road back into downtown for lunch. Another cyclist had recommended San Benito Deli so we enjoyed delicious sandwiches there on the outdoor patio with live music. Afterward, we lounged on the beach like beach bums all afternoon, enjoyed nice hot showers, then rolled back downtown to have Sushi. Now that's what I call Glamping!
Getting back: Feeling "lazy" and wanting to have more time to do other things on our 3-day weekend, we decided on the beeline to Belmont CalTrain via San Mateo Rd./Hwy 92. This is one long climb to upper Skyline, with some anxiety attack areas of little shoulder but mostly ample shoulder. There are a few shady pullouts to rest. This route is best done early morning, but we did it at high noon in the scorching sun and busy traffic hauling our gear and survived. You have to be comfortable at bike handling on hills, balancing your load, and moving in and out of your drops. Remain calm and cycle on! The descent down Ralston is pretty sweet with smooth pave. We made it to CalTrain in 1:20, 14.3 miles and 1,484 ft. elevation gain. There are better routes to take if you want to extend your ride and explore the hills more through the Parks and Preserves. It would be so nice to have more time to do a proper tour of the Pacific Coast by bike.