Mixed Terrain Adventures: Sweeney Ridge to Purisima Creek

Pudu, TBO, Ulrika and myself headed out today for a 67-mile pre-4th of July adventure that spanned Sweeney Ridge, McNee Ranch State Park (aka “Planet of the Apes”), Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, Wave Crest Open Space and Purisima Creek. I think it’s my favorite mixed terrain route that I’ve ridden to date! (I made some errors in mapping out our journey, so we missed the Cowell-Purisima Coastal Trail. And we took the flatlands near El Camino Real to head back to Millbrae BART instead of Canada Road / Crystal Springs since the group was tired by the day’s end.)


–Sweeney Ridge and Purisima were new territory for me and were definitely the most scenic sections of the day. (The others hadn’t ridden most of the off-road stuff either, so they enjoyed exploring the terrain as well.) I especially loved that we rode near or in view of the Pacific and avoided traffic for most of the day.

–Missed our turn onto Banquiano Trail and dead-ended at Portola Gate (which is closed off), but we got in an extra 2-miles of fun pedaling along the ridge.

–Pudu suggested we stop at Moss Beach Distillery for lunch and we had a tasty meal with a pretty oceanside view on the patio. I had some seafood sliders that came with a gargantuan pile of French fries (I could only eat a quarter of them), while Pudu ordered a big bowl of steamer clams with enough garlic bread to feed an army. Ulrika happily feasted on a platter of fish tacos, while TBO washed down his seared tuna sandwich with two cold beers. (Good thing, too, since we were planning on stopping at Hop Dogma; we accidentally overshot it when we were riding along the water.)

–Along the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, one of the bridges was out so we had to take a wet, muddy detour through some stagnant, horse-toilet water. (A large group of horseback-riding tourists were ahead of us, and their steeds were gleefully pooping and pissing along the way. TBO was the only one stoked by our gross little creek crossing; the rest of us made loud, “Ewww!” sounds as we waded through the nasty water.)

–Purisima’s like Tunitas Creek’s shorter, steeper cousin; it starts off gently in the redwoods, before pitching sharply upwards at the top. But it’s a lovely, shaded 4-mile climb that spits you out on Skyline — right near the swoopy descent down Kings Mtn. Road.

–We paused for one last snack stop in Woodside, where we saw Carl A. and Pudu’s friend Charles at Roberts’ Market.

–I won the city limits contest today; gotta take pleasure in life’s little victories…

Couldn’t ask for a better way to spend a day off from work. Definitely have to go back and ride this one again!