Old La Honda Road. Probably anyone that has been riding a bike in the Bay Area / Peninsula region for any length of time has heard of it. It is a staple – the benchmark of climbing in the area. Without too much poking around on the internet you can find the times on the route for many of the US national level cyclists – including pros.
I finally had a chance to ride this – along with Al Painter of Integrate Performance Fitness. Al was gracious enough to not mention what his particular time on the climb was, while I turned in a … well, an elapsed time that I have will have ample opportunity to beat in the future.
The ride is interesting for a number of reasons. There are some steep pitches, but overall it is not a dramatically steep climb. It is also not too terribly long – 3.42 miles or so. However, it is a narrow road – only a single lane in some places – and there are only a handful of houses along the way. This makes for an extremely low-traffic route. And it just happens to pass through some beautiful redwood forests. It is an absolutely gorgeous road.
If you ever find yourself in the area you really should have a run at this road. Climbing is definitely my weak point, and there is just something about this particular climb that I can tell will constantly be motivating me to beat my own times.