Veloviews for November 4, 2022 – Cycling from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay on Highway 1

View of Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) by Karl MPhotograpy on

Without a doubt, one of the most dynamic roads in all of California for both motorists and bicyclists is California’s Highway 1 (also known as the Pacific Coast Highway).

Highway 1 is often cited as an “All-American Road.” It stretches along the Pacific coastline from Los Angeles to San Francisco Bay. In fact, it is such an indelible part of California’s identity that it is often used in the Tour of California.

History of the PCH

Construction of the Pacific Coast Highway began in 1919 and took 18 years to complete. It opened to commercial traffic in June of 1937. The PCH is a two-lane highway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and covers 656 miles.

Highway 1 is the longest highway in California, but surprisingly, it is the second longest road in the United States. Montana Highway 200 is the longest and traverses the whole state.

View of Highway 1

Cycling the PCH from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay

If you’re in the northern California area and you want to bike a section of Highway 1, the best place to start is in the lovely coastal town of Santa Cruz. From there, you can ride 4o miles to Half Moon Bay (80 miles if you want to do an out-and-back type of ride).

Even though technically, this stretch of the PCH is designated as a highway, it has lite traffic. There are also no major climbs along this route, although there are points where some elevation kicks in.

The nice thing about this ride is that this section of Highway 1 features wide berms on each side of the road, which makes safe riding possible. And there are plenty of spots to stop and take in some great views of the coastline along the way.

Last Thoughts

There are many excellent places to cycle in California, but riding the PCH is probably the premier spot. While it is possible to ride the whole of Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, you would need multiple days in which to do so.

The good news is that, if you like to camp out versus staying in a hotel, there are campgrounds that dot the coastline. However, I would suggest if you want to camp that you make arrangements early as the camping areas seem to fill up quickly during peak summer months.

Have you been to California? Have you got to ride any of Highway 1? Please like, share, and comment on this post if you enjoyed learning about cycling the PCH. Until next week, have a good weekend everyone and enjoy this mild autumn weather.

Author: Doug McNamee

Freelance Content Writer, Travel Writer, Editor, and poet.

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