Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 23: Conquering Leggett!
Our stay at Standish Hickey SRA last night was pretty decent. We usually make a pit stop within 5-10 miles of camp every night to stock up on water and snacks but having the Peg House a stones throw away was more than convenient.
The fact that the state of California has shut down Standish Hickey to all vehicle camping is a shame. They do still offer hiker/biker here though so don’t be fooled by the sign that says Campground closed if you’re on foot or on bicycle. For more information on the hiker/biker camping area at Standish Hickey SRA, click here.
Today was a big day for us. As a matter of fact, today was said to be one of the toughest days of the entire trip. Any cyclist who has done this route knows what I’m talking about when I say “Leggett”.
For those who don’t know about Leggett, it’s one of the largest and longest climbs of the Pacific Coast Bike Route. It’s also the point in the trip where the road splits and you leave the 101 (Route 101) and start your journey down the 1 (Pacific Coast Hwy – Route 1).
Although the signs point to the right, somehow people still manage to stray left and stay on the 101. Those who go left only make their days harder when they realize they have been wasting their energy and traveling in the wrong direction. Luckily, we stayed right and hit Leggett with all of our energy.
I’m not exactly sure of the grade on some of the corners but it was pretty steep to say the least.
Note: Photos do not do this climb justice.
I did my best to measure the climb and by the time we reached the peak, we had ridden a good 4.5 to 5 miles straight uphill.
Once at the top, we spent a few minutes catching our breath and stretching out our legs. We were fully warmed up and the day had just started.
Now it was time for the downhill!
We cruised down the backside at breakneck speeds as the cars trailed behind us. The switchbacks were the funnest part but things can sure get hairy when you’re on a fully loaded bicycle. Thankfully we didn’t encounter any bad luck and before we knew it were back to flat riding for another five miles or so.
All of a sudden we noticed yet another climb ahead of us. We thought we were finished with Leggett but we were far from it. We now had another challenge on our hands. It was what I like to refer to as “mini leggett” and it was nearly as tough as the first big climb, if not tougher.
A few miles into the climb I got yet another flat. Once again, something on the inside of my rim was causing these frustrating punctures. I took my time patching the tube and inspecting the wheel only to find no real culprit. I decided to run a small piece of electrical tape along the inside of the rim this time to hold me over until the next bike shop and it ended up working out pretty well.
Pacific Coast Hwy 1
A few miles later we had officially reached the coast of California and were now ready to rock the Pacific Coast Highway 1 all the way to the border of Mexico!
After conquering Leggett, the rest of the day went pretty smooth. We encountered a few hills along the coast but nothing to write home about.
Later on in the afternoon, we pulled into camp at MacKerricher State Park and unloaded our gear. After setting up the tent we headed off to dinner at Denny’s and watched the sunset over the Pacific Ocean before calling it a night.
Another day down and another day closer to Mexico!
Today’s Mileage: 45 mi