For road bikers who want it all—flats, climbs, and hairpin downhills—the Peninsula’s 22-mile Crystal Springs loop is old reliable. Starting from the well-manored village of Woodside, head north for 7.3 miles on the mostly flat and broad-shouldered Cañada Road, which parallels Crystal Springs Reservoir. (Enjoy Cañada’s car-free “Bicycle Sundays” from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from Edgewood Road to Highway 92.) Put your quads to the test on the 6.3-mile climb from Highway 92 to the route’s summit on Skyline Boulevard. The good news: All that climbing brings its rewards. On clear days, Half Moon Bay beams in the west, and to the east Palo Alto and the bay blend together in the background. Keep riding through a forest of sun-streaked redwoods; this mostly canopied section is a nice refresher on warm days. Then sit back and hang on for 8 miles of hairpin highlights on the quiet Kings Mountain Road; the only sounds will be your whoops of joy.
TIP: Grab a post-ride deli sandwich from Roberts Market in Woodside.
Ride this route early in the day; by mid-morning Hwy. 92 gets heavy with traffic heading to Half Moon Bay. Directions: Driving south on I-280, take the Woodside Rd./Hwy. 84 exit toward Woodside. In Woodside, park at the Museum/Town Hall parking lot off of Woodside Rd. Head north on Cañada Rd. for 7.2 miles. Turn left (west) on Hwy. 92 and go 2.7 miles. Turn left onto Hwy. 35 (Skyline Boulevard) going toward Big Basin; stay on this for 6.7 miles. Turn left onto Kings Mountain Rd.; descend 5 miles to Woodside Rd. Go 0.7 miles to your car.