Local road conditions, updated 6/15/17
Old La Honda- By far the most-popular cycling route to Skyline, starting from Woodside. Surprisingly, Old LaHonda did not suffer as much damage as many more-modern roadways, but will have weekday restrictions in place during much of the summer due to installation of a new water system. Plans called for Old LaHonda to be closed to all but residents on weekdays between 8am & 4pm beginning early June, but the construction was delayed and will likely not begin until sometime this coming week. Here's the original message from Sean Rose, Woodside's Town Engineer.
Hi Mike: Calwater has confirmed that the intensive trucking and hauling operations will start on Monday June 5 (later changed to sometime mid-June) as planned. From that time to the end of the intensive trucking phase of the project there will be numerous large trucks and construction vehicles on the roadway during normal working hours. Accordingly, starting Monday morning June 5th at 8am, Old La Honda Road will be closed to through vehicle and bicycle traffic from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. The road will remain open to local traffic, which includes residents of OLHR, construction vehicles accessing work sites on OLHR, delivery vehicles (FedEx, UPS, etc.), garbage trucks, and public safety vehicles. The closure will extend until the end of intensive trucking operations which should be sometime in July or August. Flaggers and the County of San Mateo Sherriff will be stationed at Portola and at Skyline to facilitate traffic control and enforce the restriction. I will let you know when the closure is lifted...Sean
West Old La Honda- This road has been "closed" to through traffic for quite a few months. As can be seen in the videos above, there's a section of roadway that has fallen away, with barricades in place to prevent cars and bikes from driving through. I've had conversations with the County department of Public Works over the need to maintain this road for cyclists, since the alternative, Highway 84, is not very safe in the uphill direction due to high-speed traffic and at least one section where a hillside continues to fall into the roadway, moving bikes well into the traffic lane on a blind corner. Fortunately, the county has made no attempts to prevent cyclists from crossing through the barricaded section, and a look at Strava will show 100+ crossings of this section on any given week. I would not hesitate to make use of it, with the caveat that, once they actually begin to repair the roadway, please do not try to talk road crews into letting you through. Whenever they do get around to repairing the road, I doubt it will take too long.
One more thing about West Old La Honda. If you ride thorugh and find the barricades are not in place (as seen in the second video), please stop and move them back. It is extremely important that cars are kept off this stretch of road, and the worst-case scenario imaginable is that cyclists are moving the barriers so they can ride thorugh unimpeded, and enourage cars to believe it's ok to drive through. It is definitely not. Car traffic will destroy what's left of the road. So if the barriers have been moved, move them back. I've already done so twice. They're not that heavy.
Kings Mountain- Nothing to see here, move along. Kings held up very well during the storms, and has no continuing issues. Be aware that, if any of the other routes to Skyline are closed (92, 84 or Old LaHonda), Kings is likely to see increased traffic. As always, if you are riding up any hill, and there are cars behind, move over and ride single-file.
Page Mill Road- Same as Kings. No continuing issues with Moody either.
Skyline between Kings and Old LaHonda- There are presently two sections of controlled single-lane road work; neither is likely to cause much delay as Skyline simply doesn't get that much traffic, and these are likely weekday-only. No signal lights; just road crews, and please be friendly and thank them as you pass through. The northern section is just north of Bear Creek, before the start of the descent towards Sky Londa. The southern section is near Elk Tree Road, just south Sky Londa.
Highway 84- Descending from Sky Londa to Woodside, there are two one-lane sections (here and here), each controlled by signal lights. On average, I've found the delays to be two minutes or less for each light. However, they are sometimes moving heavy equipment and trucks around, resulting in delays of up to 10 minutes (one morning it ran to 12). The original schedule was to have this work completed sometime in July. Whether they make it is tough to say; seems like a lot of work still to go. During peak weekend summer traffic, delays could really back up traffic, such that it might take several cycles of the light to make it through.
Please be courteous and reasonable! Both motorists and cyclists become frustrated by delays, and for the motorist, whatever is in front of them, whether it's a slower car or a bike, that becomes the focus of their annoyance. When climbing, stay to the right and, when in a group, make sure you're not riding two abreast when cars are behind you. I'll be it's very impressive, to the motorist, when they see a group of cyclist in the distance that very quickly goes to single file as soon as the car comes in range. Social (side by side) is OK as long as you're not holding up traffic. On a twisty climb, you've got to keep alert, both for your safety and to not inconvenience other road users.
When descending, the law doesn't require that you ride at the edge of the road, nor is it safe to do so. If you find yourself holding up traffic, find a place to pull over and let people pass. If you don't feel comfortable descending a busy road at similar speed to motorists, you might be better off finding a different route. For example, descending 84 into Woodside is going to back up a lot of traffic if you can't comfortably handle speeds of 30mph+. You might consider Kings Mountain instead, simply because it has a lot less traffic (it's actually a more-techincal/difficult descent, but the traffic is so much lighter that you'll be able desend at a slower speed without collecting a string of angry cars behind you).