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Santa Monica Mountains – Deer Creek, Yerba Buena, Decker (& Decker Edison), Encinal (aka lots of steep climbing)


Finally made it out to the Santa Monica mountains for some climbing. Amazing area; I need to to some more climbing out there! Started by heading up PCH, then up Deer Creek. Really steep all in all, but pretty short so more than doable. Amazing views too – you immediately start climbing hard, so within a few tenths of a mile, you get great views of the Pacific.

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)
From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)
From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

After the two miles of hard climbing, it eases up and you even get some small descents (and a cute one lane road too).

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

Descended down Yerba Buena…was slightly concerned about that after reading reports about the road surface sucking…was not actually that bad. Take the lane, watch your line and all is good. I actually quite enjoyed it. Was able to maintain 25-30 mph on this descent, so I can’t complain!

After getting back to PCH, headed down to Decker for some more punishment. After heading up a mile or so, I took a detour onto Decker Edison to the end of that road (about 0.7 miles long). Why? Because it was even steeper. Makes it more fun :) The first few feet are quite steep:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)
From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

And, there is a longer steep section after a couple tenths of a mile that will hurt a bit! But, the views are definitely worth it:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

And, of course, Decker itself has some nice views:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

Finally, hitting Encinal Canyon, I headed on down. Encinal was a nice, sweeping descent:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

Anyway, great ride with some steep climbing (Deer Creek is 12%ish, with Decker being not too far behind), but short enough that it won’t kill you. 30 miles total riding for the day. I need to get out there some more..wish Long Beach to Deer Creek wasn’t an hour plus drive!

All the pictures from the ride are here.

Want to punish yourself with this ride? Here you go (click View Full for a nice, big version of the map):

The Discussion

see what everyone is saying

  • Paul August 11th, 2010 at 7:41 am #1

    Back again.
    Been meaning to do Deer Creek for a long time, if only to be fair , as I’ve descended it a few times.
    The book(Summerson) says max 13% but I thought one or two pitches went past that. Then again I was tired from Monday evening.
    It really does keep going doesn’t it? A brief, 30 yard, respite about 1/3rd of the way up but then back to the grindstone. Seemed harder than Tuna but I didn’t need any extended standing. It’s just that lack of a break that gets you and having to sit down on 12% to wipe the sweat from your eyes.
    I’ll try my old adversary Las Flores on Thursday, should be a walk in the park:)

  • rallison August 22nd, 2010 at 10:57 pm #2

    Sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve been up in the Bay Area and just got back to Long Beach today.

    Deer Creek is a brutal little climb. As for the 13% in Summerson’s book? Remember that his definition of max grade is a section of grade that extends across the road and lasts for at least 10 feet. As such, Deer Creek probably has pitches that get steeper than 13%. With that said, Deer Creek is relentless and tough. The one saving grace is that it is relatively short. I think I would still classify Tuna as tougher…but, I have not climbed Deer Creek for a long time, so I can’t say for sure. And yeah, Las Flores is always a walk in the park 😉

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