Saturday, November 17, 2012

My First Post. La Palmita - San Ramon Loop

Well, here it goes. I'm joining the ranks of bloggers, something I never saw myself doing. I'm still figuring out how to format and use it but, it's time to get started with the posts.

My intention is identify and document bicycle routes in Costa Rica and create a searchable database of them. To do so, I will be using I have used this site in the U.S, and it's a great way to share bike routes. All of my route names will have the prefix of "OKG" for Old Krank Gringo, so the full list can be accessed with an advanced search of bikely.

Anyone who lives or travels in Costa Rica knows that addresses and directions here are a challenge. Many maps lack details of the smaller roads that are less traveled and therefore more suited to bicycles. You also don't find many signs that identify the route number that you find on a map. Directions are often given as, "Turn right 200 meters past where the big tree used to be (except in Spanish)." All the locals understand, but it doesn't help us much.

I'll add a narrative here along with photos and landmarks to help along the way. I'll try to pick landmarks that will be around for a while. You will have to exercise your own judgment regarding the safety and difficulty of each route.

 La Palmita - San Ramon Loop

I have done this loop 3 or 4 times and it's very scenic and mostly low traffic. It's not very long, but it requires 4400 ft of climbing. Because of that I frequently just ride an out and back ride of the last 15 miles of this route. If you like to climb, this is good one for you.

The ride starts in La Palmita because that is where we live. There is safe free parking near the school. All of the route is paved and is in reasonably good condition.

Start by heading south down to the main highway.

Turn left onto HWY 35. You won't find any sign here. You will be going mostly downhill, with a few short climbs. This is presently a main route from Naranjo to San Carlos. So expect auto, moto, truck, and bus traffic. Sunday mornings have less commercial traffic. The many curves in the road help to slow the vehicles.

Pass El Mirador restaurant and take the first right you find. There is a bus stop at the intersection. You will see this sign after the turn.

You will now be on a very low traffic road. The next part of the ride runs along a ridge with great views on each side and then starts a rapid descent.  It's very difficult to do justice to the panoramic views with a photo, but here are some landmarks along the route.

Turn left at this Tee in the road.

The first serious climb starts after this bridge. It's steep but not too long.

This is on your right just before your next turn.

Turn right at the bar. There will be a little more traffic here, but it's not too bad. It's also mostly slow moving.

Now it's time to pay for all of the great downhill riding. The next section of the road will be mostly climbing. It starts will some rolling hills and gets more serious after you pass through Volio. After a narrow bridge, there is a 1.5 Km steep climb followed by some more rolling hills. Then more climbing as you pass San Antonio and enter Barranca. A short stretch of flat road leads to the final climb on this road.

The road ends in a Tee, where you turn left.

Almost done!

Turn right and return to the school. You did it!


  1. Hey Tom,
    I think I own a 1977 Tayana 37 that you were the original owner of. Hope you don't mind me contacting you, just thought it would be interesting to get in touch with the original owner. Boats is doing well and at Pier 39 in San Francisco. If you did own this boat please email me at, if not sorry for the spam.

  2. Please tell me that youre going to keep this up! Its so good and so important. I cant wait to read more from you. I just feel like you know so much and know how to make people listen to what you have to say. This blog is just too cool to be missed. Great stuff, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

    1. Thanks. Now I'm going to have to get off my butt and do something.

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