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Places to ride in the San Jose area....(9 posts)

Places to ride in the San Jose area....DINOSAUR
Jan 21, 2003 10:41 AM
I got roped into house sitting for my oldest son and his wife while they are in Hawaii for two weeks starting this coming Monday (27th). I used to do a lot of riding in the San Jose area back in the 70's and 80's. I looked at some maps and there are freeway interchanges that go over or under my old ride routes (SR85 and SR87). Their house is located around Lawrence Expressway and Doyle Rd. I was thinking of trekking up Saratoga Ave to SR-9 and beyond. One option would be trucking my bike to my mother-in-laws house in Redwood City, and riding from there up Woodside Road (she lives a couple of blocks off of Woodside). Most my rides will be in the late morning-weekday after commute and a ball park riding distance would be in the 25-40 mile range.

I'm a little bit apprehensive of the traffic as I don't have that problem up here in the foothills.

Anyone have any suggestions? I don't mind transporting my bike to a ride location. My other son lives in Capitola and I might do a couple of rides over there.

The main problem will me being my chief cook and bottle washer as my wife has been doing that for going on 36 years.

re: Places to ride in the San Jose area....laffeaux
Jan 21, 2003 11:16 AM
I'm not sure where Doyle is, but I live off of Lawrence as well. I might be able to help a bit.

Hwy 9 is a good climb, and the traffic is not light, but the shoulder is pretty good. Up and back is a good ride. Another option is to climb about 1/2 way up 9 and turn down "Redwood Gulch," which is a really step descent into Stephen's Canyon. Follow the road out of Steven's Canyon to Mt. Eden, take that to Pierce and then back to Highway 9. That's a nice loop.

Also, if you can get to Foothills Expy in Los Altos it's a virtual highway for bikes. Foothills, Alpine, Sandhill, and various other Woodside/Portola Valley roads make great riding.

If you're looking for climbing with less traffic look at Old La Honda (Woodside/Portola Valley), King's Mountian Road (Woodside), or Old Santa Cruz Highway (Los Gatos).
Couple of suggestionscory
Jan 21, 2003 11:46 AM
I don't live there anymore, but I grew up in Redwood City and Grandma still lives in San Jose, so I ride there quite a bit. The whole Woodside-Portola Valley-south to Los Gatos area is good, though the traffic seems to get worse every year. The ridge (Skyline Boulevard, that area) down to the coast offers excellent riding on several routes. I don't know the road names anymore, but you'll see them on any detailed map.
Canada (can-yada, not like the country) Road, Edgewood Road, Alpine Road, Sand Hill Road, Page Mill Road in Redwood City, Menlo Park and Palo Alto used to be good, though I haven't ridden them in four or five years. Worth a look.
One of my favorite San Jose rides is from Grandma's house (near Camden Ave and Almaden Expressway). Take Camden to Hicks Road, then head into the trees along the creek. You can either ride over Mt. Umhumnum (Umunhum?) to New Almaden (major climb) or hang a right on Shannon Road and over the ridge to Los Gatos. The foothills there are still very rideable, though you don't have to go far to get into major Sili Valley traffic.
I used to live off Foxworthy, near Meridian.....DINOSAUR
Jan 21, 2003 12:03 PM
I used to ride Hicks Road all of the time. Lot's of different ways to get out there from the Camden or New Almaden side. I want to go up Hicks Road one more time. I rode there from 1974-1990. We lived in the same house for 17 years until we relocated to the foothills up above Auburn.

Thanks for the tips. The smart thing for me to do would be to pick up a detailed map at and scout the area.

The SR-9 to Redwood Gulch to Pierce-Mnt Eden sounds good also.

I'll have a lot of time on my hands and the only thing that will hold me back is the weather....
starting from...slomo
Jan 21, 2003 6:34 PM
...downtown saratoga (sr9/big basin way and saratoga-cupertino rd), go up sr9 (~2500ft of climbing in 8 miles), hang a right at the summit (skyline blvd) then in another 10 mies or so hang a right on page mill (nice descent). once it flattens out you head into palo alto then another right on foothill/junipero serra (some flatland work and plenty of cyclists out on this road), left on steven's creek road then a right on de anza blvd. this road brings you right back to downtown saratoga. nice 40mile-ish loop.

or sheck out altovelo's satA, sunB rides or the good ol spectrum ride.

check this site out for local group rides:
Hasn't changed that much!mohair_chair
Jan 21, 2003 12:15 PM
The good rides are still the good rides, and the Santa Cruz mountains are always great. I don't know of any good routes that cross Hwy 87. Maybe in your day it was more scenic, but it's just not a great place to ride. If you are trying to get to the east hills or south valley, there are much better ways. And don't worry about Hwy 85, either. If you take Lawrence to Saratoga, you'll go under Hwy 85, but at the time you do it, it won't be a problem at all.

A good option is to stay on Lawrence. It turns into Quito, which ends at Hwy 9 in Monte Sereno. Turn right to get to Saratoga village, where 9 starts climbing the hill. Turn left to go to Los Gatos.

You can also take Bollinger over to De Anza, turn right, then left on McClellan. Follow McClellen all the way to Stevens Canyon. To the right it turns into Foothill Expressway, which as you probably know is a major cycling artery up to Palo Alto, Woodside, and beyond. (McClellan/Bollinger is a good return trip for you.) To the left is Stevens Creek Park and Montebello, as well as access to Hwy 9 via Redwood Gulch or Mt. Eden/Pierce Road.

I don't know what kind of riding you do normally, but here's what I would recommend:

Get to Saratoga Village (either via Saratoga or Quito). Climb Hwy 9 to Skyline, then turn right (north). They did some road grinding on Skyline, so be aware. Ride to Page Mill, then turn right to head down. We usually take Moody Road to test our brakes out :), then El Monte to Foothill. You can keep going down Page Mill to Altamont, which meets up with Moody, or take Page Mill all the way to Foothill. Turn right on Foothill, ride all the way back to McClellan, do return as described above. That's probably 45 miles, with 3000+ feet of climbing, mostly on Hwy 9.

Portola Loop is always good, out of Palo Alto/Woodside. From Foothill, take Arastradero to Page Mill, do the short do leg to pick up Arastradero again, go to Alpine road, turn left, turn right on Portola, which turns into Sand Hill. Turn right at the Stanford Golf Course, on Junipero Serra, quick left, eventually it turns into Foothill and you are heading home again. Probably 30 miles of rolling hills.

Traffic isn't as bad as it used to be when the dot-com thing was going strong.
Santa Cruz Mountains can get sloppy this time of year...Lon Norder
Jan 21, 2003 12:28 PM
There's some good riding down towards Morgan Hill: Shannon Rd., Hicks Rd., New Almaden, Calero and Uvas Reservoirs etc. Maybe pick up a Krebs map at the LBS and go exploring.|426B6|&TI=New+Almaden%2c+California%2c+United+States
Santa Cruz Mountains can get sloppy this time of year...SantaCruz
Jan 21, 2003 1:40 PM
I'd agree that the Santa Cruz mountain roads can be sloppy and take longer to dry after a storm, but if you like riding lower traffic roads and don't mind the hills, consider Capitola a possible starting point. I ride both in Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz and prefer the latter.

Hwy 1 north of Santa Cruz offers the ocean views. Easily reached by bike from Capitola.

Soquel Dr to Branciforte to Mt. Vista makes a nice 20 - 25 mile loop

Or you can split the difference and ride Summit Road and Skyline Drive which is the border between Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.
Thanks for all the imput...DINOSAUR
Jan 21, 2003 2:07 PM
And any that will follow. I will be printing out all this info and placing it a folder for future reference when I get located. I will probably end up riding all the areas.

If you see an old guy with a white beard riding a burnt orange/yellow Klein with a blue rim on the back and a red one on the front wearing a yellow Giro helmet, that's me...