Posts Tagged ‘Guadalupe River’

100 Years and Still Pushing Gears

September 29, 2012

Stevens Creek Trail is accessible from Sunnyvale now that the Hwy 85 overpass is complete. It’s a nice design and came in at a reasonable $4.2 million.


Where do I begin? So much is happening in the cycling world. Let’s start with the centenarian who set a record on the bike, 100 km in 4h 17m 27s. Robert Marchand rode around the velodrome at Lyon, France. This guy also put the hammer down on his hour-ride record in Switzerland. When today’s cycling greats turn 100 they’ll be shattering records left and right.

Hwy 85 bike overpass

Finally. Hwy 85 has its bike overpass so now you can link up to the recreation trails at Shoreline Park coming from Sunnyvale. Thanks goes to Charlie Gibson, who managed the Mountain View parks and recreation department for decades. I remember checking out the area in the early 1980s. One idea was to have the path go under the freeway, but that proved impractical, so now we have the overpass, which has a nice long ramp for easy access and climbing.

Note that this gorgeous overpass cost $4.2 million. The Taj Mahal overpass at 280 cost $14 million, but it sure is pretty at night.

Road-rage driver cited

Two cyclists riding east of Boulder, Colorado, recorded an outraged motorist laying on the horn for five minutes as he drove behind them! What a jerk. Police tracked down the driver (you could clearly see the license plate) and cited him for a raft of infractions. That’s quick thinking by the riders to catch it all on video.

Guadalupe River path paving
Patience. In just a month or so the newly paved Guadalupe River path between Hwy 880 and Montague Expressway will open. There’s pavement in place most of the way, but road crews still need to do some touch-up. You can find the details on the Guadalupe River path construction update page. The most awful stretch of trail near the new airport economy parking area will no longer be a mud hole during winter rains.

Critical Mass 20-year ride goes off peacefully
Has it been 20 years? San Francisco’s Critical Mass “protest” ride held Friday nights monthly rolled off to a peaceful start with thousands of riders turning out, some coming from remote corners of the world just to enjoy the experience of blocking traffic (did I say that?). I’ve never done the ride and I have no plans to do so, but I support any activity that makes people think about the alternatives to the car for getting around, ESPECIALLY in San Francisco.

Rather than hating cyclists, drivers should embrace them, because that’s one less car they have to contend with.

Green bike lanes
San Jose has plans for green bike lanes, but I haven’t seen them yet. I don’t think they’ve been painted, although you can check out Cyclelicious to see how they’d look. Will they be effective? You bet. After a green lane was installed on Washington D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue, bicycling increased 200 percent and 90 percent of users said they felt safer.

Best cycling cities: Boulder, Davis, Portland
The League of American Bicyclists ranked these three cities as tops in cycling amenities, and if you’ve ever been there, you’ll know why. They got the platinum ranking. Our fair state of California ranked 12th, moving up from 20th in 2011.

Around the Bay, other notable cities include Palo Alto, San Francisco, Stanford (gold); Santa Cruz (silver); San Jose, Menlo Park, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Oakland (bronze).

Silicon Valley Flat 100

May 13, 2009
Dumbarton Bridge from Quarry Trail

Dumbarton Bridge from Quarry Trail

If you’re in a hurry and you want to do a quick century ride in the South Bay that avoids traffic, there’s a great way to go about it. Just follow the trails and this route.

The ride starts anywhere along the Guadalupe River Trail, preferably north of Taylor Street where it’s a straight shot to Alviso. The trail allows you to ride non-stop under all roads and freeways, passing the San Jose airport on the way. It’s unpaved north of Highway 880. One of these days government money will become available and we’ll have a paved trail [paved as of May 2013]. Be sure to switch to the east side of the river at Airport Parkway.

Mastodons
Just past Trimble Road on the river shoreline, a mastodon was discovered in 2005. The bones were removed and now you can’t tell where they excavated. The dirt trail is smooth, although there is some heavy gravel on the Tasman Drive underpass. It can also be muddy here from seepage [while paved there are still flooding issues at low spots].

Go left onto Gold Street, where the trail ends. After a half mile, turn right on the Gold Street connector at the light. After a few tenths you pick up the trail and bridge over to paved San Tomas Aquino trail for some more uninterrupted riding all the way to Central Expressway. I’m pretty sure you can get onto the expressway here. The trail opens in June at this point. Otherwise you go left at Scott and then right at the light to wind around to the Central Expressway.

Central Expressway
Central doesn’t have many lights. Take the Middlefield Road exit and continue on Middlefield to Rengstorff. Turn right and take the 101 overpass, then left at the light onto Garcia. Ride past Intuit and Google offices over to the Bayshore Road, which parallels Highway 101. Turn right on Bayshore and continue to Embarcadero Road, turning right at the light. Take an immediate left at the next light onto Geng Road, which takes you past a recreation area and yet another path.

Follow this path for about a half -mile, crossing a slough at the first bridge and continue east until the paved trail ends. Turn left on Runnymede Street, right on Pulgas, left on Bay Road. Continue to the light and turn right on University Avenue. This takes you to the Dumbarton Bridge path, where a 100-foot climb greets you.

Dumbarton Bridge Path
It’s non-stop for several miles to the Dumbarton Bridge toll booths, where you turn left onto signed and paved Quarry Trail. Cross over the toll booths and you’ll be greeted by a giant hole in the ground. The quarry is so deep there’s a below-sea-level lake.

Quarry Trail is good dirt for a mile or so over to the paved path around Coyote Hills Regional Park. Use caution here as there is a fair amount of foot and bike traffic at all hours. It’s a beautiful view in the spring with flowers in bloom.

This trail joins with the Alameda Creek Trail at a short, steep connector trail. Once again, you’ve got nine miles of non-stop riding on the trail. It has a fair amount of traffic, so this isn’t a place for racing.

Niles Canyon
The trail finally ends at Niles Canyon Road, Highway 84. If you started from home and rode five miles or so to Guadalupe River Trail you’ll be at about 50 miles. I rode Hwy 84 for a few miles. I don’t ride this road unless I have to. It has no shoulder in places and two narrow bridges.

Return the way you came. If you left early, you won’t have much wind to contend with. It’s mostly a tailwind going home, with some sidewind on Dumbarton Bridge.

I can’t think of a better long and flat ride avoiding traffic in the crowded Bay Area.


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