Searsville had a dirt bicycle track

Nick Van Male with Peter Rich on the Searsville Track, 1956.

Research by John Woodfill regarding bikes owned by Jobst Brandt led to another interesting find. Around 1956 there was a quarter-mile bike track at Searsville Reservoir. It was dirt and banked.

Searsville Reservoir, located just off Sand Hill Road and Portola Road junction, is today an ecological football. Tear down the dam (silted in) or leave it be?

Jobst was among a cadre of Peninsula cyclists, loosely called Pedali Alpini, who purchased Cinelli road and track bikes from Cupertino Bike Shop. Owner Spence Wolf was one of the exclusive dealers for Cinelli, considered the premiere racing bike in the 1950s.

There’s a photo showing Nick Van Male and Peter Rich on the track, published by The Almanac.

The track was removed in 1957.

Unless you are a local, you may not know that Searsville Reservoir was a popular recreation area. Picnics and the like.

All that changed in 1975 when the land was turned into the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. The Almanac has all the details.

The track and another “secret” board track in San Francisco (allegedly) is mentioned in writings by Erich von Neff, a former longshoreman from San Francisco. Published in Half Moon Bay Memories.

I’m not sure why President Obama is shown on the page, but Jacob Bronstein is with him. He “recorded” his books.

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