Friday, November 20, 2009

Mountain bike commute: Alpine Rd and Montebello+Fremont Older OSPs

Oct 21st & November 17th & 19th, AM. On the Spot belt-drive 29er SingleSpeed. First two scouting trips were solo, last one with Isaias. The objective is to hit as much interesting dirt as possible while generally heading towards work.

- caltrain to Menlo Park
- dirt trail along Alma
- head to Alpine road, and ride the dirt between Westridge and Arastradero
- takes an hour to get to the point where Alpine turns into fireroad. The rest of the trip to Apple is mostly dirt.
- the initial scouting trip last month was complicated by multiple trees down on Alpine after a big storm. These have all been cleared since:
- highlight of yesterday's trip was being able to clear all Alpine road's washed out bypass for the 1st time:
- the best part of the ride is next with the mostly all downhill dirt through the Montebello Open Space Preserve. Last month Canyon Trail was the only option because White Oak was closed due to wet conditions. It has since reopened so White Oak was taken to the lower portion of Canyon Trail, which eventually dumps out onto Stevens Canyon Rd. Future hilly diversions could include Bella Vista to Old Ranch trail to near the top of black mountain to Indian Creek.
- hike 1 mile through Stevens Creek County Park on Lookout Trail since biking is not allowed (a lot of it is too steep for my singlespeed monster bike anyway). This is the only south-westernly entrance to Fremont Older Open Space Preserve, and might even be the only southern entrance unless there's some way off Mt Eden.
- ride through Fremont Older along Vista Loop, Fern, Hayfield, and Regnart trails. Still have more to explore there:
Map from Nov 19th (see also 17th and Oct 21st):

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dirtmoon Pacific Ocean Way

Wednesday, November 11th. This route roughly parallels the Half Moon Bay way road “commute”, but on as much dirt as possible and avoids riding along Hwy 1. Christon was the only one brave enough to join me.

• Climb up to Sweeney Ridge. View of the bay from the Portola Expedition monument on the top:
• Descend Baquiano trail to Fassler Ave, and then a dirt bit by the water tower. The Baquiano trail switchback is well packed and much nicer than the alternate fireroad that goes straight down.
• Pedro Mountain Road (“Planet of the Apes”). Amazingly no fog today.
• Cut through eastern Montara on a road wiggle with small dirt cut-through to Sunshine Valley Rd.

• Hop across Hwy 1 on Cypress Ave and ride through the portion closed off to autos to a road along the ocean that is falling apart as if they paved the dunes.

• Continue on some scenic oceanside dirt by turning towards the ocean whenever the trail forks, all the way past the airport.
• Mix of paved and dirt horse trails through Half Moon Bay along the ocean.
• Nature break and refill water bottles at the restrooms along the ocean. Then left turn on Kelly Ave to cross Hwy 1 at a stop light. (It's possible to continue on the ocean trail to Poplar St, but it has no light crossing and there tends to be a lot of traffic.)

• Main St to Higgins Purisima Rd which goes from flat artichoke fields to steeply climbing 600 feet and then throws that gain away by descending into Purisima Creek Open Space.

• Purisima Creek Trail. Sure, it's beautiful at first as it gently rises amongst the giant redwoods. Then it kicks you with 1,100 feet of climbing over 2 miles. This climb is exceptionally hard, especially with the high race gearing of my cross bike, but not as bad as when I rode it last in hot dusty July afternoon heat. The slightly damp fireroad gave better traction.
• Kings Mountain descent to water bottle refill on Tripp Rd (only carried 1).

• After all of that we wanted to get to work as fast as possible and with as little elevation gain as manageable. Being on cross bikes however, it was hard to resist horse trails along the sides of the road, a quick jaunt in Arastradero Regional Preserve, a nice little fireroad that connects Purissima Rd (that dreaded name again, and Los Altos Hills spells it with 2 s's cause they're fancy) with Okeefe Ln.

Recorded map (click link below for details and more pics):

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kings to OLH, then windy hill dirt & montebello

Tuesday November 10th. Express train to Redwood City with Mark. Climbed Jefferson to Cañada and then climbed Kings Mountain via Huddart Park cut-through. Took two wrong turns in Huddart's many parking lots this time -- one of these tries I'll get it right.

Mark bailed at Old La Honda, which turned out to be a bad choice due to repaving in the middle. I continued along Skyline and rode parts of Windy hill for the 1st time. It'd be nice if there was more dirt parallel to Skyline. If I had more time, Crazy Pete's or Cloud's Rest Trail to Alpine fireroad may have been nice (haven't tried either of those yet so don't know how friendly they are to road bikes). Instead rode the usual Page Mill to Montebello fireroad and fast paved descent to 'tino.

No shortage of vistas:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Caltrain failway home with Isaias

Friday November 6th, PM. Double caltrain fatalities froze all trains on the tracks. So after finishing the partycar snacks and randomly meeting a fellow employee only known virtually before, Isaias and I took the parallel caltrain route north. Lots of trains passed by southbound, but only one north. Weather was warm and road dry after earlier light rain.

“No refunds or replacements.”

The only change I'd make to the route would be to avoid going through busy downtown San Mateo and dark California Ave. Alt route from Hayward Park: Claremont, 5th, Delaware, Burlingame Ave, Carolan Ave, Rollins.
Partial map from Mtn View until my phone had enough recording:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Middle East Way - West Oakland & Coyote Hills

Thursday November 5th. Route exploration with Brett to connect the West Oakland bart stop with the usual dirt bayway from San Leandro. Rather than ride the levy by the 84, we gave Coyote Hills a try. Both are beautiful approaches.

7th street sunrise:
San Leandro dirt:
Coyote Hills:

Map (click link below for details and more pics):

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mount San Bruno Bayway with sf2g

Wednesday November 4th, solo up and down San Bruno mountain, then joined a large sf2g crew for the bayway past Google and south to 'tino.

Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy approaching Radio Rd; mystery rider in front:
“You Slay ‘Em, We Filet Em”:
Map (click link below for details and more pics):

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Riding to Races

Nothing sucks the fun out of a bike race like driving there in a cage.

Saturday October 3rd. LKHC #1 Montebello. Rode from San Bruno bart with Ben to Los Altos to meet Bev and have a delicious raspberry brioche donut. Then with the paved climb under the belt continued on the fireroad up and over to Page Mill. Returned to Los Altos and then off to the Cal Ave caltrain stop to ride a completely packed train home.
Montebello fireroad:
Next time caltrain should be avoided during lovefest, but we did get free cheese:

Sunday October 4th. Pilarcitos Bay Area Super Prestige @McLaren Park. Survived the race with only one spectacular wipeout in soft mud.

Saturday October 10th. LKHC #2 Old La Honda. Large mouse showing for this one with Daniela, Ben, Nicholas, Becker (who rode all the way from sf), Liam, and a prospective mouse out for the challenge. Sustenance was had at Rolling Pin Donuts in San Bruno before taking the same flat route to Cañada as last week. OLH came and went. I felt strong this week. Results.

The real fun was afterwards as we continued on Skyline to descend the nicely repaved Tunitas Creek. After fish tacos were devoured in Half Moon bay we tackled old Pedro Mountain Road. Ben giggled like a schoolgirl the entire time over being able to clear it all on his fixie. It has a perfect even grade up and down that's not too steep, and just technical enough in the singletrack sections to be fun on skinny tires.
Note that the OLH climb was not recorded and part of the Tunitas descent is missing, plus some stats on there aren't very accurate like max speed when the gps signal wandered a bit. I couldn't stop riding and continued all the way to sf, rode some dirt in gg park, and took the caltrain home. Many more pics are at the trailguru link below.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mori Ridge trail to Sweeney Ridge

Wednesday September 30th, PM. Time is running out for post-work daylight exploring this year. Took a little detour from Daly City to Pacifica, climbing back up the Mori Ridge fireroad to Sweeney Ridge while avoiding Highway 1. Used the beater road bike and its triple wasn't enough to prevent the need to walk a few steep sections. Road bikes are fine for most the trip, but I wouldn't wear SPD-SLs.

History lesson: Sweeney Ridge is the spot where the Portolá Expedition discovered the San Francisco Bay. There's even a monument up there south of the abandoned Nike missile site SF-59L.

Most of the way up, past the last steep bit:
View of sf & San Bruno Mountain from Sweeney Ridge:
Hungry white bunny at the Sneath Ln gate:
Click on the map link below for more pictures & stats. Other dirt bits: fireroad off Carter Dr along Skyline, trail connecting Lundy Way with the Orchid Gardens to avoid Hwy 1, and a short bit of dirt connecting Skyline with Crestmoor Dr.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

San Bruno's pockets of dirt

Tuesday August 25th, PM. This commute 1-upped Cross loops by Crestmoor by adding 3 sections of dirt (done on the road bike of course):
- trail between Skyline and Carter Dr starting just south of King Dr to Westborough Blvd
- fireroad between Skyline and Fleetwood Dr from College Dr almost all the way to Sneath
- old Helen Dr fireroad through Junipero Serra County Park. Too bad bikes aren't allowed on any of the other dirt in this far-underutilized park -- it's rare to see someone there on weekdays.

Now the only way to 1-up this ride further would be to descend Sharp Park Rd to Pacifica, do some loops at the recently-improved Mori Point, and then climb the Mori Ridge trailhead at Shelldance Orchid gardens to Sweeney Ridge and descend the Sneath Lane trail.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Night Track Racing

Friday August 14th, PM. Took a super low-traffic route to Hellyer Park Velodrome to watch the track races. Cut through two parks to get to the bike/ped trail along Lawrence, which happily includes some dirt for a tiny semblance of epic. Then the ped bridge connecting Bucknall Rd and Rincon Ave. Ends with a nice creekside trail from Tully Rd to the track. I suppose that Homestead to San Thomas Expy to Hamilton would be shorter and much faster, but with a lot more speedy traffic. Meh it's friday.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cyclocross loops by Crestmoor Elementary

Thursday, August 13th PM. Took the high road from Colma and looped 5 times on the dirt by Crestmoor Elementary. Not sure who owns that dirt, and there's no fenced attempt to keep people out of it. The loop is rather hilly and requires hiking at the bottom over a stream to complete. Some parts could using pruning to curb the invasive blackberry, and check out the large invasion of fennel in the picture below:

Mouse ride on dirt to cut to Page Mill, then solo on Montebello to work

August 2nd, AM: mouse cross ride on dirt through the trails along Cañada, Manzanita, Portola, and Arastradero to Paseo del Roble Dr and Page Mill. Regroup and then solo on Montebello and Coyote Ridge Trail off to work. All on the road bike.
Coyote Ridge Trail was steeper and hotter in the exposed sun than I was expecting, but it was all clearable on the road bike. These pictures are from the nice segment after the climb from the reservoir.

After a quick spell at work, rode to Timpani Crit and then to Lawrence Caltrain stop via dirt that is not recommended (I had hoped it would go under 101).

Jefferson to Alpine to Canyon Trail to Stevens

July 24th solo on the road bike, and August 4th on the cyclocross bike with @eaceaser. On the cross bike, multiple trails along Cañada, Manzanita, and Portola Roads were hit. It was Ed's first real experience on dirt, and he endo'ed in glorious style on Canyon Trail's descent.
Ed on Manzanita Way:
Canyon Trail descent: