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 CaƱada 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):