I'll be staying with some friends in Campbell Thursday night and wanted to sneak out early Friday for a ride. I know there are tons of options out that way, and I am excited to get a taste of some of the hills. I'm looking for something in the 30-40 mile range with as much climbing as possible. The nastier the better. Looking at google maps I see plenty of familiar names but I have no clue which ones I should try. I would love to just explore but time will not permit. I could drive to a convenient location or just ride from their house (S.Bascom & Downing). A quick drive would probably make better use of my time.
You might enjoy Kennedy and Hicks.
Ride south on Bascom; it becomes Los Gatos Blvd as it approaches town of Los Gatos. Left on Kennedy will take you to the hills. Right on Shannon, and then right on Hicks will take you to a nice climb. Ride down the back side, left on Alamitos will take you through the old mining town of New Almaden. Left at the expressway, and then left at Camden will take you back to Bascom. It's a nice 30 mile loop, approximately.
Thanks for the replies so far. Kennedy/Hicks/Almaden has a slight adavantage due to less city streets. I'm still debating on taking a 15-20min drive over to Alum Rock for a Hamilton climb. If I go that route, which is the preferred route to the top? Alum Rock Falls rd. to 130, or 130 all the way up?
Hey rydaddy, I don't have much south bay riding experience but I've heard that Bohlman is nice and steep (you said you wanted lots of climbing!) I searched for it on bikely and this one came up. I think you'll have an easier time piecing together a ridiculously hilly loop if you stick to the Santa Cruz mtns instead of doing Mt. Hamilton. Good luck!
Thanks silentben! Over 5500' in less than 40 miles. We may have a winner
fyi - Mt. Hamilton (up and down) will be about the same amount of climbing in about the same distance. There are a couple of rollers during the climb (and again on the descent) that makes your total elevation gain more than the height of the mountain.
Thanks for the additional ideas. I just realized I forgot my pump so I may stick with Hamilton since I would most likely run into a rider with a pump, if needed. Either route will be fun since its all new territory for me. Thanks again!
I ended up climbing Hamilton at the crack of dawn Friday. It was a nice climb, not very steep but long. I took 130 all the way up but it wasn't until I got through the clouds @ 2000' that I really started feeling good. I reached the summit in about 1:50 and snapped a few shots from the top with my phone (the color is terrible ).
I like my bike....
I loved this view looking below at all the switchbacks.....
Toward the SC mountains.....
Going back down sucked at first because it was cold and most of my clothing was soaked with sweat and condensation. As I braked conservatively on every corner I thought about the Tour of CA and how cool is must have been watching the pros come down this mountain. As I got back into the layer of clouds the temps weren't as bad - and the rest of the descent was much more enjoyable. I contemplated checking out Sierra road afterwards but didn't have time. Next time I want to go down the backside of Hamilton and check that area out. I probably would need a partner for that though.