Links to any good beginner-intermediate rides in Los Gatos?
I have a friend who's currently getting fairly serious about indoor bike training - went from just noodling around on a stationary bike randomly, to some pretty good continuous 1 hour efforts several times a week. That said, he's still a beginner and while he owns a road bike, he's never really ridden it recently.
He asked me for some help for local routes in Los Gatos where he's based. I unfortunately know really only teh big climbs which would almost certainly be too hard for him right now (maybe the near future).
Anybody recommend any beginner bike rides/routes for a new rider like him?
Last time I went by there, there was a sign saying that Bicycle Sunday was canceled.
It's actually kind of a zoo with little kids on bikes darting around and clueless wobblers who can't hold a line and don't pay attention to what's behind them. I try to avoid it.
The Los Gatos bike path on weekends is the same only narrower and with Los Gatos housewives (oblivious and entitled) pushing baby carriages side by side and blocking the path. It's a terrible place to ride. When I started riding again I rode it a couple times and was frustrated even at the very poor shape I was in.
Highway 9 to Saratoga is not bad. From there you can wind through the back streets (use a map) and come out on McClellan which takes you to Foothill. From there he can go farther north. The Los Altos Hills have some nice back roads as well. However some are steep.
There's also the Uvas loop. Not much climbing but the ride out there is not the best- the road is narrow and some cars pass close. It's not a problem with even a little experience but a complete beginner might not like it. Once you get to the actual loop its not bad.
For easy rides I somtimes ride from Los Gatos over Blossom Hill to Camden and then through the back streets to the south and east.
There is a book you can find in some local bookstores called "easy bike rides in the bay area" or something like that.
Oh there's much harder climbs than Page. Like Mt Uhmunum, Bohlman/On Orbit, Welch Creek.
But you're correct that is a bad idea for a new rider. Let him get to enjoying riding before the soul crushing begins.
There are much harder climbs, but Page Mill gives you exposed, long, steep pitches, soul crushing fake outs, fast car traffic, fast descending bikes and motorcycles (who may or may not be over the line), hidden driveways, and puts it all in an easy to locate place to tempt new cyclists. "Oh I know how to get there!" BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Bikes: Serotta Legend Ti, Romani Columbus SL, Soma Doublecross
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How about clockwise around the Lexington Reservoir with optional climbs partway up Soda Springs Rd. or Old Santa Cruz Highway? Start and Los Gatos and take the path up to the reservoir or drive to the top of the dam and start from there. Riding the shoulder from Bear Creek Road to Alma Bridge Road is pretty quick and not terribly nerve-wracking.
Granted I've only ridden this during the weekend and don't know anything about weekday traffic.
During the weekend it's not bad at all. In the morning during the week you should avoid the high school commute rush down OSCH. On the lower part of OSCH its pretty much over by 7:45 or so (school starts at 8). The loop around Lexington does not have that problem, its got comparatively little traffic.
Soda springs is a fun climb but not the greatest descent. Lots of blind turns and the locals tend to drive as though nothing will be coming the other way. Montevina (the other side of 17) does not have quite so much of that. A lot of the local people there wave at me (with all their fingers, not just the one) when I ride it. The view is better from Montevina as well. They are both around 8% with some slightly steeper pitches.
If you are riding around Lexington and want a little more you can ride up to Aldercroft Heights and beyond.
There's always highway 9 into Saratoga. Either loop around that a few times head up Pierce Rd right off of 9. The beginning part isn't very hilly and then hit Mt. Eden up around Steven's Creek Reservoir. There's a few ways to get back into Los Gatos, they're all rather boring. Probably head back to 9 over McClellan and then turn somewhere to get back to 9 or just reverse course. I tend to like loops, though some people are happy with out and backs.
For training, one of my favorite beginner hill loops is Shannon/Kennedy in Los Gatos. They're fairly short and there's a nice park on Shannon for that rest to psych yourself up for just one more time around.
A great way to find rides in an area is to browse Strava, MapMyRide, Ridewithgps, etc. and look for rides that other's have done.
+1 i love the ride up to steven's creek reservoir.. did that route earlier this year when temp was 33°F out. started the ride from Lynbrook HS in Cupertino then up into the reservoir.. wonderful route!