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  1. #1
    Never get out of the boat Gabbo's Avatar
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    NorCal - Suggestions for a weekend tour?

    While not a bona fide "tour," a couple friends from Sacramento and I want to go riding around the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area in June or July. Maybe down to Hollister or further down the 25 and maybe cut over to King City and back North. Not sure. Was hoping someone might have suggestions.

    One key is that we're trying to minimize the elevation gains/losses. One of my buddies has bad knees from a motorcycle accident, and heavy elevation gains really put a strain on him. If anyone has any suggestions for some cool three-day riding/camping around that part of CA, I'd love to hear 'em. Thanks!

  2. #2
    40 yrs bike touring
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    I have enjoyed riding from Hollister to King City on Hwy 25 and return via G15/Metz Road and River Road using Pinnacles Ntl. Monument for camping on each side. The elevation gains are very reasonabale and often stretched out over long distances during the day. You do have to cross over a ridge on Bitterwater Road/G13 to reach King City.
    You might try a topographic mapping software to trace the route and its profile. Otherwise a drive through to see if there are any elevation gain problems would help.
    You are choosing some of the hottest times of the year. My rides have been in the Spring and Fall to avoid the heat. The tailwind down 25 was wonderful as I remember.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbo
    While not a bona fide "tour," a couple friends from Sacramento and I want to go riding around the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area in June or July. Maybe down to Hollister or further down the 25 and maybe cut over to King City and back North. Not sure. Was hoping someone might have suggestions.

    One key is that we're trying to minimize the elevation gains/losses. One of my buddies has bad knees from a motorcycle accident, and heavy elevation gains really put a strain on him. If anyone has any suggestions for some cool three-day riding/camping around that part of CA, I'd love to hear 'em. Thanks!
    First day - ride from Sacramento to Vallejo. Second day - ride from Vallejo to San Jose. Third day ride down to Morgan Hill Fourth day back to Fremont and then board the train back to Sacramento.

    Routes:

    Take the usual routes to Cordelia. From there ride up to the east side of 880 and you'll discover that you can slip your bike under the gate and ride on the old road that parallels the freeway. At the end of that road is a bike path that continues down to Columbus Parkway. You can grab Admiral Callaghan rd and ride down into Vallejo to where ever you've made reservations. If you want to camp you can cross over the Vallejo bridge on the new bike path and ride out Carquinez Scenic Dr to one of the parks out there which I believe allow camping.

    From Vallejo you can take San Pablo Ave all the way into Oakland though it weaves around a bit. In the morning the traffic can get a bit urksome but that's the breaks of the big time. San Pablo leads you right into Broadway in Oakland and you take that down to 7th turn left and follow that all the way down to Fruitvale where there's a complex RR and BART cross. There you turn right and then left onto San Leandro Blvd. Take this out till you see the deep dark underpass and at that point stay to the right on the surface and then turn left on 105th which goes over the top of that underpass. Follow that up to E14th St. (might be called International Blvd there thanks to Jerry Brown). Right and follow that all the way down to Hesperian. Rightish on that and follow that all the way to Central where the road bends to the right and then turn left on Cherry or whatever it's called there - it's a main intersection and the first light. Follow that until you turn left on Auto Mall Parkway and then right on Grimmer and right on Warm Springs and follow that all the way into San Jose. (If you're camping there are places over near the hills that don't require climbing.)

    From San Jose get down onto 1st St and head south out of town where it turns into Old Monterey Highway or Monterey Rd depending on where you read the signs. When you get to Blossom Hill Rd (it is a big overpass and a road that looks like it's straight up from a distance but it is pretty mild) take the Cottle Rd. exit and go around in a HUGE 450 degree circle - you'll recognize what I mean when you see it. Follow Cottle Rd down across the street car line and turn left on Santa Terresa Rd. Follow this all the way to Morgan Hill. Again there are several parks in the area around Morgan Hill or you can go all the way down to Gilroy where there are other areas.

    This route is about as flat as you can possibly get in California without just riding north or south along the river to Red Bluff or Bakersfield.

    These ARE tours. It doesn't take a 15 day ride across the Alps to qualify as a tour.

  4. #4
    Never get out of the boat Gabbo's Avatar
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    You guys are great. Really appreciate the time on the replies -- THANKS! I'll pass the ideas along to the guys.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    29, 30, 31 July is the time of the World Famous Garlic festival. That dould be good or it could be bad. much more traffic and more to do. As Arctos said it is very hot at that time of year. I live ~100 miles north of there and would bike right on the coast. I tried riding up from the LA area in early June once and had serious heat stress problems in that area. Come on up to north of San Fran. Better weather and wine .
    This space open

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbo
    One key is that we're trying to minimize the elevation gains/losses. Thanks!
    Santa Cruz to Monterey = almost perfectly flat and 50 or so miles. Bike trail for the run into Monterey. Return the next day. Much cooler temps in June and July near the coast. If you start at the Hwy 17 & Summit Rd area the first 15 or so miles can be downhill, but getting back to the car might be a problem for your friend.

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