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Any flat Century rides in the Bay Area?

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Any flat Century rides in the Bay Area?

Old 07-26-20, 10:22 PM
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Any flat Century rides in the Bay Area?

I have been doing half century rides regularly lately. Mostly in the Peninsula. Canada Rd, Portola Rd, Crystal Springs, etc.. I am wondering if the South Bay has any century rides that are relatively flat. I love hills, but I don't think I could do my first century with massive hills. There's a 30 mile trail Coyote Creek Trail in San Jose which is mostly flat. I wouldn't mind adding that part to a century ride if possible. Once you're on the south side of Coyote Creek Trail, is there a way to add in a bunch of miles to Morgan Hill or Gilroy and beyond? What are the primary cycling roads in Morgan Hill and Gilroy?

Also I heard there is a sanctioned ride in San Jose that is 100 miles. The Tiera Bella. Do people have to wait for that event or can they just do it on their own? What's the difference?
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Old 07-27-20, 11:25 AM
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Hmmmm. It's not too hard to put together 60 or so miles without any big climbs, but getting up to 100 is harder, depending on where you start. From San Mateo, you can add 16 miles just getting to Canada Road and back.
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Old 07-27-20, 12:56 PM
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Drive to Tracy. Do some loop that involves Modesto, Manteca, and a barrel of sunsreen.

Bart to Pittsburg, Ride via Rio Vista to Stockton and via Hwy 4 back to Pittsburg.

Drive up to Sac. Ride 50 miles, turn around and ride back. Or ride 25 miles, turn 90 degrees, repeat x3.

Warning; Hills may sometimes be miserable, but they are a lot more fun that getting stuck in some headwind that won't relent for 12 miles.
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Old 07-27-20, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Also I heard there is a sanctioned ride in San Jose that is 100 miles. The Tiera Bella. Do people have to wait for that event or can they just do it on their own? What's the difference?
Tierra Bella Century route map attached. Not Flat. In particular, the Metcalf Mauler is a rather well known leg-buster.



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Old 07-31-20, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Hmmmm. It's not too hard to put together 60 or so miles without any big climbs, but getting up to 100 is harder, depending on where you start. From San Mateo, you can add 16 miles just getting to Canada Road and back.

Yea. 16 miles on Canada Rd. There is a 55 mile route or so in that area. Start from Northern part of San Andreas Trail, then Skyline to Crystal Springs Trail, then Skyline to Canada Rd. Then Home Mountain Rd, Portola Rd and Alpine Road in Portola Valley and back. That's about 55 miles, but hard to add more to that without detours.
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Old 07-31-20, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Tierra Bella Century route map attached. Not Flat. In particular, the Metcalf Mauler is a rather well known leg-buster.




Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 07-31-20, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Yea. 16 miles on Canada Rd. There is a 55 mile route or so in that area. Start from Northern part of San Andreas Trail, then Skyline to Crystal Springs Trail, then Skyline to Canada Rd. Then Home Mountain Rd, Portola Rd and Alpine Road in Portola Valley and back. That's about 55 miles, but hard to add more to that without detours.
Well, there's the way Luca and Carlo Simonetti used to take the PenVelo Recreational/Century ride on Saturdays -

From Portola and Alpine, take Alpine to Arastradero, then left on Page Mill and right to get back on Arastradero. Right on Purissima, Right on Robleda, left on Elena, which will eventually merge into El Monte, then right onto Summerhill, right onto Magedalena, left onto Hillview, which turns into Loyola (I think), then right on Granger before you get to Foothill, go down a few blocks to, I think, Arboretum, turn left and across Foothill at a light. Then get onto Foothill and just take that back up through Sunnyvale and Palo Alto to 84, take that back to Canada and back up. From the North end of the San Andreas Trail and back, that should be about 67 miles.

I used to ride this every week, starting from San Mateo, but that was almost 2 decades ago, and I was following the Simonettis!

You can also turn right onto Page Mill and climb up to Altamont and take that to El Monte, but as I recall there's a nasty, decreasing radius off camber turn on Altamont that can take you by surprise, and I know a guy who wiped out there on a group ride.
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Old 07-31-20, 09:33 AM
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Anyway, the point is that you can add miles by going down Alpine instead of turning back. Hard to get to 100 without adding SOME climbing, but you can get to 70 or so.
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Old 08-02-20, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Well, there's the way Luca and Carlo Simonetti used to take the PenVelo Recreational/Century ride on Saturdays -

From Portola and Alpine, take Alpine to Arastradero, then left on Page Mill and right to get back on Arastradero. Right on Purissima, Right on Robleda, left on Elena, which will eventually merge into El Monte, then right onto Summerhill, right onto Magedalena, left onto Hillview, which turns into Loyola (I think), then right on Granger before you get to Foothill, go down a few blocks to, I think, Arboretum, turn left and across Foothill at a light. Then get onto Foothill and just take that back up through Sunnyvale and Palo Alto to 84, take that back to Canada and back up. From the North end of the San Andreas Trail and back, that should be about 67 miles.

I used to ride this every week, starting from San Mateo, but that was almost 2 decades ago, and I was following the Simonettis!

You can also turn right onto Page Mill and climb up to Altamont and take that to El Monte, but as I recall there's a nasty, decreasing radius off camber turn on Altamont that can take you by surprise, and I know a guy who wiped out there on a group ride.

Wow that sounds like a good route. I'm looking into this. What's your opinion on 84 though? I've heard others say it's not very safe. Is this part of it bad or is it okay?
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Old 08-02-20, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Wow that sounds like a good route. I'm looking into this. What's your opinion on 84 though? I've heard others say it's not very safe. Is this part of it bad or is it okay?
You couldn't pay me to take 84 from Portola up to Skyline. Too much car traffic to be climbing at 6-9 mph. The only thing worse would be 92 to Skyline.

BUT, the other way, from Skyline down to Portola, it's a fast, semi-technical descent. The speed differential with cars is a lot smaller - often you'll find THEY slow YOU down! It's my preferred route down from Skyline.

From Skylonda to the Pacific, 84 starts out a nice, quick, but not blindingly fast descent, but the last - what, 4 miles?- can be a mind-numbing slog into the wind. You just have to put your head down and keep going.

From the Pacific to Skylonda, it's not terrible. It's wide enough that if you're not skittish the cars won't bother you much, and it's not even bottom-gear steep for a lot of it.

The best way to get up to Skyline is probably Old La Honda. It's tough if you don't climb much, but there's not much car traffic and I think it's the lowest of the passes after 84. It's shaded the whole way, which is nice. Start out gentle, though, because there's some steep stuff the last mile. Oh, and the insides or right-hand turns are THE STEEPEST way take that turn, so you might flare a little wide, BUT keep your ears open for descending freewheels!
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Old 08-03-20, 08:36 AM
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If you’re interested in doing a flat, scenic and SAFE century a bit farther from the Bay Area I can tell you about a nice one near Truckee.
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Old 08-04-20, 02:42 PM
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https://www.strava.com/routes/2725830969967913752

I have not done it, but someone on my feed did.. seems pretty flat to me with a little of 2k of climbing and over 110mi.
I copied his ride and made it a public route.

Last edited by spdntrxi; 08-04-20 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:21 PM
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The biggest problem I can see is getting from San Francisco, through Brisbane, South City, San Bruno and Millbrae, down to Burlingame. It's hard to find a road through there that's cyclist friendly, and most of the overpasses going over 101 are loaded with cars, either coming off or going onto the Freeway.
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