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Discussion Starter #1
I've just recently gotten back into road riding and I'm looking for a good training ride in the West San Jose area (Almaden Valley - Los Gatos area). I'd prefer long (but not too long)gradual climbs.

Thanks,
Charlie
 

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There are many options. Check my post yesterday under "rides from Sunnyvale". Another ride to consider through Almaden valley is to park at the Almaden Lake Park off of Coleman and Almaden Expressway. Exit the park and turn left onto Almaden Expressway. Almaden ends at Harry, turn right and then an immediate left of McKean. McKean becomes Uvas, turn left at Watsonville Rd., then left again at Sycamore Rd., then left at Oak Glen, then a right back onto Uvas going back where you started. This ride is about 42 to 45 miles. Just did it last Monday. Not a lot of climbing, but a nice ride!
 

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There are lots of great rides from the Los Gatos area. One of my favorites is taking Hwy 9 to Skyline, then south on Skyline to the Summit Store for lunch. Descend the Old Santa Cruz Highway to Lexington Reservoir, then return to Los Gatos via the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Check with the water company before trying this, because they sometimes close the trail the detour isn't very road-bike friendly.

For shorter climbs, look at Mount Eden/Pierce, Montalvo/Peach Hill, Canon, or Shannon/Kennedy. For steeper climbs, try Bohlman/On-Orbit or Hicks.
 

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cchough said:
I've just recently gotten back into road riding and I'm looking for a good training ride in the West San Jose area (Almaden Valley - Los Gatos area). I'd prefer long (but not too long)gradual climbs.

Thanks,
Charlie
The best long gradual climb around is Highway 9 from Saratoga to Skyline. A classic route is up Hwy 9, right on Skyline down to Page Mill, descend, and close the loop. Depending on where you start, it's 40-50 miles.

There are other climbs in the area, but not what I would call long and gradual. Old Santa Cruz Highway is a nice gradual climb, but it's not very long. Page Mill is long and definitely not gradual. There aren't many hills out of Almaden that fit the bill, unless you go all the way to Hecker Pass (Hwy 152). If you go over the hill, there is Eureka Canyon, which is a beautiful road and a great ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone!

Thanks for all the input! I think I'm going to start with the Uvas route. Sounds like a good way to put on some base mileage. How bad is Hwy 9 to Skyline? Even from a car it looks bad. Are there any pitches that really hurt or is it a pretty consistent grade? And once you get up to Skyline, is it pretty level at that point (until Page Mill)?

Thank again everyone!

Charlie
 

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cchough said:
Thanks for all the input! I think I'm going to start with the Uvas route. Sounds like a good way to put on some base mileage. How bad is Hwy 9 to Skyline? Even from a car it looks bad. Are there any pitches that really hurt or is it a pretty consistent grade? And once you get up to Skyline, is it pretty level at that point (until Page Mill)?
Hwy 9 is a fairly moderate and constant grade all the way up to Skyline. It is not steep, but it is several miles, so it might be tough for a beginner. Skyline to Page Mill is mostly downhill or flat except for the last quarter mile which is a mild uphill. Page Mill has some steep downhill sections, so be careful, especially if you are tired.
 

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[Intro] Newbie Roadie in San Jose

snapdragen said:
Just wanted to introduce myself. I'm a recreational mountain biker who tries to get out as much I can, and hoping to get into road riding as well. I have 3 little girls (4.5 yrs old, 2.5 yrs old and 7 mos old) which is making it quite bit challenging to get time to ride. You might be asking why a mtb rider is posting here :) Quite few of my friends are into road riding, and they have convinced me to give road riding a second chance.... I had tried the first time about a decade ago with a used road bike, but it didn't work out. I just prefered the more upright position of the mountain bike. Also I did not know about right sizing and fit at that time. Now that I have a little better idea (still not sure at all on road bikes - quite different beast to mountain bikes), I have tried out few different road bikes to find something that fit me well. My new bike is on the way. Once it gets here, I hope to meet up with you on the actc rides.

Quick question: I would have prefered triple in the front (I need all the help I can get with climbs...too much excess weight on my body), but the bike that I got only comes in double. How much more difficult is on the double than triple for those tough climbs, ie. Montebello?
 

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sungchang said:
Quick question: I would have prefered triple in the front (I need all the help I can get with climbs...too much excess weight on my body), but the bike that I got only comes in double. How much more difficult is on the double than triple for those tough climbs, ie. Montebello?
You will need to be in pretty good shape to climb Montebello with a double. The first 2 miles are very steep. The next 3 miles are just moderately steep. The last mile is more rolling, but there is one steep spot near the end.

If you're ambitious, Montebello continues as a hard packed dirt road all the way to Page Mill. From there, you have all sorts of cycling opportunities.

If your time is limited, road biking is probably better than mountain biking. You can ride your road bike right out your front door. With a mountain bike, there is usually a non-trivial amount of driving needed before you get to an interesting trail head.
 

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johnny99 said:
You will need to be in pretty good shape to climb Montebello with a double. The first 2 miles are very steep. The next 3 miles are just moderately steep. The last mile is more rolling, but there is one steep spot near the end.

If you're ambitious, Montebello continues as a hard packed dirt road all the way to Page Mill. From there, you have all sorts of cycling opportunities.

If your time is limited, road biking is probably better than mountain biking. You can ride your road bike right out your front door. With a mountain bike, there is usually a non-trivial amount of driving needed before you get to an interesting trail head.
I went up Montebello once with my mtb bike to the gate. I was able to make it to the top without stopping albeit at slow pace and with 27 gears (mostly on my granny gear). I figured triple was the way to go, but the bike that I got only comes stock with double. My initial thought was to give double a try and if I must have those addtional gears to swap to triple. With current budget, I am hoping that's not the case, but I'm out of shape and weigh too much.
 

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mohair_chair said:
The best long gradual climb around is Highway 9 from Saratoga to Skyline. A classic route is up Hwy 9, right on Skyline down to Page Mill, descend, and close the loop. Depending on where you start, it's 40-50 miles.
Which roads would you take on a bicycle to get from Page Mill back to Saratoga?
 

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Moto'n'PushBiker said:
Which roads would you take on a bicycle to get from Page Mill back to Saratoga?
The fast route is to take Foothill Expressway to Stevens Canyon to Mt. Eden to Pierce into Saratoga.
 
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