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Uvas Reservoir Road Ride

My Uvas Reservoir route is a long route that I came up with to head south and get some uninterrupted mileage in. It turns out to be a pretty nice ride with an interesting variety of sights.

Park: Uvas Reservoir  Road Ride Uvas Reservoir Route
Date: Multiple
Distance: 65+ miles
Ride Time: Varies
Total Ascent: 2,300+ feet
Maps: Uvas Reservoir Road Ride
Overall Rating: 7

In my mind, this ride is composed of three segments: getting through San Jose, out in the country and rural segments and returning through town.

Getting through San Jose to a place where one can really ride is a bit of an experience in traffic lights and stop signs. It seems that every time you build up a bit of speed and cadence you are forced to stop.  Such is life. A good route has been to use the overcrossing on the Los Gatos Creek trail to get over Highway 17, and then take National Ave to Los Gatos-Almaden Road and Coleman to Santa Teresa Blvd. Santa Teresa heads south but after a climbing a small hill it opens up into the Coyote Valley. The traffic is greatly reduced and the road becomes flat with a single stoplight at Bailey. It changes name to Hale Ave, but this will take you all the way out to Morgan Hill without any interruptions. This is an area where you can just focus of riding fast.

Eventually, you will want to get to Monterey Road. This has more traffic and heads through a nice section of Morgan Hill and then some older sections of Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy.  Depending on how far you want to go, you can take either Watsonville Road or Day Road to get to Uvas Road. Uvas Road, which turns into McKean Road, is a very nice country road that runs alongside Uvas Reservoir, past a cutoff to Chesboro Reservoir and past Calero Reservoir before returning to Almaden. There are a few minor hills out here but generally it is a very nice ride. There are quite a few bike out here and very little traffic. There isn't any water or places to stop out here, so plan accordingly.

Once you are back to Almaden, there are a few alternatives for the route back starting with Almaden Expressway. You can re-trace the route out hitting Coleman and Los Gatos-Almaden or you can do some hill climbs. There is a reasonable hill on Camden that will test you at this point in your ride. If you are up for still more climbing, turn left on Hicks and right on Shannon and climb either Shannon or Kennedy to get back into Los Gatos (both are good climbs) and then return via Los Gatos-Saratoga Road (Highway 9).

This is a good ride for beginners to get some distance in since it has some small climbs but there are no major climbs that cannot be avoided. This allows people to get some mileage in and build confidence with a 100k ride that they can do it and perhaps do more. There are places for coffee or other refreshments near the mid-point in Morgan Hill that are a good place to take a break, but there is no turning back or stopping after you hit Uvas Road. It has a bit of variety from commercial, to residential, to rural to raw country and all of it has either light traffic or bike lanes or very wide shoulders.

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