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Kennedy/Los Gatos Turkey Ride - November 25, 2010

Distance: 14.0 miles Ascent: 2,911 feet Moving time: 2:10 hours

It was cold...36 degrees at home a bit before the ride. We knew it would be cold, so we agree to start an hour later rather than the usual 8:00. The sky was clear and the air was still crisp as we started from Los Gatos Blvd. and up Kennedy Road to the trailhead. We saw several people at the trailhead and the convention of rangers guarding the gate and the porta-potty (there must have been 5 ranger trucks parked on the edge of the trail) estimated there were about 500 riders. I guess the cold weather was less of a deterrent that we thought.

We started heading up the Kennedy Trail at a pretty moderate pace. My pace became more "moderate" as the hill got steep and longer, but I kept going. Anna wanted to push through the mid-ride break at the oak tree and kept riding, so everyone else did too. I didn't feel like killing myself by riding up the last section at the top, but Ken rode the whole way for the first time (congratulations!).

There was a huge crowd at the top and the estimate of 500 riders seemed accurate. People were shoulder to shoulder from the tree at the top of the climb to the top of Dog Meat and beyond. We walked the length of the crowd and back, chatting with friends and sampling some of the food that was being shared. We then headed down Dog Meat, passing a few slower riders on the way down. The trail was in good shape in spite of the recent rains except for one short section on an off camber turn. We took a right and headed down Limekiln. We passed a group of teenagers that was probably going down the trail for the first time but then we got stuck behind two guys that didn't want anyone to pass them. We patiently and politely waited, but we finally shot around them and resumed a more fun pace. The rest of the ride was fun but uneventful. We stopped for coffee before heading home to load up on turkey.

As always, this ride was a lot of fun and seeing so many other riders making their way up the hill was great. Everyone was well behaved throughout the ride. The rangers were plentiful at the trailhead and at the top but they seemed to enjoy seeing so many people having a great time in the open space. Nice job!

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