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This road ride is a 100 mile loop from Saratoga to Gilroy making use of bike trails where possible.

Gilroy Route
Gilroy Elevation
Ride: Gilory
Date: 8/1/2015
Distance: 100 mile loop
Ride Time: ~ 6:15 hours
Total Ascent: 2,598 feet
Map: See GPS track
Overall Rating: 7


The goal of this ride was to plan and ride a 100 mile course that was doable without extraordinary effort. This meant creating a course that did not not start off with multiple long or steep climbs that would suck all of my energy at the start of the ride. It also meant that there should be reasonable places to stop for lunch and snacks since this would be a "self supported" ride.

The routed consisted of several sections of routes I have ridden before with sections that I had not ridden before. I headed down Bucknall and Rincon to avoid traffic and lights on Campbell Ave. I took the Los Gatos Creek Trail to Willow St. to the Highway 87 Trail. The Highway 87 Trail is still a pit, sandwiched between a freeway, homeless encampments, railroad tracks and piles of litter with the trail narrowly enclosed by hurricane fencing. I was glad to get to the end, to turn left of Curtner (the stoplight sensor here does not seem to pick up bicycles, so be ready to ride through on the opposite green on this busy intersection) which turns into Tully Rd.

A bit over a mile past the Monterey Highway intersection is a small park with a baseball field and a library. This is the start of the Coyote Creek Trail. Pay attention to these markers because there is no sign on Tully as I was expecting. If you get to the Highway 101 overcrossing, you have gone too far.

The Coyote Creek Trail was very enjoyable. It was a nice ride along the creek and under the oak trees, wending its way along the windy creek route. There were a few places that I felt like it was going through an invisible homeless encampment (like litter consisting of a man's boot), but generally it was very nice. There were a variety of walkers, family bike riders, and people pushing strollers that meant it was not a good idea to attempt warp speed through this section, but it was a very enjoyable ride. I was a bit surprised that there weren't more people on the trail since it is so close to heavily populated areas and was so nice. It was pretty amazing that this rustic feeling trail is actually in East San Jose. The trail started to leave town but stayed in a forested area for quite a while before opening out into grasslands. The trail runs south, roughly paralleling Highway 101 through is it sometimes on one side of the freeway and then the other side. The trail eventually pops out at Eagle Creek and Malaguerra in Morgan Hill.

My goal was Gilroy, which meant I needed to continue heading south. Rather than go into town and contend with traffic, I took a variety of country roads (Peet, Half, Condit, Murphy, Sycamore and Church) to Monterey Road. There is a fair amount of traffic on Monterey Road and not too much interesting scenery, so it might have been better to detour over to New Road to get to Gilroy.

Gilroy was a good point to take a break. You can have your choice of places to eat. I stopped at a Super Tacqueria which met my criteria: good, filling, cheap, fast and safe. After lunch, I continue with a ride south on the Uvas Park Bike Trail but found it didn't go where I expected and had to turn around. I rode to the other end of it where it turned into a construction area, though it looks like the trail will be extended in the future. This trail was fast but otherwise not too noteworthy.

The end of the bike trail was Santa Teresa Blvd. which was my route northward. It went through residential areas before heading out into a farming area. I continued on, making a left turn onto Sycamore and then right onto Oak Glen (the turn is just past the one-room Machado school house). Oak Glen is a nice rice along a creek until it heads up and past Chesbro Reservoir where it gets open, dry and, in the afternoon, windy. A right turn onto Uvas Road and then McKean Road brought me back to Alameden.

Rather than returning on the usual road route, I detoured over to Calero Creek Trail and Los Alamitos Creek Trail. These were a nice alternative to riding on Almaden Expressway. I took Redmond to Coleman to Camden and then Almond Blossom, eventually ending up on Los Gatos Creek Trail and heading back to the starting point.

It was a good ride with pretty minimal climbing. The afternoon winds seemed to be blowing against me the whole way back, so it would have been better to start early. This is worth your consideration.

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