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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Inspired by Rex_Skidmore's post yesterday, I had to ride Santa Teresa again this morning.

WOW! :D :eekster: :D In 5 years of frequent riding of Santa Teresa, I've never seen the trail conditions so good as right now!

The trails are all smooth instead of bumpy from horses or mud cracks, there's no mud puddles or mud pits or clay mud accumulation. The trails are super tacky with no dust or big weeds. All the trails are delightful and super fast. I had my best time ever by a big margin - perhaps 20% better than my previous record! :D

The sun is shining and the hills are warm with a slight cool breeze.

And best of all, Stile Ranch is back to being nasty old Stile Ranch. :) :cool: :) I should have known those well-meaning trail workers could never tame that shrew of a trail. :rolleyes:

So use your health day. Leave work early (or come in late like I'm doing). Get to Santa Teresa now before the rains hit it. We may be lucky and have good conditions through the weekend.

Oh, and be courteous and stop for hikers there, even if it interrupts your flow.
[Edit: It's not that hard to be nice to hikers there. As usual, I only saw one hiker in the hour of riding, and he stood off the trail and waved me on.]
 

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stiles ranch

You kidding Larry? Stiles was steralized nearly 1/2 way up. I remember when the entire trail was a challenge 3 years back. Now... it's nothing exciting. Rocky ridge, however, is nasty as usual :)

Rode there both Sat and Sun and will agree that trail conditions are spectacular. Unusual for this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nope, Not Kidding

Velodromed said:
You kidding Larry? Stiles was steralized nearly 1/2 way up. I remember when the entire trail was a challenge 3 years back. Now... it's nothing exciting. Rocky ridge, however, is nasty as usual :)

Rode there both Sat and Sun and will agree that trail conditions are spectacular. Unusual for this time of year.
I assume you've ridden Stile Ranch recently, on your ride last weekend?

OK, it's missing the big rocks, the deep ruts, and the super tight switchbacks with simultaneous rock drops.

But it's got more frequent nastly little ruts that go across rather than along the trail, lots more little 6" rocks than before, and slippery uneven terrrain.

So it's not entirely like before, but nowhere near the flat pavement-like trail it became immediately after the work, and certainly not boring - I'd say it's 75% back.

I'll get pictures on my next ride.
 

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2-3 times+ weekly for last 10 years

BigLarry said:
I assume you've ridden Stile Ranch recently, on your ride last weekend?

OK, it's missing the big rocks, the deep ruts, and the super tight switchbacks with simultaneous rock drops.

But it's got more frequent nastly little ruts that go across rather than along the trail, lots more little 6" rocks than before, and slippery uneven terrrain.

.
Except for the 18 months I was off my bike for knee surgery/rehab, I ride/rode Stiles several times per week (climb it mostly). Fortunaly I wasn't riding when it was 'steralized' . Started riding it again last September and was very bummed :cryin:. Great about the little rocks and all, but sure miss the baby heads and wheel killers. And it's still quite tame compared to years back. I remember when they did similar work on rocky ridge. And also remember some of us spent weeks fixing much of the damage (leave the freakin' rocks where they lay damit!), but that was near 3 years back. All in the name of progress and 'safty'.. can't have hikers or horsey's tripping.:rolleyes: And I'd say less the 50% back
 

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Oh Yes!!!!

I would have to agree with ya'll that ST is looking AWESOME! BUT....I rode up stiles the other day and noticed on the way to the start of the climb that horses have dropped some chunks in the middle of the trail. :madman: Since the trail is slightly on the side of a hill, I couldn't avoid it and rode right through it. I had no other option and it was nasty. I know horses don't have the luxury that humans do by having a toilet, but at least keep it off the trail where I ride as well as where hikers hike and runners run. Oh well, enough about that........Rocky is looking great as well. Went down that a week ago and its perfect too. I love ST since its soo close to me. Happy riding everyone! :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Velodromed said:
Except for the 18 months I was off my bike for knee surgery/rehab, I ride/rode Stiles several times per week (climb it mostly).
Gee, conditions permitting, I ride Santa Teresa it a couple times per week for the last five years. Wonder we've not crashed into each other yet, much less not see each other? Maybe it's because I usually like to go out in the morning before a late start at work?

Velodromed said:
Fortunaly I wasn't riding when it was 'steralized' . Started riding it again last September and was very bummed :cryin:. .... All in the name of progress and 'safty'.. can't have hikers or horsey's tripping.:rolleyes: And I'd say less the 50% back
I participated in that trail work day, and tried to start a Ghandi-like protest to get everyone to throw down their shovels. Didn't work. :madmax: So instead I had strong but polite talks with the leaders and repeatedly explained that bikers didn't want sanitary smooth trails - there were plenty of dirt paths around for that. The leaders disagreed and said many hikers had problems with the trail, the horses needed more room sideways, and even some mountain bikers asked for it to be more ridable. So the next week I happened to see an older biker in that area of the park and asked what he thought about Stile Ranch and the sanitization. He said "It's great, now I can finally climb it!". So much for my protest. :mad:

Pehaps because I rode Stile Ranch so much during it's 'flat' period this summer, I forgot how much technical fun it was before. But I still think it's way over 50% back to former nasty. And it's still getting worse every day! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rockcrawler53 said:
I would have to agree with ya'll that ST is looking AWESOME! BUT....I rode up stiles the other day and noticed on the way to the start of the climb that horses have dropped some chunks in the middle of the trail. :madman: Since the trail is slightly on the side of a hill, I couldn't avoid it and rode right through it. I had no other option and it was nasty. I know horses don't have the luxury that humans do by having a toilet, but at least keep it off the trail where I ride as well as where hikers hike and runners run. Oh well, enough about that........Rocky is looking great as well. Went down that a week ago and its perfect too. I love ST since its soo close to me. Happy riding everyone! :thumbsup:
As for horsey droppings, I don't put fenders on my bike just for the mud. I like to keep that horse processed stuff out of my diet. I used to run through half mud, half processed hay on the trails in NJ, and got used to living with it. What you get on the trails in CA is nothing by comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Directions to Santa Teresa

Cadillac said:
Silly question: Where is this place?

:D
Santa Teresa Park is in the very south side of San Jose, just south of Almaden, just east of Quicksilver. There's about 15-20 miles of trails and dirt roads, mostly exposed but in the cold weather that's nice. Two singletrack stretches, Rocky Ridge and Stile Ranch are very nice technical singletrack. Rocky Ridge, down from Coyote peak, is a couple miles of big 1-2 foot high rocks that you dodge left and right and occasionally drop - but not so bad you need to be big jump expert. A lot of nonstop fun the whole way down. From the parking lot, most people climb up the very steep Hidden Spring / Coyote Peak fire road to Coyote Peak, take in the view of San Jose from the benches up on top. Then take the big dip on the gravel road over to the start of Rocky Ridge, a small singletrack on the right just before the white building.

Here's the link to Santa Teresa information. Download the map from the link at the bottom of the page.

You can come in from Hwy 101 to Bernal and go to the parking lot and pay a few bucks. You can also park at the bottom of Bernal.
Or you can come down Almaden Expressway and go in the back side on Vincent Rd off McKean, which is free.
Directions to both of these are on the link above.

If you come in the back side on Vincent, most people take the delightful flat singletrack by the IBM parking lot. To do that, take Almaden Expressway all the way south to the end (don't Y to the right on Old Almaden). At the end at Harry, turn left and jog over to the intersection of Camden and Harry. Right past the stream and bridge, you'll see an opening on the right for the singletrack between the stream and the IBM parking, leading into Vincent Rd. and Santa Teresa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking good through the Weekend

zorg said:
Larry, do you think that the trails will still be in good riding shape Saturday morning?
No rain until Fridy of next week, so I'd say you're good for the weekend.

It looks to be a bit warmer and sunny too, perfect weather for Santa Teresa in the cold winter.

What kills Santa Teresa is the rain, that turns the mud into cement-like clay. But we haven't had enough to soak in yet, and the days of sunshine are keeping the surfaces nicely smooth and tacky.

I'd love to join you, but I got three early appointments all Saturday morning - a freak occurance. Sunday I'm free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Another Testimonial

From the other thread on Santa Teresa:

fervor_1 said:
The park was just incredible on Sunday. The weather was perfect for shorts and short sleeves. IN JANUARY! I love california. Trail condition was great. Stand on every climb and don't worry about the back wheel breaking traction. The place was pretty empty excpet for the hawks. A few runners (are they nuts?), not too many other folks. Stiles on the way down is such a treat. So yeah, I had a real good time.

Someone was shooting model rockets off (around 1 pm.) One went pretty much over my head. Scared the bejesus out of me.
 

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BigLarry said:
No rain until Fridy of next week, so I'd say you're good for the weekend.

It looks to be a bit warmer and sunny too, perfect weather for Santa Teresa in the cold winter.

What kills Santa Teresa is the rain, that turns the mud into cement-like clay. But we haven't had enough to soak in yet, and the days of sunshine are keeping the surfaces nicely smooth and tacky.

I'd love to join you, but I got three early appointments all Saturday morning - a freak occurance. Sunday I'm free.
I got kid watch duty on Sunday, so it's out. Anyway, if anybody is interested in an 8am hiker mow down ride at Santa Teresa Saturday, PM me. Kids under 6 only count for 2 points, adults 5 points, joggers 10 points, and Sierra Club members in Birkenstock 50 points!! :) :)
 

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Great directions there, BigLarry. Also, Cadillac, if you use the Trail Reviews section of this website, you can see trails across the USA.
Here's the specific page for ST Park.

Let's be certain to make the distinction between cement and concrete. I frequently hear people talking about...falling onto the cement. Or, dropping their cell phone onto the cement. They mean to say concrete, which is made of water, sand, rocks and cement. Cement is a glue, and Larry is correct that the mud found here is the type that will attach to tires and the stays & forks and then it will render the bike immobile.

If anyone wants to start at Coleman and Winfield, don't park inside the park gates for late afternoon starts. When the sun sets, the gates lock. :eek: Inside the park, facing the lake, follow the concrete footpath near the Restrooms and turn left immediately to begin on the asphalt jogging path (with 2-foot-wide sandy track adjacent to it) and follow it for a couple miles. About 12 feet after the creek bridge, there is a singletrack that follows the creek and is interrupted by geography in a few places. You can also use this "trailhead" a short distance later to get onto the trail that follows the meandering Los Alamitos Creek which I use to add some mileage to the loop or "out and back" from that intersection to Rocky Ridge.

Follow this singletrack as it pops up and down challenging you to avoid the asphalt path. This route crosses 2 residential streets and then eventually carries you to Harry Road (make an obvious left toward the hills) then to the IBM orchard starting point outlined by BigLarry above. There are fences and a log crossing at the entrance. Continue to the Stile Ranch or Mine Trail from there.

On the return trip, the drop-in for the creekside singletrack begins after you deviate from the asphalt jogging path at a "Y" and ascend maybe three feet up a dirt fire road/maintenance road and see this landmark.

The key point is that you're never making any major route decisions until you reach that sign. You continue in a fairly obvious direction into the hills to reach that trailhead. It sounds more complicated than it is. Coffee time for Rex.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Stile Ranch trail condition depends entirely on when

Khemical said:
Can anyone post some pics of Stiles ranch trail? I used to ride ST yeaers ago but never knew about this trail. From the map of the park it looks like fun!

Edit: Nevermind, I used the search function
Stile Ranch has been in rapid evolution from ultra-nasty to being flat-like-pavement after the trail work last year, to returning to about 50% or more of nasty. So you need to look at when the pictures were taken.

The upper part of Stile Ranch has not been changing as much as the lower nastier part.
 
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