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Specialized Fatboy
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Discussion Starter #1
I need to whip my ass back into shape and stop neglecting my sweet bike. Does anyone in the San Jose area need a bike partner or would you like to join me?? Let me know thanks.
 

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Slowest Rider
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Sierra Azul

Tomorrow (early Sunday morning) I'm going up into Sierra Azul for a training ride on steep fire roads. They only offer views of silicon valley and the surrounding park in redemption. If you want more singletrack, you may find someone going to Demo.

I'm going up through Quicksilver, crossing Hicks, up Mt. Umunhum to Bald Mt, down Barlow to Woods, over El Sombroso and probaby down Kennedy. It'll be ~30 miles and 5000' of climb. I'm a slow rider and may do this in 6-7 hours, including breaks. Start at Hacienda entrance at Quicksilver at 8:30, At Hicks/Woods around 10AM.

Stripes (Anne) may join me at the top of Hicks at the parking lot (1475' elevation) at Woods Tr. for the shorter loop up Mt Umunhum (paved) road. A simple loop up Mt. Umunhum Rd. allows you to get to the peak of Bald Mt. (2400'). A technical descent can be made down the very steep loose Barlow road to Woods trail that takes you back to Hicks Rd. parking. Woods trail is pretty level and has lots of little waterfalls after rains and is good for a simple out and back for newbie riders. This shorter loop may only be 10 miles, 1500' climb.

Sierra Azul is the big mountains in south San Jose between Hwy 17 by Lexington Lake in Los Gatos and Hicks Rd by Quicksilver. Siera Azul can also be reached via Kennedy Rd. where MTBR had the Thanksgiving morning ride. You can see the square Air Force building on Mt. Umunhum from all over the south bay. Most all of it is very steep fire roads, good for training, except for the nice wooded nearly level Woods trail off Hicks Rd. A plus is that all of Sierra Azul is open in the rain, rare for parks around here.

Link and map here: http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_sierra_azul.asp
 

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Specialized Fatboy
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Discussion Starter #3
At the danger of sounding like a noob I do know Quicksilver but I don't know names of trails well, I know what they look like. I believe it was Old Amaden rd. that I take to get to the parking lot, it goes through an old little town, museum. When I was in shape and going there a lot I was a decent rider but I have a feeling the first ride at least will suck for me. Anyway, it doesn't sound that bad I don't do single track that well but love the uphill and I was starting to get the hang of the downhill part.
 

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Slowest Rider
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Oh yeah, NRS1FREAK, I just looked at your profile and saw you listed Quicksilver as a favorite, so I guess you may know it. ;) Yep, you got the right entrance, Hacienda is just after the museum in Old Almaden. Two more bike entrances exist now - one off Mockingbird lane closer to Almaden (don't go UP this one) and the one off Hicks Rd.

Do you know what sort of ride you're in for? Seems like Quicksilver by itself may be more than enough for a first ride back on the bike. A short loop there may be as much as 1500' and 9 or so miles. A longer loop in QS via Guadalupe Dam may be 2000' and 14 or so miles.

I'm going up from Hacienda and then crossing over from Englishtown to exit via the new entrance on Hicks Rd., then climb some more. If you're just getting back into shape, you may want to just join me for the Quicksilver climb, then loop back down on your own.

Or better, as mentioned before, you can join Stripes and me going up to the steep road to Bald Mt. from the Hicks Rd. parking lot. and then over into a little of Sierra Azul via Barlow and Woods Trails, that would also only be 1500' of climb. Stripes is a slow rider too and the climb will be at a very slow pace. Again, the ride down Barlow fire road is very technical with ruts, rocks and super steep slippery road. You need to park at the top of Hicks Rd. (off Camden by Coleman). Riding your bike up to the Hicks adds a lot of climb you're better off doing in Quicksilver if that's what you want.

I'm going early to get in a lot of climbing for a killer Henry Coe ride next week, which is why I'm leaving Hacienda at 8:30AM. It'll be cold so bring layers, arm warmers, hot coco, etc.. It'll be warmer leaving from Hicks at around 10:00.
 

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Not sure, if you guys are going today or tomorrow, but I jsut went to Quicksilver off the hacienda entrace, and there was signs that trails were close for bikers/equestrians due to poor trail conditions. I'm so bummed. I dont know where else to go in San JOse.
 

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Specialized Fatboy
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Discussion Starter #7
BigLarry said:
Do you know what sort of ride you're in for? Seems like Quicksilver by itself may be more than enough for a first ride back on the bike. A short loop there may be as much as 1500' and 9 or so miles. A longer loop in QS via Guadalupe Dam may be 2000' and 14 or so miles.
Well, I'm still not sure about your discription but I think I know what I'm in for since it's at quicksilver and I go "the long way" as my friend and I put it. This entails starting from the parking lot and going all the way up to the benchs which forks off two ways... Up to the left or right on the flats toward the dam. Last time I rode (probably a month or two) I was able to go up to the benches in about 10min. or so; then I went left to the very top which was 30min. If I go to the right toward the dam I used to be able to do it in a hr. but I'd expect an hr and a half.

I might as well mention even though I'm out of shape I'll still push myself even though I'll be hurting and I try not to stop. I guess this comes from my X country backround. I hope this doesn't intimidate people or make me look arrogent because I just want to ride but with someone. I can't really rely on my friends these days. :( Quicksilver can get creepy, have you guy heard of the rumor that there are flesh eating albinos there?? ha ha...

norcallifter said:
Not sure, if you guys are going today or tomorrow, but I jsut went to Quicksilver off the hacienda entrace, and there was signs that trails were close for bikers/equestrians due to poor trail conditions. I'm so bummed. I dont know where else to go in San JOse.
There is Mission Peak over near me in Milpitas area, but that's usually if I feel like killing myself... not getting a ride in. Only other really challenging places I've been is Stevens Creek or Saratoga Gap. Alum Rock also near me is probably closed.
 

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Well I drove to Joseph Grant Park and it felt like it took a long time, maybe 30-40min!!! And the road to get there were made for mini coopers it seemed. I kept thinking that I would get hit because i drove a big truck.

Hope you guys have fun tomorrow. I'm also looking to ride with people but my cardio is so out of shape you guys would leave me behind. I do ok on the downhill though. :)
 

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Slowest Rider
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Santa Clara Parks

norcallifter said:
I just read aboutr Joseph D. Grant park. But is there a number you can call to see if its open or close?
You can find out for sure if Quicksilver is open by calling (408) 268-3883. The Rangers post on the voice mail for sure by 10AM, but often a ranger will answer before that. But these days I just know that if it hasn't rained for two days, it's probably open - which means it will probably be closed today and open tomorrow. If it's closed I just keep going south on Old Almaden from Hacienda and climb Hicks paved road up to Woods. Sierra Azul is alwasy open in the rain, only closed at dark.

A link to all parks, Quicksilver and Joseph Grant, can be found here.
 

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NRS1FREAK said:
Last time I rode (probably a month or two) I was able to go up to the benches in about 10min. or so; then I went left to the very top which was 30min. If I go to the right toward the dam I used to be able to do it in a hr. but I'd expect an hr and a half.
You're probably a little faster than me, or maybe about right if you're out of shape. I get from Hacienda up to that first picnic bench at Cape Horn intersection in about 15 minutes. I get up to the top picnic table at Bull Run (with the great view of Sierra Azul) in another 35 minutes.

Did you want to keep on climbing up into Sierra Azul, or would that first climb in Quicksilver do you in?


NRS1FREAK said:
Quicksilver can get creepy, have you guy heard of the rumor that there are flesh eating albinos there?? ha ha...
Quicksilver isn't as wild as Santa Teresa or Henry Coe, but I did see a huge rattlesnake there once, all the way across the fire road it was so big, and also a bobcat.
 

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Specialized Fatboy
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Discussion Starter #11
BigLarry said:
Did you want to keep on climbing up into Sierra Azul, or would that first climb in Quicksilver do you in?
I'd probably be fine with going all the way up. It's just that when I'm on my own I can't keep a pace so I try to "sprint" though the whole thing and end up hitting a big fat wall when I get to the last hill after the dam.

So you are going tomorrow at 8:30?
 

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norcallifter said:
Not sure, if you guys are going today or tomorrow, but I jsut went to Quicksilver off the hacienda entrace, and there was signs that trails were close for bikers/equestrians due to poor trail conditions. I'm so bummed. I dont know where else to go in San JOse.
Sierra Azul is open in the rain. We're going there tomorrrow. Only down side is that it's fire road.

Saratoga Gap and Demo are good single track options. Demo is a single track delight and I hear it holds up well in the rain.

A lot of people (way too many really) go to St. Joseph's in Los Gatos, on the other side of Sierra Azul from Quicksilver - but it's also fire roads. Gets real muddy too. Lots of traffic - you'll be in line behind hiking moms.

Don't try Santa Teresa when it's wet, the clay-like mud will not come off your tires without a metal chizel and you'll be carrying a 100 lb bike back to your car. You need to give it about 4-5 days of sunshine to turn back from liquid cement.

Henry Coe fire roads are open in the rain, but you need to give the single track a two day rest after a good soaker.
 

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NRS1FREAK said:
I'd probably be fine with going all the way up. It's just that when I'm on my own I can't keep a pace so I try to "sprint" though the whole thing and end up hitting a big fat wall when I get to the last hill after the dam.

So you are going tomorrow at 8:30?
I'm not sure you're getting it. I'm exiting Quicksilver at the TOP (using an access road between English Camp and Bull Run, off Castillero Rd and the last old kiln standing - see map here) and then continuing up to the top of El Sombroso and down Kennedy in Sierra Azul.

This climb will be once or twice again the climb done in Quicksilver - that is up to 5000' of climb of which only 1500' is in Quicksilver. I will NOT be continuing on the long loop down to Guadalupe Dam and back the long loop. Of course, you're welcome to ride that far with me and continue on your own loop.

Or if you're not up for that much climb, you could join us at the other side of Hicks road where I'll pop out of Quicksilver at the top around 10:00AM. Then do the same 1500' of climb in Sierra Azul instead.

Yep, leaving at 8:30 to get in all that climbing. Welcome to join me as long as you want. There's plenty of bail points down Hicks Rd. when you get tired.
[Edit: Change start to 9:00AM at Quicksilver Hacienda Entrance, 10:30 at top of Hicks Rd at intersection of Mt. Umunhum and Woods Trail.]
 

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Start Time now 9AM at Quicksilver

Official Time:
9:00AM at Quicksilver Hacienda Entrance
and/or meet up at
10:30AM at top of Hicks Rd at intersection of Mt. Umunhum and Woods Trail

I moved the start back 30 minutes since I'm probably going to skip Bald Mt. due to lack of time. It may be a crucial 5 degrees warmer at 9AM.

After Quicksilver, I'll still continue on Woods Trail across El Sombroso, down Kennnedy and city streets back. Maybe 4-5 hours overall.

Anyone can do an easy bail at any time with pretty much a downhill return all the way down to Hicks Rd. and then down Hicks / Alamitos back to Hacienda entrance.
 

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Specialized Fatboy
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Discussion Starter #15
ok, I sorta think I know where your going? so... will it be up hill the whole way like from the parking lot?
 

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NRS1FREAK said:
ok, I sorta think I know where your going? so... will it be up hill the whole way like from the parking lot?
Yep, pretty much.

Likewise, pretty much down hill the whole way back to the lot once you've had enough. Sort of convenient really.

Sounds like you're coming. I'll look around for you in the Hacienda lot. I'm riding a black Heckler and probably a red windbreaker. I'm riding from home in south San Jose and so you may see me riding down Old Almaden as you drive there.

I'll PM you my cell phone number, which may or may not work at Hacienda, but certainly will work before I get there.

If anyone else is coming, make a post or PM now and I'll look for you. I'll check before leaving in the AM.

Also, Stripes confirmed she's joining the band at Hicks Rd. to go out and back on Woods Trail.
 

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Not much warm up

If you are starting from the parking lot and going up Hicks you will have about 5-10 minutes of warm up before you hit the climbing on Hicks....not ideal, especially when it is going to be maybe 50F outside.....nice.
 

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F.P. said:
If you are starting from the parking lot and going up Hicks you will have about 5-10 minutes of warm up before you hit the climbing on Hicks....not ideal, especially when it is going to be maybe 50F outside.....nice.
The parking lot IS the top of Hicks - no more climb on Hicks is possible. So I assume you mean starting the climb on Mt. Umunhum Rd? We're probably going to skip that loop up to Bald Mt. So from Hicks, we'll be starting almost level on Woods around 10:30.

I hope to keep moving and warm up quickly whatever way we go. Myself, I'll be toasty from having rode 1500' up Quicksilver first. Should be in the 50s anyway. When I rode in NJ, anything over 50F is when I broke out the T-shirt.
 

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Larry,

I am breaking out my cold weather gear and plan to join up at Hacienda. Look for a bundled up old guy on a blue Titus.

Ted
 
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