Exploring Los Gatos’ Hills to Nowhere

Empty Cliff

After the past few rides on my Six13, it was far filthier than my ‘cross bike. So, Saturday morning I spent way longer than I should have making that baby shine good enough to park in front of any Los Gatos coffee shop with pride. A fresh roll of wanna-be white CSC/Cervelo bartape was the finishing touch. But of course, there’s nothing like a clean bike to make you want to get out there again…

A few days earlier, a conversation with the Superfred led to the suggestion to try Cypress Way, a “steep climb to nowhere” conveniently located off of Kennedy Rd. So, being a masochist, I took him up on the suggestion and headed into the foothills of Los Gatos to see it for myself.

Here’s me. I’m still smiling because I haven’t climbed it yet.
Hey Guys Let's Ride Bikes

A quick turn off from the bottom of Kennedy, onto South Kennedy before things start to get steep, then another left-hander onto Cypress puts you straight into the “good stuff”. A couple miles later, you’ll emerge to your reward: A water tower, and some spectacular views. I’ve seen more water towers in my life as a cyclist than I ever saw before… There’s definitely a correlation between arriving at a water tower and having put in some good work.

Nice Backyard

Next, I descended back to town and re-started my climb up Kennedy, this time going over the top and down to its junction with Hicks and Shannon. Santa Rosa Rd. was definitely on the menu that day, but as I sat at the top of Shannon with the horses, I wondered what lay ahead on Sky Ln.

Windmill on Sky

Sky Ln is a “private” drive that I had only partially rolled up in the past. It’s a nice low-traffic section of climbing with some neat scenery, and predictably ending in a dead-end…

Dead-end at Sky Ln, or...?

Or is it? Taking the right-hand path here leads you out…
IMG_1323

Into the wide-open!
And you're out in the open!

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was very close to another dead-end that I would soon arrive at from the other side: The highest point off of Santa Rosa Rd… But I was running a bit low on time, so I cut off the exploration of the big-empty-field-on-the-hill until next time. On the way down, a dog that had been barking at me on the way up had taken notice of me again. But this time, he actually came bolting out from the yard of his owner’s house! I hadn’t ever been involved in a dog sprint, and I didn’t have a frame pump on me, so I was initially unsure of what to do. Sticking my foot out seemed reasonable for about half a second, until I decided to just lay the hammer down and leave the angry dog in the dust.

Note: This is not the same dog, but I’m pretty sure he’d be chasing me too if his yard wasn’t so well-secured:
Los Perros of Los Gatos

Not a minute after congratulating myself on my first dog sprint, another dog chased me away from a different house! I acquitted myself well, and escaped the second time as well. Then, I burst out laughing.

Next up was Santa Rosa Rd!
Climbing Crossroads

I rode to the top, then above that, then checked out the dead-end. The GPS log would show that I was almost at the same place as I was earlier. But I had gotten here with so many more climbing and sprinting points, it would have almost been a shame to take the shortcut!

Seeing that I was running out of time, I decided to ask Mr. Garmin what the quickest way out from the Santa Rosa maze was. It actually told me to head down the road I was on, then turn right at “Alley.” It turns out that this “alley” was actually Fire Road Trail, a paved path off-limits to cars, and pretty darn fun as well.

Fire Road Trail

Despite my pristine clean bike, I eventually made it offroad, as always seems to happen…

Six13 always ends up offroad...

And I also discovered some mysteries that will need to be investigated in the future. If anybody has any idea what this huge “storage tank” in the ground is, or what that “Lombard Street” trail is, I’d love to know.

And that was it! A great day on the bike. Oh, here’s the GPS log and here’s the flickr photoset with a few more pictures.

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