Palo Alto Online Database last updated: Monday, May 6, 2013.|
Biking (see also Getting Around)
963 Fremont Ave., Los Altos. Skyline Cycling Club rides Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Free maintenance clinics every other Saturday. Travel-case and tandem-bike rentals, bike tours, repair classes and clinics. Open Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Service opens at 8 a.m. Mon-Sat). Call 650-948-8092 for sales; 650-948-8126 for service.
This mostly flat road (pronounced Kan-ya-da) parallels I-280 for 7.3 miles from Woodside Road to Hwy. 92, past such scenic attractions as the Filoli Estate and the Pulgas Water Temple. Bike lanes accommodate riders for the entire length. On most Sundays the road is closed to auto traffic 9 a.m.-3 p.m. from Edgewood Road to Hwy. 92, creating an ideal refuge for cyclists and in-line skaters. Call 650-361-1785, San Mateo County Bicycle Sunday Info Line.
Kings Mountain Road
Beginning out of Woodside, Kings Mountain Road provides a good route to reach Skyline. The climb is 4.3 miles long with numerous switchbacks and climbs 1,540 feet. Weekend traffic is heavy compared to the weekdays, but the scenery is always worth it.
Old La Honda Road
This narrow, winding road is the easiest and most peaceful way to climb to Skyline or ride to the coast. Access is from Portola Road, less than a mile after it merges with Sand Hill Road. The climb is a 3.5-mile ascent of a narrow, winding road, climbing 1,700 feet. Descending the road is tricky, however, and not recommended. Take Hwy. 84 instead. Call 650-328-7411, Palo Alto Bicycles.
Page Mill Road - Kings Mountain
By far the most strenuous climb around, Page Mill Road twists and turns 7 miles from the valley floor to Skyline Boulevard, where it tops out around 2,000 feet. This is a killer, especially on a hot day. From 1900 Park Blvd., Palo Alto, driving distance is 38.3 miles. Time: 2 hours, 47 minutes.
Woodside-Portola Valley Loop
This local favorite is a 26-mile loop of flat to mildly hilly terrain. The total climb is 1,170 feet. This route heads southwest from I-280 along Sand Hill Road and a right at Manzanita Way. Then turn left onto Olive Hill Lane and weave through until a right on Kings Mountain Road. Next, a quick left onto Tripp Road that turns into Woodside Road and finally into Portola Road. On the final legs of the trip take a left on Alpine Road that veers into Arastradero Road/Page Mill Road. To complete the loop go right on Junipero Serra Boulevard until it meets up with Sand Hill Road.
Bike to Work Day
Mtn. View. The city of Mountain View participates in an annual Bay Area wide Bike to Work Day in May. Several locations in Mountain View will have energizer stations that offer refreshments, giveaways and bicycling information. Call Public works at 650-903-6311.
What really makes this area a haven for cyclists is the abundance of nearby routes that offer something for everyone, from competitive pedal-pushers to recreational riders. Here are some of the better-known foothill and valley bike routes:
Santa Clara County Parks
298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos. Santa Clara County offers 28 regional parks with dedicated bike-friendly trails. There are many opportunities for the biker who loves a rugged ride, as well as for those who prefer smoother, paved roads and paths. Call 408-355-2200 (Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m., no holidays).
Shoreline at Mountain View
Mtn. View. This 750-acre sanctuary for wildlife and migratory birds, including endangered species, is interlaced with a network of 8 miles of paved pedestrian and biking trails at the north edge of the park. To the west, trails link up with the Palo Alto Baylands. On the east of Stevens Creek, visitors can travel to Crittenden Marsh (owned by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District) and San Francisco Bay, which contains wildlife, native grasses and gravel paths. Call Shoreline Park at 650-903-6392.
This road, in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Altos Hills, winds into the hills along Corte Madera Creek from Portola Valley. It turns to dirt when it starts to climb, a couple miles west of Portola Road. The rutted dirt road climbs 2.5 miles before it merges with Page Mill Road near Skyline. Total loop is 18 miles, rising 2,540 feet and lasting about three hours.
Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
330 Distel Circle, Los Alto. There are 16 open space preserves that have approximately 150 miles of trails open to mountain bikes. Before heading out, check the district's trail conditions and seasonal closures information by phone or email. Call 650-691-1200.
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve
Page Mill Road, This huge open-space preserve, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, above Los Altos Hills, has a combination of fire roads and single track trails totaling 15.5 miles. The preserve's main entrance is on Page Mill Road, 7 miles west of I-280 and 1.5 miles east of Skyline Blvd. size: 3,277 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
1530 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. Open grasslands, bay views, small lake. Single track, fire road 10.25 miles, 6.6 miles open all year, 3.6 open depending on season. Deer, bobcats, coyotes, variety of birds. Open 8 a.m. to sunset. Call 650-329-2423.
Rancho San Antonio
Cupertino. A preserve with 24.2 miles of trails owned by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District with diverse environments: oak woodland, creek and meadow, with abundant wildlife and views of the Bay Area. Deer Hollow Farm has turn-of-the-century buildings and a working farm. Bicycles allowed on designated trails from the county park entrance to Deer Hollow Farm. No dogs allowed. size: 3,988 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Russian Ridge and Coal Creek Open Space Preserves
Skyline Blvd., In the spring, this 3,137-acre preserve (Russian Ridge), in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Altos Hills, explodes with color from the native wildflowers. Dogs are not allowed in Russian Ridge. Coal Creek is 508-acre preserve with trails that combine for 2-3 mile loop. Dogs allowed in Coal Creek. size: 3,137 acres. Call 650-691-1200.
Santa Clara County Parks
298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos. Santa Clara County offers 125 miles of bike trails throughout 17 regional parks. Ten of those parks offer off-road trails, ranging from paved to rugged. Hellyer Park has unique 1/5 mile, banked, oval bicycle track. Call 408-355-2201.
(see also Open Space)
Bicycling is allowed in 16 of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District's 26 preserves, but only on clearly designated paths. Helmets are required at all times. A speed limit of 15 mph (5 mph when passing) is enforced. Call 650-691-2150 (trail conditions hotline).