A big event for some of the bike party
birds is their annual ride of the Santa Clara County Line. Last year I
was barely aware of it going by, but it was clear that a lot of them
had a great time with it. Since Santa Clara County's perimeter is at
least 100 miles long, this isn't the kind of thing you roll out of bed
and do. Just training the support staff for the event is a big project.
This ride was one part training for the distance, and one part learning
the facilities available to us in the southern and western corner of
the county. It started at San Jose City Hall, late Sunday morning. I
got there while people were still gathering.
By the time we got to the first regroup
people were in a friendly mood. Something about riding together works
as a bonding experience.
I took the above pictures while we were
having a meeting. Yoshi was explaining the plan for the day, including
where the stops would be and where all the public rest rooms were along
the route. One of the critical points was that we would have to go many
miles without access to clean water. We all filled out bottles before
The road was two lanes with not much of
a shoulder for a long ways. We strung out and rode single file, with
the fastest among us getting way ahead of the slowest. Mostly for me
this part was riding with the scenery and the bird and insect noises,
with an occasional passing car. There were lots of plant smells. It was
a great feeling.
It was nice to see that there's lots of
water in this reservoir. Clearly it can hold a lot more, but it wasn't
painfully empty the way it was a couple of years ago.
I remember when Calpine was trying to
get permission to build that power plant. They had promised that it
wouldn't be an eyesore. I gotta say, I feel like San Jose swallowed a
major lie that time. You can see the thing from far, far, away. There
is nothing about it that blends in with the green hills this time of
year. Looks like an eyesore to me.
This regroup was not long after we got
back into the "civilized area". Still about as far south as San Jose's
urban area goes.
A lot of us that had gone to the
previous Friday's SFBP ride had these fresh green stickers on our
bikes, but Nona's is the one I photographed. Some of us had also done
the previous day's Animal test ride. Those people finished the weekend
with something like 120 miles of exercise to brag about.
Jill met us at the end. She was
probably there more to give tall Mike a ride home than anything else,
but since I'd never seen her in anything but spandex and a helmet I had
to take a picture.
That's not everybody, but it's
everybody that was still there ten minutes after we got to the end of
Enough of us went to eat Mexican food
together afterwards that we had to get creative figuring out bike
parking locks for everybody. We used every U-tube spot, the pole, every
corner of the scaffold holding up the tree, and there was also a glopt
of bikes that were mostly just weighing each other down. It was great
to eat and talk with people about it all. The food was good to. Thank
you to the Mexican restaurant on the corner of 6th & Santa Clara!
I'll be glad to eat there again.
When I came out of the restaurant Laura
was acting cold. I gave her my other shirt. It fit her like a tent, but
once she accesorized the outfit it looked good. That didn't take long
at all. I just browsed the Pittsburghese on this guys shirt and turned
around again and she was organized.
I didn't notice the cold myself until I got off my bike at the light
rail station and realized I had twenty minutes to wait in the fading
light. Rather than freeze I just got back on my bike and pedaled along
the route until I reached a stop just a couple of minutes before the
train was due. That solved the problem, even though my legs didn't want
to cooperate much. All's well that ends well, as they say.
The next day the only problem I'd developed was a sunburn on my arms.
Seems like six hours in short sleeves after a winter of raincoat
wearing didn't agree with them. It was a small price to pay for that