Two years ago I tried to do bike the limits but failed. The problem was that I got a flat tire about mile 81 that I wasn't ready to fix. I had to drop out. Ever since then I'd wanted to be able to say "I rode a 100 mile ride". San Jose Bike Party has an annual Bike The Limits Ride so this was a natural way to do it. This years route was 101 miles. I didn't sleep well the night before the ride, but I got there in plenty of time for the start.

Katie started things off by explaining that probably we'd get stretched out over the route, with everybody riding at their own pace. She acknowledged Mike for putting the route together. She reminded us that it would be a hot day so "drink water before you're thirsty and eat before you get hungry."


Maybe a few more people showed up after I took these pictures, but not that many. It was just a few minutes later that the ride started, right about 8:00 AM.


We started by going south and west, headed in the general direction of Los Gatos. For the first ten or twenty miles we rode as a group, but during that time I was mostly struggling to keep up. Then we passed through a town center where some people stopped. After that I was on my own for a while. It wasn't that long before I was just following the directions on bike trails and scenic rural roads.



By this time it was a treat to see someone else on the ride. It was partly a relief that I was still on the right road, but also nice to see friends.


John and I settled on about the same pace somewhere in the Los Gatos area. We rode up Blossom Hill for miles and miles. We stopped at a Togos that was somewhere near mile 42. By this time my water bottles were empty and I was hungry. Yeah, I'd had a big breakfast but that was many miles ago already.


Anthony joined us not that long after lunch. He to was planning to go the distance. We stopped briefly on the Mary St. bicycle bridge.


By this time we were on Foothill Expressway or Junipero Sierra. Didn't enjoy passing this construction site. Felt mashed in with the cars. :-( It was the nearest thing to something to complain about on the whole route, which made it a very good route. There were no mistakes in the directions anywhere.


The next place we took pictures was the top of the Dumbarton Bridge. By this time my face was feeling the sun.


We got to this stop just as the Biker Chicks and their friends were leaving.


When I put a link to this page on facebook Nat wrote: "It looks like everyone saw the couple & their mother/mother-in-law at the water stop in the refuge after the bridge. I wonder what their version of the afternoon's events were. "First came some tall riders in Rapha, then more in regular spandex but still on road bikes, then the circus came with all sorts of bikes and outfits and cameras on their heads.""

The guy in the black got to the stop just as we were leaving...


More beautiful trails...



Somewhere on Piedmont Tony felt the call of home. He was near there, his knee hurt, and that was it. We found out later that if you include his preride to get to the start he to had gone 100 plus miles that day. For us that milestone was still in the future. John and I kept pedaling.


We stopped briefly to admire IzBelle's artwork on this utility box.


By this time I was wondering if we'd get done before dark.

This is our official "finishers" picture. Thank you Jarek! It was about 7:35 PM.


That pizza tasted so good! Nice to see other riders again to. There were quite a few other riders there when we got there, but it took me a while to recover enough that I wanted to take pictures. By then the crowd was a lot thinner. Many had finished as much as two or three hours before we did.

Meanwhile, Mario and Rob watched bikes and kept a lookout for more finishers. After a while it started to look like John and I were the last of the people who completed the whole loop.