My first century: a tour of the SF South Bay

Trip Start Apr 13, 2013
Trip End Apr 13, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, April 13, 2013

I did it!!!! I met my Goal!!
I completed my first century (in miles) within my target time of 8 hours, to be specific the total time was 7 hours and 53 minutes and moving time  (time I actually biked was 7 hours and 9 minutes).....It was a great ride and had heaps of fun... so all in all a total success... 

My First Century (in miles) was the Tierra Bella Century put on by the Almaden Cycle Touring Club. The ride started and ended at the picturesque Galvin College.
The general route started up to the Hot Springs just outside Gilroy, then down to Canada road and then past Anderson Lake and up to Henry Coe Park, then down to Morgan Hill and over to Calero Park, though several country roads back to Galvin College.

    I started the ride, just before 7am at Galvin College. It was overcast a blessing for me as it would at least start cool. For the first ten miles, we rode up along Coyote creek to the Gilroy Hot springs. There was a thin film of fog and steam rising from the creek and small lagoons below the road, providing a rather atmospheric ride. 
     The Gilroy Yamato hot springs themselves are of historic significance, being discovered by a sheep herder, Francisco Cantua in 1865.  A hotel/resort was built near the springs in the 1970's and the first bathhouse using the hotsprings was built around 1890 and came into the height of it popularity in the 1920's after a larger pool and resort were built. At the end of the roaring 20's and during the depression, this place lost popularity and feel into disrepair. 
    In 1938 a Japanese Capitalist, Kyuzaburo Sakata bought this property and renovated it to target the growing Japanese population adding a Japanese Garden and Buddhist Shrine. Unfortunately, after Pearl Harbor Sakata along with most of the Japanese Americans. At this point, Sakarta's non-Japanese business associates carried on the business until Sakarta returned from the internment camp. The resort continued to operate until the late 60's at which time it was sold.
In 2003 these hot springs were purchased by the California State Parks and Rec , becoming part of the State Parks System
    After descending down the Hot Springs we rode through some lovely farmland, including a quick rest stop at Harvey Bear Park and wound our way to E. Dunne Ave, the road leading to Henry Coe State Park. E. Dunne Ave primarily climbs up with ranging incline grades of 3%-12% having an average of (guessing) 8% for 10 miles. So not too bad...especially with the occasional flat and even brief gentle descents. The road provides some exquisite vistas of Anderson lake below. It the traverses old oak forests and past meadows blanketed by wildflowers on the way to the top where ponderosa pines become the predominate companion to visitors.

Henry Coe State Park became a park in 1953 after being a private cattle ranch. With it's 6700 acres, it is one of the largest State Parks in California and the largest in Northern California. It is an ideal place for hiking, backpacking and mountain biking as well as road biking.

The ride then continues with a swift ride down Dunn into Morgan Hill. Crossing through Morgan Hill we leave the urban scene once again for Calero Park.  This park traverses oak woodlands and meadows along with encompassing a reservoir that is good for fishing. This region was once a part of the Pueblo lands.  Our next rest stop after the Coe Rest stop was located here. Luckily or unluckily as I was leaving the rest stop, my back tire was found to be flat.... and although I can easily change my own tire... after 75 miles of riding, letting the members of the ACTC at the rest stop change it for me was priceless.
 After a slight delay, I left this stop and skipped the last stop at Machado School and continued to the end with a slight tail wind to treat me on the last 10 miles of the ride.....
I arrived at Galvin College to a delicious post ride meal and shortly after arriving met by my family, Juan, Isabella, Lukas and my mother.
What a delightful end to a fabulous ride.  

The Alameden Cycle Touring club put on an excellent and well run tour of the South Bay, making for a an enjoyable ride. The food, the facilities, support and end of ride meal were all great.

General Statistics:
Distance: 101.6 miles
Elevation climbed:6740 feet
Moving Time:7 hours and 9 min
Total Time: 7 hours and 53 min
Average Temp: 64
Average Speed 14.2 mph
Average Cadence: 74 rev/min

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Caroline on

Congratulations Stephanie - looks like a beautiful ride!

Jean on

Congratulations! What a great feeling to have worked so hard and done it. Getting to see some of the beautiful parts of the State that you would normally never know about, is one of the great joys of biking. I hope this is not your last organized ride. You go girl!

sklitgord on

Thanks Caroline....It was wicked fun.

sklitgord on

Arigato Jean,

I couldn't agree more, as I think I have seen more of the Bay Area on my bike in the last year than I have with any other mode of transportation...It is just too much fun!

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