My weekly ramble
John Nicholas Trail
Again my ramble was not a walk and talk, but a ride & talk. In fact, it was my first mountain bike ride ever. I can hardly believe that’s true, but it is. I’ve been a recreational cyclist for a few years now, but I really never rode a mountain bike in my entire life. And now I realize that I missed out big time! One of my friends here in San Jose kept asking me for a while if I wanted to go for a MB ride with her. There was always something else going on, but last Friday we finally did it. I could borrow her husbands (awesome) MB bike and she put flat pedals on it, since I don’t have MB shoes either.
We drove down Hwy 17 towards Santa Cruz, taking exit Bear Creek Road and then turned left on Black Road. You pass Blackridge Vineyard, Lakeside Elementary School and a bunch of Christmas Tree farms on the way up to the trailhead.
We’ve actually come up here the last three years to get our christmas tree, too. Apparently that’s a thing here. If you go to Santa Cruz on the weekend after Thanksgiving, you’ll see loads of cars with a tree on the roof coming down the hill. It’s quite a show.
Anyway, we parked and got ready to ride. The trail is called John Nicholas Trail and the first part is a flat trail about 1.5 miles to the Lake Ranch Reservoir. I actually knew the trail because we’ve hiked it a couple years ago with the whole family. It is an easy and very pleasant hike. We rode to the reservoir and saw some mystical morning fog.
You ride along the reservoir and then the trail starts going uphill. We rode about 4 miles up until a service road, not all the way up until Skyline Boulevard. The trail leads you across a few bridges, along a creek and it has several switchbacks. Some of them more, some less challenging. Well, I’m a beginner on the MB, so it was more challenging for me 😉 I’d say about 2/3 up the trail you get to a rather big, impressive rock.
On the trail are several benches to take a break, which was really nice. You’re suppose to have good views, too, but we only got this.
Well, and then there was that:
I called it the Vehicle in the Woods = VW.
Did you know these?
Found. On. The. Road. Dead. FORD
Or this one?
Fix. It. Again. Tony. FIAT
I didn’t. But my friend did.
Our ride was 11 miles in total with an elevation of about 1,400 feet. You can find more details about the mountain bike trail here.
Looking for other useful links I just found this incredibly beautiful video about the John Nicholas trail from Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers. You have to watch it! I can’t believe that I’ve been living here for eight years and I’ve never done that before. This ride is probably one of my highlights of 2016 already. Thanks, M.!
What is your favorite ride? What’s your best cycling post? I’m looking forward to your comment!