Archive for the 'Club Rides' category

San Bruno Mountain 12/11/11, by John Pugliese

| December 21, 2011 10:19 pm

Upon arrival at the Belmont Park N Ride by 7:30 am in temperatures in the high thirties, I  wondered who’d show up for the 8am ride when  Vince Cummings, Alison Chaiken, Tom Mac, Christine Nguyen, Stuart Wallace, John Blaine and guest Brice Wu showed up to conquer a day of climbing, which turned out to be pretty nice… 

62 miles, 5600 ft of climbing and a 39-57 degree F temperature range…pretty nice.


Initially I was shooting for an 85-105 mile route, but the shorter days, questionable weather and big climbs suggested a good December route of 65 miles.  Unfortunately, I had expected rain so I neglected to carry my camera.   Since the elevation profile above nicely depicts the goats, I’ll summarize:

Sneath Lane Sweeney Ridge

This was my first time on this 5-rated, three mile goat.  It’s a nicely paved trail up to an ‘abandoned military base’, but has placards depicting some sort of Nike Anti-ballistic missile action from the Cold War.

Sweeny Ridge in particular can be found here:

Manor Drive!

This may have been the last time to get credit for climbing the safe and (in)sane Manor Drive in Pacifica.  Although I’ve never seen traffic on it and it’s now nicely paved, it has been removed to make room for impressive goats like Stevens Canyon (560ft in 5.5 mi), as opposed to the wimpy 570 ft. in 1.2 miles (per RideWithGPS) .  To quote newbie Brice, “I never need to do that again.”

San BrunoMountain

This is always a fun goat due to its steady grade and views from the top of Radio Road:

Brice Wu, Stuart Wallace and Alison Chaiken at Radio RdSummit:

After descending San BrunoMountain, most of the crew opted to stop for lunch.  Appreciating the early day, Tom and I continued to the trail back to the Belmont Park N Ride. 

Millie’s Wild Ride: December 1, 2011 by Bryan Shaner (with help from Millie Kitchin and Ray Persico)

| December 9, 2011 8:35 am

As we pulled into the parking lot on Summit Road, Millie and Angel didn’t look like they were planning on actually getting on their bicycles and riding.  You couldn’t blame them:  it was cold and although the worst of the wind had blown through the night before, it was still gusting pretty strongly.  We knew there were power outages probably from trees falling across power lines, but the sun was out and my body really needed those endorphins. So with some reluctance Millie donned her garb and led us down Soquel San Jose Road. 

It was cold, but the wind wasn’t too bad and there was only an occasional branch to dodge.  We stopped at Casalegno’s Market to get warm.  The locals told us we shouldn’t be out riding in the mountains today, but they were heading out to pick wild mushrooms.  Heck, if they were headed out into the mountains, so could we, so we headed down Laurel Glen. Maybe the locals were right.  There was a lot more debris on the road, and then Ray got a flat.  As we stood around watching Ray, we looked up and saw the trees whipping around in the wind and started to get a little spooked.  Then as we got started a fellow in a car told us that the road ahead (Branciforte) was closed.  We weren’t ready to turn back and call it a day, so we decided to venture on and see how closed it was.  Sure enough, there was a tree at a 45 degree angle resting against a power line, and even though the tree seemed to be pretty well supported, it wasn’t until two PG&E workers sauntered up the road directly under the tree and told us we could go through (at our own risk) that we threw caution to the wind (which was still pretty strong) and ventured on.  The tree had only fallen half an hour ago, so there had been enough car traffic earlier to knock the worst of the fallen branches out of the way along Branciforte. 

The road was more cluttered as we turned up Granite Creek, and the sound of cracking tree limbs got us up that goat in record time.  As we pulled into Scotts Valley, once again luck was on our side.  Starbucks had been closed due to an power outage, but opened up just as we were trying to figure out somewhere else to go to get warm.  After a nice long time warming up inside and out, I was very tempted to call my wife and see if she wanted to drive over to Scotts Valley for a little shopping, and by the way, would you bring the bike rack.  But by this time our small band had formed that type of bond that comes with facing adversity together, and desertion was not an option.  I wasn’t looking forward to Mt. Charlie but had no idea how hard it was going to be to get there. 

The wind decided to stop gusting and start blowing steadily – right in our faces.  We took turns drafting on Glenwood, but I was still so tired by the time we got to the turn off that I just shifted down into my 32 and hoped my legs would keep moving.  Things seemed to be going pretty well up Mt. Charlie until we heard the unmistakable sound of a chainsaw.  And sure enough,  around the next turn we saw a huge tree blocking the road.  But the fellow with the chainsaw was making pretty quick work of the tree, and in not too many minutes we had an opening large enough to carry our bikes through.  The trip back on Summit was uneventful except for some pretty strong cross winds here and there.  But we lingered a bit after getting back to our cars maybe just to celebrate the fact that we had all survived Millie’s Wild Ride.


Four 6’s and a Taste of Death Ride

| June 29, 2008 6:22 pm

by Franz Kelsch

I didn’t try to get into the Death Ride this year but was planning to do the Climb to Kaiser. With the high fuel costs and other things I lost interest in doing CTK and decided to try to do something equivalent with a club ride. There was a long distance training ride posted for Saturday, June 28th, led by Dave Zajac, that looked just right. ACTC is special amongst bike clubs because of the weekly rides that are often over 100 miles with a lot of climbing.

The group met at the Park N Ride in Los Gatos for a 7:30 start.  Brian C. grabbed a quick picture before we departed.


I moved out to the front for the gradual ascent along highway 9 from the parking lot. Suddenly David H. went whizzing by. So fast so soon? I pushed on and was able to catch him as the road leveled off and where his pace also leveled off. But that was enough to leave the rest of the riders behind so the two of us rode together until Russ S. met up with us on Foothill. The three of us climbed Page Mill for our first climb of the day. After reaching the top of Page Mill, David went his own way so Russ and I rode together for the rest of the ride.

When my family lived in Japan we noticed that they never sold things like tableware in groups of four but always in groups of five. We later learned why. In Japan the numbers 4 and 9 are considered unlucky. The number four is pronounced “Shi“. The word for death in Japanese is “Shin“, which sounds similar. So the thought came to me if I wanted something like the Death Ride we needed to do four of something and what better thing to do than climb four billy goats that had a rating of “6”, the most difficult rating. Page Mill is only rated a “5” so that would not count towards this goal.

Our first two rating “6” climbs were on the route, Jamison Creek followed by Alba. Jamison Creek was no problem but when we hit Alba that was a different story. I had brought my bike with a double crank and the climb up Alba with a 39/27 was killing me (appropriate for our taste of death ride). After descending back down Jamison Creek, we did the climb up China Grade. That gave us three “6’s”. At the beginning of the ride I had thought about doing Bolhman at the end to get the climbing on the ride that would be similar to doing the Death Ride. But the climb up  Alba gave me second thoughts. I have climbed Bolhman before with my double but that was when I was  a bit more fresh. Russ and I discussed it and each was hoping the other would bring some reason into the decision. So we took the easy way out (if there is such a thing on such a ride) and climbed Sanborn for our fourth “6” rated billy goat. I think that is the first time for me to do four “6’s” on one ride. I am sure others in the club may have done even more.

I ended up with 113 miles and 12,500 feet of climbing. The Death Ride is about 12 miles longer and another 2,000 feet of climbing so I would call this a taste of death ride. No drive to Markleville was needed and no entry fee required. Where else, other than ACTC, can you do such a club ride?

This shows the profile for the ride and the 6 billy goats we did.  Click to enlarge.

Tour de Franz – 3-22-2008

| March 18, 2008 12:00 pm

Tour de Franz

We had a large turn out to the Tour de Franz last year (the photo at the top of this website was taken on that ride). This year’s event will be on Saturday, March 22, to coincide when the tour founder reaches a new milestone (age wise). We will have three routes and two starting locations.

Lunch is going to be provided at the home of Franz and Ann Kelsch, in Gilroy. So please RSVP to Ann Kelsch. Check the ride schedule for information.

Take plenty of water and food. Lunch will not be for 57 miles for Route 3, 67 miles for Route 1 and 85 miles for route 2.

Route 2: Distance is 116 miles, 8,200 feet of climbing
Start: Meridan and Redmond, 7:30 for slower riders, 8:00 for faster riders
Route Sheet – 116 Miles (DOC)
Map and Profile – 116 Miles (PDF)

Route 1: Distance is 67 miles, 5,000 feet of climbing
Start: Home of Franz and Ann in Gilroy at 8:30
Route Sheet – 67 Miles (DOC)
Map and Profile for 67 Miles (PDF)

Route 3: Distance is 57 miles, 2,600 feet of climbing
Start: Home of Franz and Ann in Gilroy at 8:30
Route Sheet – 57 Miles (txt)

We should be at our house around 2:15 pm. If you are faster than that you can stop at the Starbucks in Gilroy (on the route) at Wren and First Street, because you obviously need more caffeine.

Long Training Ride to Junction

| March 8, 2008 7:58 pm

By Franz Kelsch

Today was a long distance training ride. The route started at the normal location and headed down to Bailey and then up Metcalf. I biked from my home and met up with Gary F. in Morgan Hill, timing it so we would meet the other riders on Metcalf. Four of us were route rebels and went off the published route after going up Metcalf. The great weather beckoned us to go up Quimby West. Then it beckoned us to to up Mt. Hamilton to the summit. We decided, why not go out to the junction for lunch. Three of us then descended down the backside of Mt. Hamilton and biked the 19 miles out to the junction cafe.

This would make a great long distance training ride route for the future. I biked from my home in Gilroy but a start in San Jose at Redmond and Meridian would end up with a good distance with a lot of climbing.

This chart show the climbs for the entire route. They are plotted against time so the slope should be a constant if I am climbing at an even rate in terms of feet per minute. You can see my heart rate never went that high because I was holding back on the climbs due the long distance I had to go. Click the graph to enlarge.

HR and Elevation Graph for Long Distance Training ride on 3-8-08

When I finally made it home just before dark I had logged 141 miles and 12,700 feet of climbing. I believe of all the training rides I have done this was both the longest and had the most climbing. It made for very good training ride for Devil Mountain Double since we had to do the backside of Mt. Hamilton after about 90 miles and and considerable climbing already. For DMD it is usually not the early climbs up Mt. Diablo and Morgan Territory, but the backside of Mt. Hamilton that takes it’s toll.

LDTR Ride Report

| February 3, 2008 2:42 pm

by Franz Kelsch

With the varying weather I was wondering if anyone would show up for the Long Distance Training Ride scheduled for Saturday, February 2nd. I really didn’t want to miss doing a long ride on Saturday so decided to drive up to the ride start at Landess and Morril. I was a bit surprised that there were 16 riders who also showed up.

We all headed out at 8 am under cloudy, but dry, conditions. It was a good opportunity to do the new Old Calaveras Billy Goat. David took off in his normal fast fashion while I was struggling to keep up. The a new rider, by the name of Mike, came up by me. Later I found out he was the fellow who was taking pictures at the Pet the Goat spot on the Devil Mountain Double last year.

We then headed up Calaveras and it was David and myself. We were moving fast, up to 27 mph on the flatter sections. Mike caught us after we passed Welch Creek road and then we saw Craig. The four of us plowed on but I was feeling the pain of the fast pace. David them mentioned that he was cutting the ride short and was going to turn around at about 25 miles. I thought, gee I should have let him do ALL the pulling. After David turned back I tried to keep up with Mike and Craig for awhile but after another 5 miles I decided I needed to back off. I was then caught in no man’s land, riding by myself for the rest of the ride.

There was some rain, but nothing real heavy, as I was going over the Altamont Pass. Then it cleared while I went up Patterson Pass. On the way back I was biking into a strong headwind, which explained the fast pace on the way out. I kept thinking it would be nice to draft behind big Mike M. but I was not sure how far back the rest of the riders were and I was worried about getting caught in the rain, so I plugged on. It was all bringing back memories of the Devil Mountain Double, but the weather was much cooler this time.

On the way back over Calavares it seemed twice as long as on the way out. I finally made it back to the ride start at 3:30, not long before many other riders were returning. I should have waited longer for the train to catch me so I could have drafted with the headwind. Oh well, it was good training, I guess. I ended up with 98 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing.

Mercy, Mercy by Franz Kelsch

| October 21, 2007 11:42 am

You can tell that fall is in the air. Not the real cool temperatures as some parts of the country, but still much cooler than the long and warm summer we have enjoyed. We decided to go on one of the club rides on our tandem that started in Paicines, about a 25 mile drive from our home. The route took us on a beautiful Panoche road with very little traffic. Panoche Rd. was originally a stage coach route used by many of the early California pioneers in particular those people that were doing business with the nearby, New Idria (Quicksilver) mine.

About 24 riders showed up for this annual club ride. Besides Ann and I on the tandem, there were another four tandem pairs.

ACTC Riders

The first 10 miles is mostly flat, with some rollers, then there is about 7 miles of climbing, nothing real steep but it all adds up. Then it is down to the valley and a strong tail wind that took us at speeds in excess of 30 mph to the Panoche Inn. This Inn is about the only thing out in this area. No fall colors to see, unless the sagebrush can be counted.A check of the flag at the Inn showed the strong tail wind we had enjoyed so far.

Panoche Inn

With 27 miles already in, we had the option to ride out to New Idria or Mercey Hot Springs. I rode the New Idria route in August and the road is real rough. The group we were with decided on the later option so we headed out the 8 miles to Mercey Hot Springs. The Hot Springs was known about by native Indians and was shown to a man “John N. Merci” who acquired the land for the purpose of raising sheep. Merci, who had his name changed to “Mercy” to be more Americanized, sold the property in 1912 to Frederick Bourn, a San Francisco based real estate developer who is responsible for the construction of many of the building still existing today and now being renovated by the current owners.

Ann and Franz at Mercey Hot Springs

Some of the guys from the south county that I ride with for both road and mountain bikes were with us so Ann took this photo of our group. Where is Chuck?

Jim, Kley, Franz, Doug and Eric at Mercey Hot Springs

Paul, my team mate for the Furance Creek 508 was also there.

Franz and Paul

We then headed back to the Panoche Inn. On the way there Ann took from the back of the tandem of John.


We were all hunger for lunch when we made it back to the Inn.

Panoche Inn

It is an interesting Inn inside. There must be about a thousand one dollar bills that people have signed and pinned to the wall and ceiling.

Inside Panoche Inn

The strong tailwind we had enjoyed on the way out meant a strong headwind returning. Going into a headwind on the tandem is not quite as hard as on a single bike because you have the power of two to fight against the wind but the wind drag of only one person. Ann continued to take some photos from the back of the tandem on the way back. We first past Thompson’s who had stopped to take some pictures.


We then came upon Greg and Rita.

Greg adn Rita

We ended up with 71 miles by the time we finished. It was a very nice ride.

Click here to see a slide show of all the above photos plus more.