Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Aromas, CA to San Jose, CA
46 miles (4272 total miles)

We started out with an interesting little adventure today. Last night as we were going over the route with Seth & Jane, we realized there was a part of our route that might not really exist. At least, Seth didn't think it existed and Google Earth was a little fuzzy at that point. Seth was also worried that the alternative, going on Hwy. 101 at that point, meant that we would go over a bridge with no shoulder, which could be dangerous if there was a lot of traffic. So, after a delicious breakfast with Seth & Jane, we started off. At the end of their road, we turned onto Anzar Road, named after the famous Juan Bautista de Anza that we had seen signs about since we got to California. It turns out that Seth knows the grandson of this guy, who owned a large parcel of land in the area (given to him by the king of Spain). Much of the land had been parceled out since those days, but the grandson still had part of the original grant. Seth also told us that the San Andreas Fault ran along that road, but we didn't feel anything shift while we were on it. When we turned off onto San Juan Highway, the interesting part began. It started off as a normal looking 2-lane road, but then got a little rougher. After a bit, we got to a point where it was packed dirt and looked like a private road belonging to a gravel company located there. The Road Closed sign was a little discouraging, too. But we decided to see where it led, and soon came to a very narrow hump beyond which there were only trees. To our right was what looked like a parking lot for the gravel company, so we didn't venture there (although looking again at Google Earth afterwards, it looked like there might have been a road leading out of that which would have taken us where we were trying to go - who knows). So we backtracked and went onto Hwy. 101 which turned out not to be so bad - the traffic was light enough and the bridge was short enough that we managed to get over it without getting into anyone's way. We saw a frontage road to our right before we turned off the highway, which is what we thought we should be on, but couldn't figure out how we could have gotten onto it.

At any rate, we got off 101 at the next exit, onto something called Y Road. It also started out pretty innocently, and then got rougher. It meandered through dirt roads that looked like they were mostly traveled by tractors from the farms we went through. The surface wasn't too bad, though, and we managed to keep up a fairly decent pace. We eventually got onto Highway 25 and things were normal from then on. From Hwy. 25, we turned onto Bolsa Rd. and passed several fields, many of which had groves of cherry trees, loaded with cherries. We got a strong whiff of garlic and, sure enough, we soon came into the town of Gilroy, garlic capital of the world (Seth works in Gilroy and had told us about it's claim to fame). Gilroy turned out to be a charming town. We stopped for a snack at Sue's Cafe, had some great smoothies, and started off again only to discover the back tire was flat. We pulled off and took the bike apart to fix the flat and decided the tire itself needed to be tossed - it was getting quite threadbare. It had lasted us about 3600 miles, though, which seemed pretty decent. We also took the opportunity to use one of our new thorn-resistant inner tubes, so we'll see how they do.

After Gilroy, things were pretty tame. Bolsa Rd. became Monterey St. on which we stayed for the rest of the day. We passed through a number of smallish towns - San Martin, Morgan Hill, Coyote - until we got into the town limits of San Jose. Morgan Hill was the largest and nicest of the small towns and had an interesting downtown area. We could tell when we got to San Jose because the street widened to 6 lanes. The traffic wasn't too bad, although it got progressively busier as we went. We saw a decent looking motel at the fringes of where we expected the motel rates to get very high, and pulled in for the night.

We ended the day at 46 miles in a little less than 4-1/2 hours of bike time, having left around 8:10 and arrived at about 4. It was an easy riding day, flat roads, just a little cool, but sunny, not too much wind. Tomorrow, we finally get to San Francisco, where we will spend a week - something we've been looking forward to for quite a while. Don't worry, we won't neglect our blog - we'll have some nice shots of San Francisco to post, I'm sure.

Kelsey, Seth & Jane's daughter, who just turned 18 and graduated from high school

Pat, Jane, and Seth at the breakfast table

Jane and Seth

Jane takes our picture before we head off

The long ocnveyor belt that went under Anzar Road, carrying gravel from a quarry

A view of Anzar Road

A marshy area off Anzar

Hills and farm fields

More distant hills, including Mount Fremont (the tallest peak), I believe

Workers laying irrigation pipes in a field

Another pretty view of hills

Anzar High School, off San Juan Hwy.

Here's where we saw the Road Closed sign but forged ahead

Here's where we stopped, deciding they were right about it being closed

On Hwy. 101, we come to the exit for Y Road

A view of Hwy. 101

We take the exit, noting that there was a frontage road to the side

Y Road gets pretty narrow and a little rough

And then gets narrower and rougher still

We finally get to a wider part that's still packed dirt and gravel

Looking back, having come from a point off to the right, near the line of trees

Back to a real road, Hwy. 25

Hwy. 25, nice shoulder, smooth road

Cherry tree off Bolsa Road, near Gilroy

Another field with seedlings sprouting out of plastic sheets

Our first sign that indicated we were in Gilroy

And our more official welcome

Oleander bushes line the middle of the street

A mural on the edge of town

Gilroy's downtown area

An interesting old building that had been converted into a store

Our welcome to Morgan Hill

A nearby hill which may be Morgan Hill

Some of the buildings downtown

A helicopter hovering over the hills

The brown, shrub-covered hills continue to run along the valley

More loaded cherry trees near Morgan Hill...

and a nearby fruit stand that sold them

Brown hills and hay ready for baling

Coyote's Grange Hall

A park and bike path along Coyote Creek

Quaint houses on the other side of the creek

Houses on the outskirts of San Jose

Wide sidewalks and pretty flowers along the road

Sign about a famous mercury mine 12 miles north of here

Monterey Road coming into San Jose

A housing development

A branch library