It's a little tricky to get to Black Road from my house in the Almaden area. First, I took the familiar route to downtown Los Gatos, over Blossom Hill road. Then I rode down the Los Gatos creek trail, which was uneventful except that, for the first time I can remember, my road bike's wheels spun out on the steep little ramp near the dam, and I had to walk the bike up. I guess the path is getting a little dusty this late in the dry season.
|On the Leniham dam, looking north toward Los Gatos|
|The path to I-17|
The tricky part comes after the climb up the dam to Alma Bridge Road, next to the Lexington Reservoir. Basically I want to get to the Bear Creek overpass over I-17, but Alma Bridge Road ends a few hundred yards north of the overpass. So I can either ride the wrong way on I-17 (doesn't seem wise), go the long way around the reservoir (too lazy for that), or (and here's the tricky part) ride up the dirt path between I-17 and the reservoir.
I've been on that path before, coming the other way, but at that point it was muddy and I was on my mountain bike. I knew that the path would be dry after months of no rain, but I was pleased to find that it was in fine shape, even for my road bike.
|Trees still flooded in Lexington Reservoir|
|Looking north from Black Road to many other climbs|
around Los Gatos
|Affordable digs on Black Road|
In this section the road bends around quite a bit and, on this Sunday at least, it had much less traffic. The woods are dense and the road is largely shaded, making for a pleasantly cool ride on this nice warm day. This all made for glorious seclusion, the quiet spoiled only by the wheezing and panting of a lone cyclist (specifically: me).
At about 1900 feet is an entrance to Sanborn County Park. The trail here is labeled the John Nicholas Trail, but on maps it's called Sanborn Road, and apparently links up with Congress Springs, aka Route 9. Unfortunately bicycles aren't allowed.
|Black Road climbing through the woods|
|Skyline, looking west|
The Garmin gave me 36 miles and 3270 feet of climbing, which I think should have been closer to 2600.