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October 2015 Cycle California!

Mount Hamilton: Like Olympus, without the Gods

By Bo Crane

Mount Hamilton is San Jose's Mount Olympus, hovering with its white domes over Silicon Valley. For bicyclists, the road to the top provides a pantheon like Apollo to Zeus, providing distance, elevation, sun, shade, views, vales, science, stars and history. In just under 19 miles, you climb 4,500 feet above the valley floor highways into the pines.

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El Nino is coming! Be ready!

This winter is expected to be a very wet, El Nino one, but of course, that doesn't mean you stop riding your bike. Riding comfortably when you get caught in a downpour is easy -- as long as you're prepared. Here are a few equipment ideas.

  • At a minimum, make sure you have front and rear reflectors, and ideally, reflectors on the wheels of your bike. Most bikes come with reflectors, but if yours didn't, if you bought it used or they just fell off, find reflectors at your local independent bike shop and install them on your bike yourself.
  • An upgrade from reflectors are head- and taillights. Lights not only help you to see your way along the road, they also allow drivers to see you.
  • Already have battery-powered lights? Be sure to check that they work and that the batteries are fresh before you get out on the road. You just don't want to be caught in low light conditions without reflectors or lights.
  • Maintain that drivetrain! Lube your chain with a thicker grease. This helps protect the chain from the gritty conditions you get riding in wet weather. First, clean the chain and make sure it is dry. Then, squirt the thicker, more viscous grease onto the chain and make sure it gets into all the links.
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Onboard with Viva CalleSJ, the South Bay's Open Streets party

San Jose is generally considered an amorphous mass encompassing the tip of the San Francsico Bay to the south. Geographically huge, with millions of miles of roadway, most of the city is flat, just made for human-powered movement.

On October 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the city is holding Viva CalleSJ an open streets event, to celebrate its roads, cultural experiences, and showcase some of its formerly rural, farming community history. Viva CalleSJ opens up six miles from from Downtown's St. James Park along Market and First Streets, past the Calle Willow Business District, and then east along Keyes/Story Rd. to Emma Prusch Farm Park.

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