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Saturday, November 19: Three Sisters and Wetlands Park, 36 miles

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Horizon Ridge and Lake Las Vegas (2/28/2014)

Date: Saturday, February 28
Meet time: 9:00 a.m.
Ride-out time: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting place: Fiesta Henderson, 777 West Lake Mead Parkway (map)
City: Henderson, Nevada
Rain policy: Rain cancels
Pace: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 2 - rolling hills
Miles: 37


Enjoy this sampler of the southeast valley as we climb a few moderate hills, enjoy some wonderful downhills, and savor some of the area's magnificent scenery.

From our starting point near the 215/515 junction, we'll start gently downhill on the Union Pacific Railroad Trail and follow it into the Green Valley area. Then we'll gradually gain a couple hundred feet up to Horizon Ridge Parkway and, after about 12 miles of warmup, we'll do our longest climb of the day: the 1.3-mile ascent of Horizon Ridge up to Horizon Drive. The grade averages a very reasonable 4%, and there are only a couple of slightly steeper sections, so feel free to take your time. And what's waiting at the top? A rest stop at Starbucks, of course!

Next, we'll head back to the Union Pacific trail and take it very gently upward to the end of the paved section, and then we'll cut over to the River Mountains Trail for the long, gradual descent back into the valley ... with the added fun of a couple of very short but somewhat steep (both uphill and downhill) little bumps along the way. We'll continue our descent into the Lake Las Vegas area, and we'll take a brief water and toilet stop at Terrazza Park before heading back on the new section of Galleria Drive before our last little gentle climb of about 200 feet back to the Fiesta.

Ride With GPS reports about 1,850 feet of climbing for this ride. Toilets, water, and a Starbucks (of course) are available inside the Fiesta. Park and meet in the rear parking lot partway up the hill on Fiesta Henderson Blvd., near the train tracks.

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Quadrophenia #4: Emerald Hills Plus (2/21/2015)

Date: Saturday, February 21
Meet time: 9:00 a.m.
Ride-out time: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting place: Stevenson Elementary School, 750 San Pierre Way (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Rain cancels
Pace: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 3 - rolling hills, some steep climbs
Miles: 45


For most cyclists who venture into the Emerald Hills area of Redwood City, there's just one well-known way -- Jefferson Avenue -- up and over the hills to and from Cañada Road. But here at Quadrophenia, as you've already come to expect, we aren't content to travel the same old routes. Today's ride features a hilly, scenic, low-traffic alternative to Jefferson. And because we're Quadrophenia, that's just one tiny piece of the out-of-the-way climbing and descending we'll be doing today.

We start easy enough with a no-hassle jaunt along Foothill Expressway and past the Stanford campus to Sand Hill Road. But then the fun begins in earnest as we venture into the Sharon Park area for Lassen Drive (0.2 mile, 10%) and Tioga Drive to Sharon Hills Park. Now suitably warmed up, we eventually make our way back to Sand Hill Road and across I-280 to our first rest stop at Roberts Market in Woodside.

We're just getting started. Next, we start descending Highway 84, but we turn off partway down for Southgate Drive (0.2 mile, 10%) and a tour of some of the more secluded, hidden mansions of Woodside. After making our way to Alameda de las Pulgas, we start climbing again, this time up the aptly-named High Road (0.7 mile, 7%), which rewards us with a gloriously gentle descent (1.1 miles, -5%) back to Alameda de las Pulgas.

Now it's time for today's star attraction, which gets your attention right away. Most folks take a right turn onto Brewster Avenue, but we'll take a left instead because, well, because it's there (0.1 mile, 11%). A gentle climb up Oak Knoll Drive takes us to the surprising oasis of the Emerald Hill Country Club (no public facilities), from which we begin the main climb up Oak Knoll and Hillcrest Way (1.2 miles, 6%, but many steeper parts). After bumping up against the scenic edge of the Edgewood Park and Nature Preserve, we descend the hidden, narrow Glencrag Way (0.7 mile, -7%) to Cañada Road, which takes us to our second rest stop, again at Roberts Market in Woodside.

Sure, we'll do Mountain Home Road and Portola Road mostly because we have to, but we have some special fun waiting as well. We'll start to do a reverse Westridge Drive, but we'll turn off and instead take Cervantes Road and its wall (0.5 mile, 9%) to the top of Westridge. After the steep descent of Westridge (0.7 mile, -11%, watch for the stop sign at the bottom), we'll finish the last nine miles with a surprise-free ride through the Arastradero Nature Preserve and back through Palo Alto. The dessert tray awaits!

Ride With GPS reports about 3,100 feet of climbing for this ride. Toilets and water are available nearby at Stevenson Park; Safeway and Jack In The Box are a half-mile away at Shoreline Blvd.

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Quadrophenia #3: Secret Saratoga (rescheduled for 2/14/2015)

Date: Saturday, February 14
Meet time: 9:00 a.m.
Ride-out time: 9:30 a.m.
Meeting place: Stevenson Elementary School, 750 San Pierre Way (map)
City: Mountain View
Rain policy: Rain cancels
Pace: 2 - moderate pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 3 - rolling hills, some steep climbs
Miles: 40


Here at Quadrophenia, we don't believe in doing the same old routes that you've probably seen dozens of times and can probably ride in your sleep (but please don't try it). Sure, we're just going to Saratoga today (with a little bit of Los Gatos thrown in), but our destinations include some places where fewer than 100 Strava cyclists have ever traveled and where the Street View car has never ventured ... and that's rare around these parts.

The day starts innocently enough with a quick trip into Stevens Canyon and up the well-known easy side of Mount Eden Road (0.7 mile, 7%). But we'll get down the other side by using Villa Oaks Lane (0.3 mile, -12%) and the gated part of Quarry Road. Then we'll use the fabled "Inside Passage" of side streets to head toward Saratoga Village, and climb back out on Stoneridge Drive and Bank Mill Road (0.4 mile, 11%) before taking a short segment of Highway 9 back into the village for our first rest stop at, of course, Starbucks.

After refueling, we'll climb to scenic Villa Montalvo (0.6 mile, 5%) and then ride Austin Way, the last remaining public brick road in Santa Clara County. This takes us to the secluded combo of Lancaster Road and Matilija Drive (0.6 mile, 7%) followed by the descent on Greenwood Lane, a rolling and narrow country lane that's scarcely as wide as a normal bike path. Another quiet climb then awaits on Laurel Drive (0.3 mile, 5%). That takes us to Quito Road, so it's all easy from there, right? Hardly!

We'll start down Sobey Road and Chester Avenue, but then we'll turn onto the little-known Gypsy Hill Road, which takes us into a deep ravine, a gated path, and a crispy climb back out on Crisp Avenue (0.1 mile, 13%). We've then earned a leisurely spin through some quiet side streets of Saratoga and a second rest stop.

We could take the easy way back from Saratoga (and you're welcome to do so if you wish), but that would be boring. Our biggest challenge of the day still awaits! The, um, Comer Climbpocalypse is listed as 0.5 mile at 12%, but that amazingly includes an intermediate descent. (Quadrophenia veterans might recall that we did this in the opposite direction last year.) The views from the hill are so amazing, however, that you might even forget how steep it is. (Nawwww, you won't forget.) It's a screaming descent (0.2 mile, -14%) down into the Parker Ranch area, where we'll descend gently on Prospect Road, do the McClellan Road bump just for fun, and then return to Mountain View the way we came on Foothill and Miramonte.

Ride With GPS reports about 2,900 feet of climbing for this ride. Toilets and water are available nearby at Stevenson Park; Safeway and Jack In The Box are a half-mile away at Shoreline Blvd.

Click here to RSVP now
RSVPs are recommended but not required.