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'Merge left out of bike lane; it's a trap!'

If you've looked at the route sheet for this Saturday's ride, you might have noticed an unusual instruction as we ride through Los Gatos on Blossom Hill Road. We've used this route many times before, but the incorrect lane markings invariably trap at least one or two cyclists and force them onto a sidewalk.

That's because, if you follow the striped bike lane past the school zone sign, it dead-ends onto the sidewalk just before the Highway 17 overcrossing. The proper thing to do is to merge left out of the bike lane and continue with the flow of traffic.

If you forget and get trapped anyway, it's not a big deal -- you can just dismount and take your bike back to the street. But I've decided to include this note on the route sheet for the first time, hoping that nobody will get trapped this year.

And near the end of the ride, when we turn onto Loyola Drive for the first time, we'll deal with an eight-way (!) intersection. Our route continues on Loyola, but you'll need to check the street signs carefully. Here's a hint: Of all the paths available, we'll be going up the steepest hill ... of course. Here's a picture:

See you Saturday!