North SMC group ride

I had a nice ride today with some friends up in the hills above Millbrae/San Mateo. We started at Millbrae Caltrain and went up Trousdale, which just about killed me. I rode up most of it, but walked a bit and had to stop I think four times. The grade is about 9% — pretty brutal. The view down to the bay is amazing, though.

Then we did something I’ve always wanted to try — and I’m sure my mom will have kittens when I tell her I did this — ride on I-280 in the “bikes permitted” section. (It was built on top of the original path of Skyline Blvd., so they fought not to lose the bike access because the alternatives are much more complicated.) It was only for one exit, and isn’t all that dangerous, since you don’t have to worry about merging, except at the bottoms of the exit ramps, where there are stop signs.

The next leg was Sawyer Camp Trail. It was a little busy, requiring us to keep our speed down so as not to injure any pedestrians, but it was absolutely beautiful — two lakes (San Andreas and the Crystal Springs Reservoir), deer, and oak forest. Very nice.

Then a pleasant descent down Crystal Springs into San Mateo, pizza, and a jaunt through the town before Caltraining home. Total distance: 16 miles (including the legs to and from the Caltrain stations).

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