Sherie and I celebrate our seventh on Monday. We had a chance to go away together on our bikes for the weekend: we rode to the south bay and stayed in the San Jose Hilton.
Saturday ride: Albany to San Jose Hilton
We got to ride south through the East Bay Hills on some of our favorite roads: Tunnel, Skyline, Redwood to coffee in Castro Valley, then Palomares to Sunol for lunch, then Calaveras to San Jose. It was pretty cold all day, made the uphills comfortable but chilly on the downhills.
1667 vertical meters
20.20 ave kph
The hotel was great; the staff were curious about our bikes and what was going on. When we told them we rode from Berkeley to stay overnight, they were so amazed! Really, it isn’t that far, just a steady day in the saddle. And when we mentioned it was our anniversary, they seemed to do that little extra to make us feel welcome.
At the Hilton in downtown San Jose, we enjoyed a recovery snack after our ride.
We wandered a bit downtown, but knew all along we were going to have dinner at Mezcal. Known for their Mole sauces, the family from Oaxaca has a pretty upscale place in downtown. The Mezcalrita Ben enjoyed was great (even after the champagne) and when we expressed interest in the Mole sauces the waitress brought samples of each of the three: sweet (Estofado), spicy (Coloradito), and chocolaty (Mole Negro). Sherie had great tamales with the negro, and Ben had chicken with the Coloradito.
Sunday ride: San Jose to Castro Valley BART
Sunday’s ride was kind of a reverse, but we decided (or Ben decided and Sherie complained for a while, then really got into it) to do Sierra Road up the steep hill from San Jose. Of course, after climbing this monster grade (~2000 vert feet in like 4.5 miles, with many ramps to 15% and steady crunching at 10+%) Sherie was ecstatic at the top.
And the beauty of the ridge and curvasious roadway over the summit were sublime.
Then Calaveras, lunch again in Sunol, the Palomares to Castro Valley. It was a cold and windy day, some rain showers left some wet roads, and Sherie said she was “cooked,” so we took BART home from Castro Valley.
1348 vertical meter
Both days we stopped for lunch at the Sunol Jazz Cafe. Fairly new, it has better food than the Railroad Cafe (not so much the greasy grill kind of menu). There is patio seating that might be great for a group on a warm day. On Sunday, they had a brunch spread and custom cooked omlettes. Coffee drinks galore for those addicts out there. A thumbs up from Ben and Sherie; it will be great if they stayed in business to serve us long in the future.