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Crystal Springs Reservoir ride, and other details

by Tom Johnson on Nov 9, 2014
categories: family biking

I'm starting to lump together weekly posts into a theme but also include some other details. This isn't necessarily a bike journal (given the post title, you might think that), but the rides are sometimes more fun to document.

Crystal Springs

Callie is learning to play the violin. She is still in the plucking stage, so she hasn't been taught the bow yet. She wanted to give up last week because she couldn't get the finger crawl method down with a pencil (it's some kind of bow practice). But Shannon talked her back into sticking with it more.

I took the kids swimming at the YMCA a couple of times. They love the water. So does Molly, and Molly can imitate a swim stroke. She just can't actually swim yet. Callie and Lucy both have green bands, which allows them to play together without me there as long as they want. Both are pretty good swimmers. After 30 min. in the pool, Molly gets out for a long warm shower while the other two stay and play.

Shannon and I went on a bike ride along the Crystal Springs Reservoir trail on Sunday. This turned out to be a pretty good ride (about 32 miles in all, counting the misdirections and detours we took).


Riding the Crystal Springs Reservoir trail

There are 3 trail segments. You can't bike on the lower one; you have to take Canada road. You can bike the Sawyer and San Andreas trails. Just note that connecting from one segment to another is not straightforward.

Here's the route. Park at Edgewood Road and Canada Road (this is near San Mateo). Then bike north along Canada road for probably 5 miles until you get near the end of Canada road. Near the end, turn right where there is a painted red curb with a sign that says Ralston Trail. Take Ralstron trail up the hill for about half a mile until you come to Polhemus road. Turn left and follow Polhemus road down about 1.5 miles or so until you reach Crystal Springs Road. Turn left on Crystal Springs road and go for about another mile until you see the entrance to Sawyer trail. Then continue up to Sawyer trail until this segment ends and San Andreas begins (about 8 miles).

When you connect over to San Andreas, you'll need to travel along the road for a bit until you connect back onto the trail. We turned around at the end of the Sawyer trail segment, since we were already at about 18 miles into the ride due to some accidental detours.

Note: When you reach the end of Canada road, it really seems like you can just take Skyline road up a bit and connect onto Sawyer trail, rather than taking the rather long detoir up Ralston to Polhemus and over to Crystal Springs road. Actually, Skyline road is closed due to a bridge project that has apparently been going on for about 5 years (see the pic above). We ended up looking around for a shortcut here but didn't find one; instead, we ended up detouring around the turnoff to Half Moon Bay, which is packed with cars on their way to the beach.

The best day to make this ride is Sunday due to "Bicycle Sundays." From 9-3pm, the county closes this stretch of Canada road to cars, so only bikes can travel on it. As a result, there were hundreds of cyclists, many riding fancy tribikes and going super fast. Few of them actually connected over to Sawyer trail, though. They mostly rode up and down Canada road (and extended farther south along Canada than the entry point I noted earlier).

Sawyer trail is a very scenic, family friendly trail full of people. We need to take our kids there (but park close to the entrance, of course). It's probably one of the best trails in the bay area.

Here's Shannon climbing a hill across Ralston.

The night photos are from a previous ride I took down Los Gatos trail around the Vasona Reservoir system.

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

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