Category: Tips

Alternate transport to SJC

When I biked through San Jose International Airport (SJC) last Friday morning, the economy parking lot was about 50% full. This morning, the economy lot is 90% full.

As an alternative, VTA reminds holiday travelers that you can take the free Airport Flyer bus from Santa Clara Caltrain and the Metro Center light rail station. Keep in mind that you can park for only three days at the most at VTA park and ride lots. The Airport Flyer buses are equipped with bike racks.

Note also that the Airport Flyer runs every 15 minutes to 30 minutes during the day, which translates into a potentially long wait and a little anxiety for you if you time things a little too closely. Use Google Transit to help optimize your travel time.

San Jose MIneta Airport Bike Parking

Perhaps this is a silly suggestion for holiday travel, but if you’re traveling light, biking to SJC is fairly easy, especially if you can make your way to the Guadalupe River Trail. It’s only four miles by bike from downtown San Jose to Terminal B.

The first twelve seconds of the below video shows the approach to Terminal B on the Guadalupe River Trail from the north (i.e. from the direction of Alviso or Milpitas). After that, SJ Rides demonstrates a ride to the “Hands” parking garage in front of Terminal B from about Coleman Avenue.

To access the terminals, you turn off of the trail at Airport Parkway. Go left (as shown in the video) for Terminal B. For Terminal A, it’s probably easiest to cross from the employee parking to the sidewalk and turn right.

These directions work for walking, too. I frequently see people — both airport employees and business travelers with rolling luggage — walk to and from the terminals from the path.

Terminal B serves Southwest and Alaska Airlines. International flights and all of the other airlines come through Terminal A. They’re not shown in this video but the Terminal A bike racks are left of the vehicle entry area to the Terminal A Parking Garage (now called Hourly Lot 2) and in the area next to the exit doors at the south end of Terminal A baggage claim.

I’m told people have left bikes there overnight without them getting jacked, but you probably don’t want to park your “good” bike there. Keep in mind that since I’ve posted this video, our local tweakers and thieves now know where to find a nice supply of bikes to steal.

Winter cycling tips for Santa Cruz, California

Last Saturday, I was just riding along in beautiful 68 degree sunny weather on Brommer Street in Santa Cruz when I shot a photo of Jamie Bianchini towing his son Luca in a bike trailer. I uploaded the photo to Google Plus. Google then applied “autoawesome” to the image to overlay animated snow flakes over Jamie, his bike, and the passing Honda.

Snow on Brommer Street Santa Cruz California

You now have photographic proof of my winter cycling expertise.


The problem with riverside bike paths

Weather station KSJC located at San Jose International Airport recorded just under a half inch of rain in a six hour period on Wednesday, November 20, 2013. It didn’t seem like that much rain, so I figured the Guadalupe River Trail would be clear for travel where it dips to near the river level underneath highways and roads.

I figured wrong. This is me destroying my hubs and bottom bracket underneath Highway 101, which runs just north of the airport.

This is a case of me saying “Do as I say, not as I do.” You shouldn’t bike through deep water like that if you can help it. I need to remove water from the frame and inside the wheels, and I’ll spend this weekend cleaning out my hubs and bottom bracket. The other problem is hidden underwater obstructions can take you down without warning. I’ve been there, done that, maybe should make a t-shirt.

And I really should know better. This Highway 101 undercrossing is a frequent trouble spot. With all of the dredging the Santa Clara Water District did earlier this year, though, I thought conditions would be better.

Crossings south of 101 (i.e. between the Green Island Bridge at the north end of the airport to downtown San Jose) was clear for travel last night. The crossings north of the airport (i.e. 101, Trimble, Montague Expressway, and Tasman) were flooded.

The good news is that the water subsides quickly — all of these low spots were mostly open this morning, with minimal standing water along with some mud and debris.

Morning commute 11/21/2013

For tonight and Friday, the National Weather Service has issued a high wind advisory for much of the San Francisco Bay Area. This means winds exceeding 35 MPH are expected in the advisory area shown in the map below.

High wind advisory November 21-22 2013 SF Bay Area

Gusts approaching 70 MPH are forecast at elevations from 900 to 2500 feet in the North Bay Mountains, East Bay Hills, and Diablo Range. These strong winds will be from the north / northeast, so plan your Strava KOMs accordingly be careful and watch for falling trees, downed power lines and flying bike-riding witches.