South Bay and Santa Cruz bike events this week

Happy October; I hope you’re enjoying the cooler weather! You have all kinds of outdoor opportunities this week in the South Bay and Santa Cruz areas.

Autumn leaves Panda Portrait

San Jose Bike Train rolls Wednesday morning 8 AM from Diridon Station, with a quick stop at Bel Bacio Cafe in Little Italy. There’s apparently a misunderstanding about the cafe stop that I only became aware of recently. We swing through there only to pick people up who are already at the cafe. If you want coffee, go to Bel Bacio by 8, order your caffeinated beverage and wait for Bike Train to swing past. We’re generally out of there by about 8:10 or 8:15 unless the ride conductor knows to wait for you.

Santa Cruz Fall Bike to Work Day 2015
Santa Cruz County Fall Bike to Work / School Day takes place Thursday, October 8 2015. Find free breakfast stations countwide at these locations:

  • Downtown Santa Cruz: Pacific Ave is closed between Water and Locust Streets for a mini bike-fair.
  • Westside: Free vittles from New Leaf and other vendors at 1101 Fair Street.
  • Boardwalk: The Picnic Basket on Beach Street, just east of the traffic circle.
  • Midtown: Whole Foods Market on Soquel Ave, and People’s Coffee at 1200 17th.
  • Scotts Valley: Mollie’s Cafe on Mt Hermon Road directly across from Scotts Valley Cycle Sport. Mollie’s serves up a delicious, fresh cooked egg sandwich plate FREE to cyclists on Bike To Work Day.
    Andrew and Benny enjoy a free egg sandwich from Mollie's Country Cafe in Scotts Valley

  • Capitola: Whole Foods Capitola on 41st.
  • Soquel: Ugly Mug on Soquel Drive at Porter Street.
  • UCSC: Breakfast and bike tuneup at the campus Main Entrance on Bay at High. Find free breakfast also at the top of the bike path.
  • Cabrillo College: free breakfast, coffee and bike tuneup by the bookstore on Soquel Drive.
  • Watsonville: Second Street Cafe at 28 2nd Street. I think you’ll be able to meet the mayor there.


Santa Cruz Bike Party ¡Tropicalismo! Ride on Friday night, beginning at the Bike Church at 7 PM. Event info here.

Week 2 of the Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge continues this Saturday and Sunday. What is the Coffeeneuring Challenge? Read here to learn the details.

Sunday: Closed streets galore!

You have your choice of several road closures to enjoy your bike on Sunday, October 11. Among them:

  • Caltrans will close a portion of Highway 84 for the Niles Canyon Stroll and Roll. I’ve biked up this road to Sunol and back exactly twice in my life. It’s exceedingly picturesque, but the traffic! Stroll and Roll is an amazing opportunity to experience this road in car-free glory. I know Fremont is technically the East Bay, but this is close enough for South Bay cyclists to check out. Be aware that Niles Canyon has significant elevation gain; this is fun for crazy people like me who enjoy hills. It may not quite as fun if you don’t do hills, but you can also enjoy the lower elevation portion or spend the day walking up and back.
  • Six miles of city streets between downtown San Jose and the East Side will be closed to cars and open to people for Viva CalleSJ. Somebody asked me what you do at an open streets event. The answer: Whatever you want. You can bike, walk, run, dance, skate, play, read, snack, hang with friends, or whatever. It’s open to your imagination. Details here.
  • West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz will be closed to motor traffic and open to people for a Pop Up Park between Lighthouse Field and Natural Bridges. Click here for details.


Speaking of closed streets: Many people have enjoyed the portion of Highway 9 that was closed for construction all summer between Felton and Santa Cruz. It became a de fact bike-and-hike park and provided easy access for people biking to Santa Cruz from the San Lorenzo Valley on the weekends. The construction is now mostly complete and Caltrans re-opened this portion of Highway 9 a couple of weeks ago.

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