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Alto Velo Club Rides

Alto Velo club members organize and lead rides almost every day of the week:

  • The Sunday A Ride. A long, aggressive ride, often with significant climbing. The route frequently goes out to the coast and back, so if you are unsure about your fitness, we'd recommend trying the B Ride first. Though the pace may be fast at times, the ride always regroups at the top of significant climbs.
  • The Saturday B Ride. The pace of this ride is slower than the A ride, with an emphasis on a steady pace with short regroups. If you need to really hammer, go on the A ride.
  • The C (is for Climbing) Ride. Climbing-oriented ride on alternate Saturdays in the fall, winter and spring. We meet at Peet's in Los Altos at 9:30 and leave at 9:35. The pace should be somewhat sedate on the flats and pretty hard on the climbs. We regroup after every serious climb. Rides are 40-60 miles with 5000-7000 feet of climbing. The emphasis is on little-traveled hills with grades of ten to twenty percent.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill: "If you are going up hill, get going".
  • The Wednesday Ride. Typically an epic ride through the coastal mountains led by Katheryn Curi. Local pros often use this ride as an opportunity to get in some steady, easy miles, and this is a great opportunity to ride with them. It meets at Peet's in Los Altos at 9:00 am and leaves at 9:10 am — arrive early if you want coffee.
  • The Egan Ride. If you have to do intervals, the Egan ride is one of the least painful ways to do them. The route typically winds its way through Los Altos Hills in a serpentine roller coaster of climbs and descents designed to generate a deep lactic acid burn in even the strongest riders.
  • The Peets Ride. A casual saturday morning ride through the valley, doing the climbs is optional. Meeting with the B Ride, and rolling out just after, this ride has a more moderate, social feel. Following a fixed loop each week, this ride is for those starting on group rides, or after a nice pre-race spin or recovery ride. 

Other Local Group Rides

Alto Velo club members can often be found on these other local group rides:

  • The Spectrum Ride: This long-running local ride officially starts at the Starbucks at the corner of Hollenbeck and Homestead in Sunnyvale, near the location of the now long-gone bike shop for which the ride is named. Additional riders join in as it motors along Foothill expressway toward Palo Alto. The route has changed somewhat over the years, and now winds its way through Portola Valley, and out Cañada road through Woodside. Riders typically contest hot spot sprints at the Woodside town line and the end of Cañada road. This local classic starts each Saturday at 9 am, and typically rolls past downtown Los Altos around 9:15. Avoid this ride unless you're a solid rider with excellent pack skills, race experience, and a thick skin.
  • The Noon Ride: (Google Groups) (Facebook Group) For those who desire a bit of interval work, the Noon Ride at Page Mill and Old Page Mill road at 12:00 PM sharp is worth the aggravation of getting there. Pick up the pack about 12:06 rolling past the Park and Ride on Page Mill Road. There's always a 1-hour loop back to Page Mill and Foothill, with longer options on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The loop is about 22 miles. 

    Doing the ride a couple of times a week will leave you with the sense that you're participating in a cycling epic. It's also good training for road racing, with an occasionally unruly pack that demands good bike handling skills. Frequently unfolding like a road race with surges and little attacks on the hills, you'll contest sprint points in the middle to the end.
  • The Morning Ride: This fast group ride meet at the downtown Palo Alto Starbucks (on University Ave) early in the morning at 6:25 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This ride travels opposite of the Noon ride around The Loop: Sand Hill, Portola, Alpine.
  • Valley Ride: This popular group ride departs from the Los Altos Peet's around 6 pm each Wednesday once day light savings time kicks in. A true hammer-fest, with many local elite riders using it as their hard, midweek training session between weekend races. The route takes you through Woodside and Portola Valley, with an intermediate sprint at the Woodside town line. The climax of the ride is the KOM sprint at the top of Huddart Park, but riders also contest the sprint for the Addison-Wesley sign on Sand Hill road and the sprint for Page Mill road.
  • Alviso Ride: (Facebook Group) This ride leaves at 12:00 sharp on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2077 Gold Street, Alviso, CA 95002.  There are a few spots for parking in the lot and street parking.  
    Ride Logistics:
    - The ride leaves at 12:00pm from the park/ parking lot across of 2077 Gold Street San Jose
    - Route: The default route is the crit course that is 1.7 miles per lap. The finish line is painted on the road at the church (Jubilee Christian Center) on Disk Drive. The course runs clock wise from Disk Drive - Nortech Pkwy - North First Street - Tony P Santos Street - Wilson Way - Grand Blvd - Disk Drive. At 12:30pm, or shortly after, when the lead group crosses the finish line at Disk Drive, the group will call out "3 laps to go."
    - When there are lots of construction trucks coming and going on Disk Drive due to the construction across from the Jubilee Christian Center, the group will make a last minute decision to ride "the dump route" instead. Same meeting spot and roll out location. This is more like a road race/ circuit race course. The group will do 3 laps of this course. This 5-mile course runs clockwise from Disk to Los Esteros Road - Zanker - Holger Way - North First Street - Nortech Pkwy - Disk Drive. The finish line is on Zanker just before the highway 237 overpass.
    Ride Format:
    - Tuesdays are "Team Tactics Tuesdays." Teams can work together to employ race strategies - attack, block, counter attack, etc. The Tuesday winner gets to wear the "Alviso World Champion" jersey for next Tuesday ride. (laundry service not included. You take the sweaty jersey home that the previous winner wore and wash it and wear it next week.)
    - Thursdays are 'No Team Individual Thursdays." Team tactics are not supposed to be employed. The winner gets to don the "Thursday Target" jersey for the next Thursday's ride. (no laundry service included)  
    Regular AV riders at Alviso:
    - Tracy Colwell, Paul de Backer, Blaine Ashley, Jason Schmidt, Sourav Das, Chuck Bunting, Chris Gaffney, Bob Parker, Kyle Iufer, Nik Barreto, Aleksander Vollos, David O'Brien, and me - Thuy. Work sometimes gets in the way and some of us travel out of town, but, these people are regulars at this suffer session. Most of us plan our work schedules around these rides because they are essential to our weekly training regimen.
    - it's a free race. It's as hard as a weekend race and it helps build fitness and race instincts.
    - safe and respectful riding.
    - get to know your opponents that you will race against on weekends
    - build alliances with your opponents. Better to know some of your opponents in order to work with them during the races to beat the unknown riders in the peleton.
    - opportunity to work with other AV riders in the group on team strategy
    - camaraderie with some very good cyclists in the area.
    - guilt-free riding for those of us with obligations for family and kids. It's middle of the work day.
  • Beat the Clock and Help Beat Cancer, a time trial training series, sponsored in part by Alto Velo, has now concluded its 10th season, raising money, awareness, and people's spirits. 100% of the proceeds of over $300,000 went to Livestrong, the Canary Foundation, and the Peninsula Open Space Trust. Although the current organizers have decided to hang up their stop watches, another group is considering taking over the organization in 2015. Stay tuned and watch the website for updates.

Beyond the Bay Area

  • Sacramento Saturday River Ride. Meets behind City Bicycle Works at 2419 K St at 10AM. It is a fast ride it picks up in pace in the Garden Hwy. Description: Meet behind City Bicycle Works (24th & K Street) and roll out at 10:00am. The ride cruises through downtown Sacramento and out to Garden Highway. The ride picks up in pace and begins to settle in after the long right hand curve. The ride pace is fast and furious with plenty of attacks. The ride sprints for the Yolo county line and then turns around. The pace on the way back will also be fast with a final sprint for the Sacramento county line.
  • Folsom Ophir Milan - Coffee Republic Ride
    • When: Saturdays - 9:30am PDT to about 12:00pm
    • Where: Greenback and Auburn Folsom Blvd in Folsom (the parking lot of Coffee Republic & McDonalds
    • Route: The ride winds through towns like Granite Bay, Auburn, Penryn and finishes back in Folsom. The pace is moderate up to the half way point, which is mainly up hill. On the way back, the pace is fast with a rotating pace line.
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