On a recent trip to San Jose, I was able to get an early morning ride in on the Guadalupe River Trail, which follows the Guadalupe River 12 miles north to San Francisco Bay and the town of Alviso.
Prior to my ride, I had to first procure a bike. For a scant $25, I was able to rent a Felt 7 Eighty mountain bike for a day. A mountain bike wouldn’t be my first choice for a paved trail ride, but there weren’t many options other than single speed cruisers in my size at the shop, aptly named Bicycle Express in downtown San Jose. Weighing in north of 30 lbs and with big knobby tires, the Felt was sturdy and surprising easy to keep at decent cruising speed once you got going.
I hopped on the trail going north right by the Adobe building, and was initially alone without another bike or person in sight for the next 6 miles. The trail crossed over the river a couple times with a couple detours, but was largely without drama and nicely paved.
The trail ended right next to the town of Alviso, which saw its heyday long ago. All that is left now are a few Family-style Mexican restaurants, a marina, and remnants of the old town including the Bayside Canning Co., which was the third largest cannery in the US. At 7am on a weekday, Alviso seemingly resembled a ghost town or maybe even the town from the Andromeda Strain. Definitely worth a visit.
On the way home, I headed west on the Bay Trail for a bit and one of its gravel offshoots, and then came south on the San Tomas Aquino Creek Trail before weaving through some corporate campuses to make my way back home.
The gravel sections of the Bay Trail were definitely a highlight, as well as the stop in Alviso. I’ll make sure to hit both next time and take the gravel as far as I can go on whatever I’m renting next.