Christmas Lights on Bikes

The Peninsula and South Bay Bicycling Group had a cool night ride recently, dubbed “Seasonal Lights Tour”.  I haven’t done many night rides this year (other than my daily commutes in the dark along San Tomas Aquino Trail), so this was a good excuse to do a night ride, with some camaraderie.

We started out in Palo Alto, and we did the usual 15 minute grace period before actual starting of the ride.  It was actually a little longer, as we did the obligatory group ride shot.

Photo courtesy Steve Cutcomb

Not sure if you can make it out from the photo, but it was a cold night (although my Garmin read it to be only 44 F).  The ride led out of Palo Alto, through Stanford, and on through to Woodside.  In other words, it was flat.  I was just waiting for the climbs, just so that I could warm up (I think a few others echoed the same sentiment).

Going up Sandhill was interesting.  We rode right into 2 other groups, and we couldn’t quite tell which was which.  One of them was MVV, and I believe they went out towards Kings Mountain Road, and a few of the riders followed them.  Each was pointing at the other “you gotta go this way” … “no you gotta go that way” .. eventually, we all got back together on Canada Road, but it was funny .. a few added a few extra miles.

We did one more hill, that was going up through Canada College, before a fast descent down  Farm Hill Blvd, but I wasn’t in the mood for any fast descending, especially in the dark, with traffic.  So I was riding the brakes a little bit, just so that I can keep my speed down.  It was advertised that you could easily go 50 mph down this stretch.  No thanks, not for me tonight.

We eventually got to San Carlos, and turned onto Eucalyptus, where we were greeted with the Disneyland of Christmas Lanes … it was such a spectacle.

As you can see from the video, this street drew a big crowd.  The street was illuminated so brightly, it reminded me a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  I was definitely thinking of the Griswold’s when looking at this house.

Photo courtesy Tom Hon

Photo courtesy Mark Koenig

We headed back towards Palo Alto.  Since we were on Alameda de las Pulgas, a few of us decided to go straight along Foothill Expy back home, while the others continued on another christmas lane in Palo Alto.

It was getting late and I needed to get back.  Plus, I didn’t prepare this day to intelligently, as the last food I had was at 2 pm.  I thought I was being smart by leaving my laptop, backpack and clothes in the office, since I would only be going to sleep once I finished the ride.  However, a couple of things I forgot about … 1st, I left my wallet in my backpack, which is in the office.  Second, the last time I ate was lunch, which was around 2 pm.  It is now 9 pm, and I didn’t have any clif bars with me.

Note to self … when going on a night ride, nibble on food all day, to last you through the night.

I had a great time, and I just wanted to crash when I got home.  Was a great, and fun ride … nice way to get some mid-week miles in, especially since it’s not raining.

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