I was surfing the web this week, looking for cycling-friendly routes and trails, specifically in Cupertino, and surrounding areas, and I came across a great, user-friendly website named Bikely.com. Put very simply, Bikely helps cyclists share knowledge of good bicycle routes.
People like you, submit their favorite bike paths to Bikely.com and voila! A database full of bike routes is then created. You can draw your favorite bike paths right on the map, or you can search through their database of routes. Chances are, someone has cycled that way before you, and Bikely can show you a virtual step by step tour.
“I use their website all the time,” says Scott Dunthorst, Los Gatos resident, "I’m always looking for new routes and this website allows me to make it easy to find new trails."
Currently, there are several routes on Bikely that start, pass through, or end in Cupertino, or nearby towns. There are routes for those who strictly want to stay on the road, paths for family-friendly outings, and trails for those that like to get down and dirty in the woods.
“There’s lots of good riding around here,” said Sarah Wolf, avid mountain biker and resident of Cupertino.
If you are interested in a long ride and want to make a day of it, consider riding from Los Gatos to Moss Landing. This route is roughly 100 miles round-trip, so be sure to pack several snacks, or better yet, hit the Harbor District where you can grab a cup of java at Surf City Coffee or a bite to eat at The Lighthouse Harbor Grill.
One of my favorite rides is the Los Gatos-Lexington Round and Back. At roughly 14 miles round trip, it’s a ride that even children can participate in. The route minimizes distance and elevation gain while also minimizing the use of roads with narrow shoulders. Be sure your kids are aware of the rules of the road, before venturing out.
If mud is your thing and at the thought of riding on the road makes you want to die of boredom, consider traveling from Los Gatos through campbell to Quicksilver Park in Almaden. I didn’t see an entry for this path on their website, but remember, Bikely needs people like you to enter new routes, so be the first and give it a try.
Before you hit the pavement (or the trails) be prepared for the unexpected. Always carry a flat-tire repair kit, a bicycle pump, a water bottle, your identification card as well as some extra cash. You never know when you may run into trouble and these tools will ensure that you have an adventurous, yet safe bike ride.
Bikely is young and growing fast. But it still needs more people like you to submit your favorite bike paths. As they collect more routes, Bikely will become an incredibly useful resource for the cycling community.
The website also has a forum, where like-minded individuals can discuss anything and everything bikes.
For more information, visit Bikely.com