Sign pollution spoils the view

Palo Alto has a thing about signs. Not sure we need one in Stevens Canyon.

I don’t think much about signs, until I do, and then I start seeing the pollution. Do we need a city limits sign at the bottom of Stevens Canyon?

I’ve been riding in the canyon since 1979. Over the years it has gotten rockier. This is, after all, the San Andreas Fault zone. Erosion brings down rocks, and over time they accumulate.

Still, I recognized stretches of trail that hadn’t changed a bit in terms of condition. As for riders, I saw several on a Saturday morning. The guy and gal blasting up the hill must be professionals. They were moving.

When I started riding here, Jobst Brandt and friends were the only ones cycling the canyon trail. All we had were road bikes. Those days are long gone.

Along with popularity comes enforcement. Imagine my surprise when I saw a ranger with a radar gun. It wasn’t far from the end of the trail. I stopped immediately and we had a friendly conversation. I wasn’t speeding.

One important change I noticed is that the Stevens Creek crossing no longer has an easier option. It’s overgrown. Now you go down a four or five foot vertical drop to reach the creek. I’m sure some ride off it, but not me.

The single-track section toward the end has plenty of poison oak, so watch out.

2 Responses to “Sign pollution spoils the view”

  1. petertapscott Says:

    I thought that sign meant “San Andreas Fault Crossing”. That is what the city limit sign means on Page Mill.

    • jamesRides Says:

      The San Andreas fault runs down Stevens Canyon, along the trail, along Stevens Canyon Rd, crosses Redwood Gulch, runs through the gulch, and then runs along side 9 until Sanborn Rd, and then through Sanborn Park and under Ranch Lake to Lexington and up Los Gatos Creek, under Summit where the railroad tunnels used to be.. Stevens Canyon trail crosses the San Andreas fault multiple times. The San Andreas fault marks the junction between two tectonic plates: the Pacific Plate and the North American plate. So, during the course of your ride up or down Stevens Canyon trail you might be riding on either the Pacific Plate or the North American plate, or maybe both. That’s why there is something very special about this trail.

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