Nothing beats dirt

An early morning ride on a dirt road. It makes my day.

My days left in the saddle are dwindling and ride distances shrinking, but I still manage to find some dirt to ride to remind me of past Jobst rides.

There’s always the baylands levees, where dirt roads abound, but it’s not so easy to find trails in the nearby hills within a 35-mile loop from home.

My favorite dirt road/trail reminds me of Alpine Road in every respect. It’s close to Foothills Park and it goes somewhere, bridging two roads often used for cycling. If you want to know what it was like riding Alpine Road before its demise, this is the place to ride.

I was introduced to the trail in 1979 by employees of Palo Alto Bicycles, who frequented the route on their morning rides before work.

They showed me other trails as well, most of them off limits to bikes even then, but they were young and brash, and I was up for the adventure.

Alpine Road as it appeared on Sunday, May 13, 1990. A mile or so past the green gate, end of pavement.

8 Responses to “Nothing beats dirt”

  1. jamesRides Says:

    I always thought Foothills Park was off limits to everyone except Palo Alto residents, but it seems anyone can now legally gain access through Arastradero preserve:

    I think the Arastradero trails were once no-bike trails, but they are now open to bikes. Don’t know when the rules changed.

    If you ride on Arastradero road, make sure to stop at the parking lot and use the facilities: flush toilets and running water – very posh for an Open Space preserve!

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Guess again.

  3. Ray Hosler Says:

    Foothills Park, bikes only allowed on paved roads. Arastradero Preserve has some dirt roads open for bikes.

  4. Stefan Says:

    That could be Central Dr.
    Knowing Alpine Road only in its current state, it’s hard to imagine that it once looked similar to this.

  5. Jon Blum Says:

    I did not have time until today to check out what I thought was the road in that picture. Sure looks like “Dirt Moody,” a short road that connects Moody Court (off Moody Road) to Page Mill. Signs indicate it is open to bicycles, though multiple signs on Moody Court, the only access to one end of Dirt Moody, say that Moody Court is private and open only to residents. I’ve been advised not to coast or speak while on that road, so as not to disturb the residents.

    As I stopped to fiddle with my derailleur, a local pulled his car over to speak to me. I thought he’d hassle me about riding there, but instead he pointed out that I was in “Dutch colors” – an orange jersey – and that the US Women’s Soccer Team had just defeated the Dutch team. I countered by pointing out that there is a Dutchman in the maillot jaune for the first time in several decades, and he laughed.


  6. Tongpocalypse Says:

    Was gonna guess dirty Moody as well.

  7. jamesRides Says:

    Regarding “Dirty Moody,” Central, and Moody Court: Looks like posters are referring to “Dirty Moody” as a dirt trail connector between Moody Court and Central Dr. If so, this route appears on the official Los Altos Hills Master Path Map. It is shown in Green as are all of the other publicly accessible roads in the town. I’m not sure if this is the dirt road that Ray is referring to (would be nice if he’d give us a clue), but it looks to me like it is open and rideable none the less.

    Here’s a link to the Los Altos Hill Master Path map. Note: this appears to be a pdf link even though .pdf is not in the URL:

    Scroll to the bottom left to locate Moody Rd/Page Mill road intersection. From there you can locate Central and Moody Crt.

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