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Cycling In Palo Alto, CA

 Cycling up Old La Honda, a classic climb in Palo Alto, CA.

My first bike was a yard sale gem. It had 20″ wheels and the forks were raked out like a motorcycle chopper. I was crushed when the cranks broke. It was a repair that cost as much as a new bike. The only problem was I didn’t want a new one.

If you are a cyclist you have ridden or read about the epic road rides that start, loop, or end in Palo Alto, CA. A decent cyclist can be out of town and in the country within 30-60 minutes of saddle time. Once you make it over the first climb – you’ll be in the rolling hills of Northern California. A little bit farther – you’re at the coast. Palo Alto is a Bay Area cycling mecca. It’s also the home of Palo Alto Bicycles which is one of the oldest bike shops on the west coast. Below are some outtakes from a photo shoot with the staff of Palo Alto Bicycles. The Northern California roads look pretty good and so does the shop’s new apparel.

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Things seen in Palo Alto:

1) Let’s just ignore the weekend traffic in town.

2) On the roads you’ll see large group rides, pros training, retired racers rolling at the same speed as in their prime, and a random kid on an old 10-speed that’s too big for him gunning it up Old La Honda.

3) A man standing on University Ave with large Foldger’s coffee cans around each ankle. You know – for protection.

4) Cyclists can be spotted wearing full fingered gloves and earmuffs in 95° heat, or riding with nothing but shorts and a cotton t-shirt on early morning winter rides in the rain.

5) Robin Williams once did some impromptu stand-up in the repair shop of Palo Alto Bicycles, and I once met Steve Jobs there. We talked about bike technology and wheel designs.

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Jay Watson
San Francisco Bay Area based lifestyle and people photographer Jay Watson shoots editorial, apparel, automotive, corporate, and sports subjects for commercial clients. Published in over 70 magazines.

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