BigMike's Forum

Projects & Trip Reports => Trips => Topic started by: BigMike on August 15, 2010, 02:35:11 PM

Title: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 15, 2010, 02:35:11 PM
Ok guys,

I'm gonna run HWY130 on my way home tomorrow. Click here to view the map on Google (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Quimby+Rd&daddr=Unknown+road+to%3ACA-130+E%2FSan+Antonio+Valley+Rd+to%3A37.461778%2C-121.190186&geocode=FeKROQIdivu9-A%3BFTrGOQIdVt-_-A%3BFVCMOgId7TPC-A%3B&hl=en&mra=dme&mrcr=2&mrsp=3&sz=10&sll=37.514083%2C-121.459351&sspn=0.783198%2C1.229095&ie=UTF8&z=10). Should only be about an hour detour.

I'm gonna leave San Jose tomorrow evening around 6pm and head up the hill. This is the tallest peak in the Silicone Valley Area.

A rough estimate via Google Earth looks like it will be a 4,100 foot gain in only 14 miles GIDDY UP!!!
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 15, 2010, 02:57:46 PM
Since this will be my first trip up this road, plus it will be dust/dark, there is no way I'm gonna stop for a bunch of pics -- I'll be having too much fun!!

So I searched around the net a bit and found some pics. Can't wait!
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 15, 2010, 05:33:56 PM
Found a couple more good pics
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: Sirdeuce on August 16, 2010, 10:28:25 AM
We need to ROAD TRIP!!!!
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 12:45:31 AM
I made it back home in one piece :D Will have a trip report soon -- that was a Looooooooooong drive! I learned a lot more about my car & I am really starting to push it more and more & the more I demand from it the more it delivers :)

Some teaser pics ;)
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: Sirdeuce on August 17, 2010, 06:57:06 AM
How far off is that yellow 10 mph caution sign? Overly cautios or spot on? Ya know, usually 2X the speed posted is still leaning a bit to the side of caution.
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:06:21 PM
Report!

This road is really great... except.... except.... wait for it........................ wait for it!..............




IT NEEDS NEW PAVEMENT VERY BADLY!


Here it is in a nut shell. The road heading up to the observatory is AWESOME, it is quite steep with very sharp corners, and lots of em. In fact, two corners were 1st gear uphill corners. Yeah. After a couple of mins you look over your shoulder and it's amazing at how quickly you pull out of the Silicon Valley. 4,100 vertical feet in 14 miles is no joke in this regard! But unfortunately any thing over about 20 or 25 MPH is entirely undrivable unless you have a Trophy Truck. It's awfully bad. Pot holes everywhere, wash board in mid corner, even saw pushed up asphalt I had to straddle and thought for sure would contact the bottom of my car! It was mostly a 2nd gear affair. Any thing more would result in a broken MR2 I bet.

Once up the top it's 50 miles to the next service. Having my tool box, 3 liters of water, spare radiator hoses, hose clamps, belts, etc, but no spare tire was really nerve racking. I said a prayer and set out to 50 miles of the unknown.

Unfortunately the road on the back side dropping down into San Antonio Valley was also horrible but not quite as bad. There were a bazillion jack rabbits hopping all over the place and also a ton of cattle crossing guards. They were well marked however, with warning signs a good 1/8 mile before each cattle guard. So I didn't mind them at all actually, plenty of time to slow down for them without killing your brakes.

Once I turned onto Del Puerto Canyon Road, WOW things got very good indeed. This road is totally kick-butt! I loved it. Especially as you got about 60% of the way to Interstate 5, man or man the road really become a jewel. Much better pavement, long right, then sharp left, then long left, then sharp right.

Lots of variety in easy sweeping corners to technical 2nd gear corners where I was just itchen to push it a bit harder and get that rear end to swing out.

And this is where I learned that the harder I forced the car through the corners, the faster my cornering speeds got. You know how they say that you are most comfortable at 75% of your maximum speed? Well after driving aggressively for 60-something-miles alone with the car I began driving deeper and deeper into that other 25% and I learned that the car is very manageable at much higher speeds. Of course the room for error diminishes quickly, but I started to really feel and become part of the car. I can't say if I've ever had this sort of intimate experience with my car. Just the fact that it was man and machine for so long without seeing a single car (only had 2 on-coming cars the entire journey!!), for sure I have never had that much continuous seat time in my car pushing it to the limit non-stop for so long. It took over 2 hours to complete the 70-something mile drive

Pics!

1st pic: Leaving Misato's Apartment
2nd pic: My starting point, Quimby Rd and Murillo Ave (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Quimby+Rd+and+Murillo+Ave,+san+jose,+ca&sll=37.330004,-121.766796&sspn=0.021464,0.033131&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Quimby+Rd+%26+Murillo+Ave,+San+Jose,+Santa+Clara,+California+95148&ll=37.327256,-121.764221&spn=0.010733,0.016565&z=16)

You can see it is pretty steep with a lot of slow 2nd gear corners.
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:09:17 PM
I'll just keep uploading, let the pics do the talking.

All of this was 20-25 MPH in 2nd gear. 30+ was certainly possible but faar too bumpy so I kept it in 2nd

Before I knew it I was climbing very quickly above the valley
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:11:16 PM
Don't be deceived by the pics, the pavement is seriously messed up

It turned into an undivided road for a couple of miles or so. Then I got to highway 130

Picture 2646 below is a shot of the Observatory. It's at the highest point in that pic
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:13:44 PM
continuous in steepness

Check out the nasty pot holes and depressions on the OUTSIDE TRACK of some corners!! DANG! Imagine all the cornering force on your outside front tire whacking these holes!! They were EVERYWHERE. There were so many good examples I could have taken pics of but I was too busy trying to avoid them to save my car :ack:
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:17:29 PM
Check out pic 2685 and 2686. These are side-to-side pics. This part of the road is AWESOME!!! but sadly its really really bumpy so you can only enjoy all of it at about 20 MPH!! OHHH WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:19:51 PM
Then I finally made it to the top in 40 mins, which included 4 or 5 stops for pics and to pee :D

There is a small visitors center and a couple houses.

The 50 miles of no service was tempting me to reconsider my decision at that moment... Should I continue on my own like this? with this crappy road? :o

Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:22:27 PM
There were many more photo opportunities, but it was getting very dark very quick and none of the pics were coming out.

Also, the road started opening up little and little with smoother and smoother pavement, so I was slowly getting lost further and further into the moment :D

Here is the first of many, many cattle guards!

Falling rocks for the next 22 miles! OH NOES!

They were really serious about that 20 mile per hour corner

And finally, made it to Patterson! WHEW!

THEN I got to begin my 2 hour highway drive to Fresno!! :o :o
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on August 17, 2010, 10:27:44 PM
So you can see I skipped a lot from the Observatory to Patterson. That is because the road REALLY became more and more fun. MAN I was really into it for a good 30 mins stretch, totally lost track of everything!

Also, when I got to Patterson, I got out for some pics and my back, pants, and legs were fully soaked from sweat! MAN that was the most enduring bit of driving I've ever done by a long shot! Also, it was in the 60s when I left San Jose, and then it was like in the 90s when I got to Patterson. What a difference in outside temperature!

So this made me wonder if we can drill some holes in our LeMons driver's seat and have a couple small computer fans mounted behind and below the seat because doing a 20-something hour endurance race will be intense for sure!!

After the drive nothing was sore, my arms were good, my legs were good, I wasn't even tired and the adrenalin continued all the way to Fresno! I never once got sleepy while driving! :D

Whew.

Ok, so if I were to say this drive in one sentence, it would be this: This is a casual whole-day trip that should be enjoyed at a slow pace. Really the only great section is the last 15 or so miles before Patterson, which does NOT justify doing this entire drive just for that.

It will be a long time before I take this road again, I am sure of that!

Regards,
BigMike and his beloved MR2
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: ZX10R203 on August 29, 2011, 12:08:51 AM
Patterson is where I am at. This road is about a mile down the street from me. Yes it really needs new pavement badly. Been wanting to take my Kawy but too risky. If you guys ever come trough there let me know and I'll have cold beers in the fridge!!
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: BigMike on September 26, 2011, 09:31:35 PM
Patterson is where I am at. This road is about a mile down the street from me. Yes it really needs new pavement badly. Been wanting to take my Kawy but too risky. If you guys ever come trough there let me know and I'll have cold beers in the fridge!!

Sounds great man! I know I wanna drive that road again for sure, just not sure when. A motorcycle on that road would be awesome, especially if the bike has a good front fork!
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: Painless on June 22, 2017, 01:44:56 PM
thinking of taking this raod soon. just need to know is one full tank of gass gonna make it the whole way?
Title: Re: Highway 130 - Mt Hamilton between San Jose & Patterson, CA
Post by: Sirdeuce on June 25, 2017, 09:49:09 PM
Where you starting and ending? Pretty sure I could do that from SJ to Fresno and still drive around for a day or so on a tank.