To most South Bay residents, winter sports include activities that are strictly done somewhere near Lake Tahoe. Although the slopes around that crystal lake offer some of the best snow sports on the planet, in Silicon Valley, we are blessed with mild weather, which precipitates other options during the winter season.

San Jose Bike Club’s Winter Series allows cyclists to maintain their fitness during the colder months and—almost more importantly—congregate, talk shop and enjoy the outdoors on Sunday mornings.

San Jose Bike Club has been crowding podiums around California and beyond since 1939. Today, it is more than 400 strong, with one-third of its members participating in races regularly.

The Winter Series, which started in late October, features 11 events, including time trials, criterium, road races and some of the most spectacular scenery in the South Bay. The club offers racing events for all levels of cyclists, producing competition on all levels.

The club takes great care to match people of equal skill, according to organizers, so everyone is almost guaranteed a thrilling day of competition and camaraderie.

“It takes at least a year to go from fit to being recreationally fit to race,” says Ramon Alarcon, the club’s president. “It can be rewarding to see progress along the way.”

San Jose Bike Club racers are affectionately known as “the blue train” due to their distinctive blue jerseys often seen in a pace line, covering miles of rolling hills at speeds that would make most drivers blush. For some, “the blue train” is a great way to stay fit; for others, it’s just a way to have a little weekend fun.

“I got into cycling for my health,” says Richard Hanke, Winter Series coordinator. “About 8 years ago, my doctor told me I had to exercise more because my cholesterol was too high. I went from riding an hour or two on weekends to riding 20 hours or more a week.”

Registration for events is generally at 8am and races start at 9am.  Membership to SJBC ($50 annually) is required. There is also a $10 entrance fee per race.

Schedule of Events

Nov. 20: Criterium #1
Dec. 4: Criterium #2
Dec. 11: 4-Person TTT
Jan. 8: RR #2
Jan. 15: 15 2-Person TTT
Jan. 22: 22 15 Mile ITT #2
Jan. 29: 29 RR #3
Feb. 21: Awards Banquet