Two weeks ago, Michael and his two brothers joined me in the grand opening of the Guadalupe River Park. It’s a somewhat odd juxtaposition of greenery, urban and suburban landscape, and the sounds of jets landing at San Jose International Airport, but it is a nice respite in the heart of San Jose, and I’m sure it’s much better than what was there before. [photos] After all the talking I’ve heard over the years, I was glad to finally see it finished. Sort of.It turns out that the section between Julian Street and Coleman Avenue is bisected by a railroad, and it was closed off at the railroad the next day while a bypass was being planned. Meanwhile, another section between Santa Clara and San Fernando Streets was also closed off the next day for Highway 87 construction. Also, not all of the signs have been put in yet, which led us astray a few times. But it was a nice day and there was a huge turnout.

The next week, I shoved my bicycle into the back seat of my car and drove to downtown, where I rode in as much of the Guadalupe River Park as I could, and then went over to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which stretches from Willow Glen, through Campbell and Los Gatos, to the Lexington Reservoir. [photos] This is an ideal bike trail for me: nice scenery, relatively flat, long, and virtually no cross traffic. Did I mention it’s flat? It also passes through a few large parks, and in Oak Meadow Park, I saw something I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of before: a miniature railroad. The Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad was opened in 1943 and inspired Walt Disney to build his own miniature railroad in Disneyland. Fun for the whole family! And the trains were packed.

Instead of going up to the reservoir, I decided to stop in downtown Los Gatos. I browsed through the History Museum of Los Gatos, located in Forbes Mill Annex, ate lunch at Pizza My Heart, and then headed back. At the end of the trail in Willow Glen, I couldn’t take much more cycling, so I biked over to the Tamien light rail station and took it through downtown San Jose, and then biked back to my car, shaving about 4 miles. It was worth it, especially since I brought my Eco Pass — no fare needed! Woohoo!