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El Sereno
main page
Frank Paysen GoPro Frame
Stella Hackell Climbs El Sereno, 2019(Frank Paysen GoPro Frame)

Results are posted!

results?Right here!
distance3.1 miles (5 km)
climbing1276 ft (389 meters)
where?see below
when?14-15 Nov 2020
what timeAnytime from Saturday 6 a.m. to Sunday 3 p.m.
how?self ride ITT
how much?Nada.
why?Ask not why; just do!
Bay area winds
deja-vu? New!
Ride With GPS


The Aquinas Trail from the top of Overlook/Sheldon in Los Gatos is a fire-road wide trail that climbs to below the El Sereno summit before continuing on to the fork towards Montevina or Bohlman. The trail has varying characteristics - smooth, bumpy, rutted, rocky, steep, very steep, and maybe muddy. In any case, it's tiring! It is probably best done on a CX or gravel bike, but either a mountain bike, or a metal road bike with somewhat wider, aggressive tires will also do.

The start is not at the gate! So take your time getting up that first grade, then comes some downhill. When the trail flattens out and starts climbing again, that's the start!

When you come to a steep dip after 5 km or so, you're already done! No need to risk anything going fast through the dip. For the descent, please continue on straight to the top of Bohlman, or make a left at the T to descend Montevina, but avoid interfering with other climbers by going down the way you came up!

As of this writing, all Ultra Low-Key Hillclimbs 2020 will be Self-Ride Individual Time Trials. You may climb anytime between 6 a.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday (except for Thanksgiving Hamilton, which will be handled separately). Come to the start alone, ride alone, do not draft anyone or allow anyone to draft you. Don't gather in groups. If there is another participant at the start before you, wait 3 minutes after that person starts before you go. Good luck!

Rule 1 is be safe and stay healthy!

Join the Strava Low-Key Hillclimbers Club to get your time recorded "automatically". Or message/email your time to Andy or Frank, or post it on Facebook LKHC group.

The Facebook LKHC group is also a good place to get the latest announcements and discussions.


Cover your head, not your ears...

Sorry, folks! We require all riders wear helmets during the climb, and we follow the USA Cycling rule against ear buds or other head phones. Rock to tunes before the climb, perhaps, but we need riders to pay attention to what's happening during the climb...

The Low-Key Way

Low-Key is all about a group of friends riding up a hill together. It's like any other informal group ride, except we time you to the top and report the results on our web site. But we have no road closures, no lead vehicle, no follow vehicle. We are traffic, sharing the roads with other traffic, following the laws and courtesy which applies to traffic. This includes riding to the right of the road when practicable, and not crossing double yellows to pass riders or to get through corners faster. We're each responsible for our own actions out there, on and off the bike, both as users of the road as as courteous visitors to the neighborhoods we pass through. "Ceci n'est pas un race".

"Get your ass up that hill!" -- Kevin Winterfield, Fovnder
Dan Connelly /// Frank Paysen