Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eight cycling days in December across Silicon Valley

My home in Silicon Valley is surrounded by headquarters of some of the worlds best known public technology companies and the venture capital money that funded their early growth.  For 8 days last December I rode through storms of money, innovation & creativity to nearby big climbs en-route to a selected technology company.  Here is a short summary of each days riding, destination & Strava profile:

December 23: 37 miles (3100' of climbing) including Old La Honda Rd, Windy Hill & Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.  Located on Sand Hill Rd, KPCB has funded some of the best know tech companies in the valley including Google, AOL, Intel & Zynga.  Nearby Old La Honda Rd climbs 1300' in 3 miles and is a favorite of local cyclists (including venture capitalists on their lunch breaks).  Weather? Easy, breezy California - sunny and mild.

December 24: 40 mile road bike including Palo Alto Foothills Park, Woodside, Page Mill Rd and HP (Hewlett Packard).  Founded in 1935 by two Stanford grads, HP went public in 1957 and is recognized as the symbolic founder of Silicon Valley.  Page Mill Rd climbs 1900' in 6 miles and is a favorite of local road bike riders.  Weather?  Second day in a row of sunny & mild temps.

December 25: 35 miles including Apple Computer, Saratoga Village and 1 Infinite Loop.  Founded in 1976 and located at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA - Apple Computer got it's initial funding of $250,000 from angel investor Mike Markkula.  Just up the road from Apple, super-exclusive Saratoga Village is nestled at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains and is home to many of Silicon Valley's super-rich.  Weather?  Ok, this is getting boring - sunny and mild temps (again).

December 26:  60 cycling miles including San Bruno Mountain hill repeats, the Bay Trail, Seal Point and VMware.  Located along cyclists paradise Foothill Expressway in Palo Alto, VMware was founded in 1998, acquired by EMC Corporation in 2004 and went public in August 2007.  Dozens of cyclists on San Bruno Mountain this day training for the following weekends hill climb race.  There was nothing "virtual" about the pain cave we inhabited during the subsequent race.

December 27:  TRIPLE!  8 mile run + 15 mile bike + 21 mile bike.  I rode by Yahoo!'s corporate HQ in Sunnyvale, CA during both rides.  Founded in 1994 by Stanford grads Jerry Yang & David Filo, Yahoo! was one of the hotest web properties when its stock price peaked in 2000 at $118 per share. Today Yahoo! trades at $16 per share and has been eclipsed by its more successful rival located across Moffett Field in Mountain View.
8 Mile Run:
15 Mile Bike:
21 Mile Bike:

December 28:  6 mile run this morning followed by a 44 mile afternoon ride.  Rode a large loop to Saratoga, Los Gatos & the Bay Trail including a stop at Netflix corp HQ.  Founded in 1997, Netflix popularized DVD movies by mail in the US.  More recently Netflix has tried to transition to a streaming video business model without alienating it's existing customers.  I finished my ride at sunset at a popular search engine company located in Mountain View.

December 29:  Took the heavy iron 44 miles (1995 Specialized S-Works mountain bike) up Montebello Rd to Black Mountain (2800') to a descent on Alpine Rd through Portola Valley ending at the Google mother-ship in Mountain View, CA.  Like many other Silicon Valley tech companies Google was founded by Stanford University grads.  Larry Page & Sergey Brin started the search giant in 1998 and have succeeded making Google the best known company name / verb since Xerox.

December 30:  500 kilometers of cycling in 7 days.  Rode to Stanford University and social business pioneer Jive Software in Palo Alto, CA.  Founded by University of Iowa grads Matt Tucker & Bill Lynch 10 years ago, Jive went public in December opening at $12 per share and closing the day at $15. Pundits may claim the market is tired of social but Jive is showing the race to socialize enterprise is just getting started.

Now back to your regularly scheduled running programming.........