San Jose is a city of numbers. It originated as California’s first city. Then it became the state’s first capitol. Over time, it grew, but it wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s when San Jose and the surrounding area, collectively known as Silicon Valley, exploded meteorically. During those decades, the population of San Jose grew 350%. Arguably the center of the modern age, San Jose is now California’s third largest city. While an emphasis is placed on the city’s more recent advancement, the causes are much older and pervasive of a place that’s exhilarating to live, visit, and inspire success with principles that are also key to the Breakaway from Heart Disease™ and Breakaway from Cancer®.
The Spanish founded San Jose in 1777 as the Pueblo of San Jose de Guadalupe. The city’s location at the southern end of San Francisco Bay provided San Jose with the best of both worlds – abundant and rich agricultural soil within easy reach of one of the world’s great ports. The result was a place where innovation took root in a welcoming and unassuming way. As early as the early 20th century, a global fascination with airplanes and blimps included contributions from Santa Clara University professor John Montgomery. Period modernizations also included creating efficiencies in the agricultural and food processing industries. By World War II, the need for greater industrialization spurred a shift from an agricultural to manufacturing economy, especially related to military-related efforts.
The collision of this industrial tradition with the area’s culture of innovation created a global phenomenon with San Jose at the epicenter. Starting in the 1940s, this became known as Silicon Valley. IBM led the way with a West Coast headquarters in 1943, resulting in inventions like hard disks. Seventy-five years and nearly a million residents later, San Jose enjoys the world’s third highest GDP per capita according to the Brookings Institute. The list of companies that make San Jose home include titans of the internet era like IBM, Cisco Systems, Adobe, PayPal, and Ebay.
Such major multinational corporations have put their mark on the city with immaculate modern business campuses that wow and impress. More importantly, they embody San Jose’s overlying sense of creativity. In many ways, San Jose made industrialization into art. This started with the heiress of the Winchester Rifle Company settling here in 1884. Over the next thirty-eight years, Sarah Winchester constantly added to the house, producing a mansion that is as artistic as it is mysterious. The city is also home to a wide-array of outstanding museums like the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, Tech Museum of Innovation, and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Within this artistic umbrella is an ethnic diversity that immigrated to San Jose in search of the American Dream. Japantown is an iconic neighborhood within the city and one of only three remaining historical Japantowns in the country. Elsewhere, Little Saigon is home to the largest population of Vietnamese outside Vietnam. The impact of such diversity can be experienced throughout the city, whether relaxing at the Japanese Friendship Garden, eating a steaming hot bowl of Pho, or cruising along the Los Gatos Bike Trail.
As one of the state’s largest cities, and with a sizeable population of cycling enthusiasts, the Amgen Tour of California returns to San Jose in 2018 for the twelfth time in the race’s thirteen year history. The city has hosted a finish on eight occasions – two being individual time trials. Both times San Jose hosted the individual time trial, the stage’s winner went on to win the race overall. In 2006, Floyd Landis put his stamp on Stage 3 and never looked back. The last time a time trial was in San Jose, American Tejay van Garderen took first place and solidified his lead for the overall 2013 tour win. The 2018 time trial proves to be just as crucial.