Northern California - Has anyone braved the rebuilt Vallecitos Road (Hwy 84) yet?
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Drove back from Livermore to Fremont today on the newly rebuilt Hwy. 84. Looks like there's now a good, wide shoulder all the way from Livermore to I-680, except for one tiny stretch of about 0.1 mile right where the freeway section transitions to the two-lane highway near 680.
Used to be that Hwy. 84 was a no-man's land of cycling, with those curves and poor shoulders. From a vantage point in a car, it looks like it might be doable on a bicycle now.
Has anyone been brave enough to try it?
I rode it both ways today on my way to and from Welch Creek Rd. As you said, it has a good shoulder for all but one section (more like 0.2 miles), and that is pretty flat and straight. There is a rumble strip at the left edge of the shoulder along the new section. That may mean riding in debris right of the strip in the future. The auto traffic speed is higher over the summit.
Truth is, it may be less dangerous than the old road, but it's not as much fun. (I always thought the dangerous reputation the old road had was overblown.) Now it's a "safer" way to get between Calaveras Rd or Niles Canyon and Livermore, but I'm going to miss decending the curves of the old road. It reminds me of Ygnacio Valley Rd over Lime Ridge or the new Vasco Rd now.
Heres some pics I took on my way back today:
Beginning of the new section heading east:
Just over the summit looking west:
and looking east:
Wonderful pics, and great report. Ewwww on the rumble strips, but I suppose they might help keep errant drivers out of a bike's path. Perhaps I'll need to make a Sunol-Livermore-Pleasanton loop soon.
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