Smaller Hamilton/Mines loop from south bay?
I've been perusing bikeley and Google Earth but can't find quite what I'm looking for. I live in Santa Clara and am trying to devise a training loop from Santa Clara that involves climbing Mount Hamilton. It seems like there must be good roads so that I can somehow connect Milpitas via Calaveras Reservoir to Mines to Hamilton back into San Jose.
I see spingineer has the Calaveras loop up, and I also see someone has the full Mount Hamilton Challenge, but it's like 124 miles which is probably a bit longer than I want to go. It seems there should be a way to not go all the way up to Livermore
The only paved loop is via Livermore. For a shorter route, you can ride over Hamilton to the San Antonio junction (food and water), then U-turn and climb the other side of Hamilton on your way home. The east side of Hamilton has very different scenery and terrain from the west side.
I don't think there is a small loop. Best you can do is a T shaped ride starting from Santa Clara and riding the various expressways to get to a start in either direction depending on what you want to tackle first. Adding the back side of Mt. Hamilton down to the Isabel Creek bridge and back up again will lead to a nice lactic acid session. The grade is steeper the whole way back up with few sections to recover. Full exposure to the sun as well. How many miles are you thinking?
I was just hoping to avoid a full loop thru Livermore. Certainly under 100mi would be nice. How far down is the bridge at Isabel Creek? Is it basically at the bottom, so ~4k feet from the summit? I will definitely have to ride the back side to get a feel for how steep it is. It would probably be best to make my first attempt fresh, rather than after an ascent of the San Jose side
Here is the climb up from the bridge about 5 miles down. I don't know how accurate the elevation gain is as it's different from what is listed on the billy goats page for the Almaden Cycle Tour Club. The climb is not as steep as Page Mill from Gates 3 to 4 but it's bad enough and there is significant Sun exposure throughout.
You would have to have someone drop you off by car at the bridge to start without doing any climbing first.
Thanks for the info -- sounds pretty doable, I think I'll just go for it.