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Old 02-13-10, 09:52 PM   #1
Red Rider
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Valentine's Day Ride

Cgallag and I are starved for new routes, and for opportunities to ride them. Sunday looks like the day. We want to do this route. Does anyone want to join us? Anyone have hints, clues, insider info? We plan to start at 9 and have lunch at the end (whenever that is). I'll check back before we leave at 8 a.m. If you send me a PM pls. leave a number/email addy so I can text/email back. Yes, I have one of those phones. Yes, I am a textahollic. Yes, we need hilly rides. Our feelings won't be hurt if you drop us.

I hope you all have fabulous rides tomorrow, wherever they may be.
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Old 02-13-10, 09:53 PM   #2
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Looks like a good one. Have a grand time! I'm staying local for my last ride before surgery. And maybe taking out Jacob for a spin after.
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Old 02-14-10, 01:12 AM   #3
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Would love to join, but can't.

That's a nice route - South Park is the kicker climb there, watch out for people walking their dogs across the road and the occasional mad cyclist bombing down @ 50mph.

Good places for water ~half way point, by the little steam trains (at the corner of Lomas Cantadas and Grizzly, just under a mile after the top of South Park) or a little later when you get to Sibley just after you turn from Grizzly Peak onto Skyline.
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Old 02-14-10, 02:03 AM   #4
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Here are my animal ride tips. Pigs, Wildcats, Bears, OH MY!

  • The start finish is a park and ride lot on Alhambra Ave in Martinez. It is right off the freeway and really easy to get to. Take the Alhambra exit off HWY 4 and turn left to go under the freeway. You go under and railroad trestle and turn Right on Franklin Canyon Rd. Park and Ride is an immediate left. Then head South on Alhambra Ave.
  • at .5 miles when you turn Right on Alhambra Valley Rd. Look left to catch a glimpse of a life size statue of John Muir sitting and taking notes in a redwood grove. Kind of cool.
  • Pig Farm Hill begins at 4.5 mi and ends at 5.2 (hey, it is called Pig Farm Hill not Mountain) but it is nasty in spots. You are climbing the easy side. Look for the barn with the faded "Pigs for Sale" sign at the top. When I was a lad I used to see pigs there. It was a working pig farm.
  • The 1.5 miles descent is wicked awesome. Enjoy. Just don't miss the left on Bear Creek Rd to get to the 3 Bears.
  • After the bears and before you cross San Pablo Dam Rd to climb Wildcat, you can take a breather and sit on the guardrail on the right side of the road. You will see cyclists car parked there.
  • There are bathrooms and water at the top of Wildcat.
  • Left on South Park Road at about mile 18.5 is closed to cars on weekends. That is why there is a gate across it. It is open to bikes and walkers. It is a wicked steep climb. Enjoy the delicious agony.
  • Mile 20: Make sure you Turn Left on Grizzly Peak.
  • Mile 24: Make sure you Turn Left on Skyline
  • At mile 25.5 as you cruise along Skyline make sure you GO STRAIGHT to descend Pinehurst Road. Pinhehurst is a great descent.
Do not bear left and continue on Skyline.
  • Mile 29.5 Turn Left on Canyon Road. This is a hidden jewel. Enjoy the redwoods. Canyon Rd turn into Moraga Rd.
  • At the corner of Moraga Rd and Moraga Way there are restaurants, stores and bathrooms in a shopping center.
  • When you are coming down Reliez Station Road to Olympic. Watch your speed. You come around a bend and BAM: a STOP Sign is RIGHT THERE!!!
Right on Olympic
Left on Pleasant Hill Rd.
Go past the High School a little bit and
Left on Relieze Valley Rd begins the home stretch and one last climb for the day.
Take Relieze Valley Rd all the way back to Alhambra Valley Rd and turn right at the stop sign at mile 43.2
From there, back track to the car.
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Old 02-14-10, 09:17 AM   #5
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I am also going on JoelS ride, otherwise I'd try to go with you guys. Having a tandem blow past you on the downhills is quite amazing, especially one with a bell

<ding ding>
*i look back*
WOOSH
*i look in front of me*
There is the tandem! :O lol
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Old 02-14-10, 09:35 AM   #6
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Oh, darn it. MyLilPony and I are visiting my father today. I'm looking forward to seeing him, but we'd have LOVED to do this ride with you. The weather looks to be perfect too. Have a great day!
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Old 02-14-10, 10:37 AM   #7
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Well, so much for spur of the moment planning...guess we'll take notes and maps and hope for the best. Next time I'll try to plan further ahead and give everyone more notice.

Oh, and we're not riding the tandem -- taking our half-bikes for a change. I like the "ding-ding -- WHOOSH" description, though, that's cute.

Y'all have a great day!
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Old 02-14-10, 11:34 AM   #8
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South Park Drive is closed in the winter, I'm sure you can climb over the gate just fine but you should be aware of this. The rangers if they catch you won't be happy. Otherwise looks like a fun loop, have a good time!
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Old 02-14-10, 11:53 AM   #9
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Hey Matt, did you run into any problems before? According to EB parks it's only closed to auto traffic, I've never had a problem riding up South Park in the winter - descending can be dangerous though given the speeds you hit and that people and their dogs assume no traffic and wander all over both sides of the road. And then there's the newts...

http://www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden
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Old 02-14-10, 12:18 PM   #10
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You can always go up a little farther to Shasta and take that out to Grizzly. It has some nice view points from there also.
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Old 02-14-10, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Hey Matt, did you run into any problems before? According to EB parks it's only closed to auto traffic, I've never had a problem riding up South Park in the winter - descending can be dangerous though given the speeds you hit and that people and their dogs assume no traffic and wander all over both sides of the road. And then there's the newts...

http://www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden
Actually I haven't ridden it in winter because I assumed the closure extended to bikes, but I think you may be right. It's worth asking a ranger next time I go through there. Foot and horse trafic is definitely OK, I guess bikes could go either way depending on how you interpret it.
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Old 02-15-10, 12:14 AM   #12
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We logged 55 miles and just over 5000' in climbing. Excellent weather, tremendous views, great ride. Of course I suffer now because I haven't been as diligent in my training as I was this time last year. Can't wait to do this ride again.

Had no problems with South Park Rd. except the pitch of the hill. We stopped at Owl picnic grounds, where I thought the worst was over. Ha! That last bit was nasty.

Here are some pics -- really gorgeous out there today.
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