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Old 06-15-11, 06:05 PM   #1
silentben
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Tam, Diablo, and Hamilton in one day

What
Climb three prominent Bay Area peaks in one day without a car.

Why
This idea has appealed to me for a few years for a few reasons:
* Tam, Diablo, and Hamilton are the three best-known peaks in the Bay Area. While Tam is pretty short compared to the likes of Umunhum or Loma Prieta, it still gets the nod due to being more well known and also for having better access to the actual summit. (I probably won't hike up to the fire lookout though!). Any one of these climbs could be considered a full day's work and the Devil Mountain Double combines two of them (Diablo, Hamilton) but how awesome would it be to do all three? Apparently very.
* I like the idea of riding from home when possible. It turns out that bikes, in addition to being fun to ride, also let you get places so why not take advantage of that.
* Last year was my first introduction to double centuries. This year I'm upping the ante by doing one that is self-supported.
* Planning this ride seems like fun. There's a lot to do figure out starting with figuring out the route, picking a day to ride it, figuring out where to get food and water, deciding how to carry said food/water, and so on.

How
After weighing many options I decided to do the route clockwise, that is to say Tam first, then Diablo, then Hamilton. If the weather is normal (northwesterly winds) then this should result in more tailwinds as opposed to doing it the other way around. Also Mt. Tam is a state park and I had some concerns with it being closed if I saved that peak for last.

Here's the route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/528792

It is 218 miles as drawn (ending at my house so ymmv)

When
Friday, July 8 departing San Francsico Caltrain at 6:00am. I will be catching the train at Diridon station in San Jose at 4:30am.

Last year for the Terrible Two, which has a similar distance to elevation ratio, I averaged 15mph including stops. However that included maybe 20 miles of high speed pacelining at the start so maybe 14mph if I had done it solo. At that speed it would take me 15:34 to do this route or round it up to 16. So I should be home by 10pm. Hey that's only 1.5 hours of riding in the dark!

Who
I realize this isn't the type of ride that appeals to everyone. There are considerable "junk" miles. But I welcome any company for part or all of the ride.

Last edited by silentben; 07-07-11 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Updated route link
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Old 06-15-11, 08:09 PM   #2
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Alas, I'll be driving to Markleeville on Fri 8th, looking forward to the ride reports though
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Old 06-15-11, 09:40 PM   #3
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That is my kind of crazy... but I wouldn't survive more than half of it... and likely less.
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Old 06-16-11, 10:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Alas, I'll be driving to Markleeville on Fri 8th, looking forward to the ride reports though
I'll be doing the same thing as Beaker. I'll have to join next year's version of this ride.
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Old 06-16-11, 02:09 PM   #5
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Man, you're crazy!
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Old 06-16-11, 02:09 PM   #6
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The idea sounds interesting. I will be doing my first back-to-back double this weekend, I'll see how I feel about it afterwards.

Getting water at Mines Road will be hard, finding food and facilities may also slow down the average somewhat. Gotta be prepared to descend Hamilton at night.

Last edited by MetinUz; 06-16-11 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 06-16-11, 03:37 PM   #7
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What a startlingly cool idea. I just wish I had the cycling chops to go with you. Alas, that's not the case. Perhaps if I camped out part way or something...
In any event, photos must be made! I tee shirt commissioned!
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Old 06-16-11, 03:44 PM   #8
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The Junction cafe is open until 9pm on Friday (or at least that's what their web site says) so I should be able to get food and water there.

Good point about it taking longer to get food and water compared to a supported ride. If my total average speed was 13mph then it would take 16:46 or over 2.5 hours in the dark. I'll bring enough headlight batteries to run on high for 3 hours.

Already thought about descending Hamilton in the dark. Even better, I will also be cutting off at Quimby and descending that! The twilight views should be gorgeous but I certainly won't be setting any PRs ... unless some wild boars start to chase me. The moon will be halfway illuminated and in the southwest sky so that should help a bit since there isn't much tree cover.
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Old 06-16-11, 04:01 PM   #9
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Wouldn't the ride be quicker if you double back to SF and take the ferry over to Alameda and continue on Diablo that way? Or are you trying to do this purely by cycling the entire distance?
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Old 06-16-11, 04:23 PM   #10
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I thought about something like that (doubling back to SF and then taking BART to Pleasant Hill). It would save about 40 miles of riding. When you consider the time spent waiting for and then riding the train this option would save maybe 2 hours at most. I decided that it was worth it to me to ride the extra distance. Plus loops are always more appealing to me than out-and-backs just on general principle.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:11 PM   #11
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Hwy 37 status

I'm curious, because I've looked at routes around the bay before, but isn't Hwy 37 illegal for bicycles? That 37 section has always stymied ideas I had. But this sounds like a really neat idea. Having ridden both Mt Tam double and DMD, it really appeals to put all three mountains together.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:38 PM   #12
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Here's what I turned up about Hwy 37 that suggests it's quite rideable even if not that pleasant:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ato-on-Hwy.-37

There's only one part that is of some concern and that's the bridge at mile 55.7 on the ridewithgps route above. It looks like the shoulder essentially disappears over the bridge although there's a teeny tiny elevated sidewalk that's probably way too narrow to ride on.

I actually seriously considered riding the Richmond-San Rafael bridge since it is more direct and would also be tons more epic. But I decided the day would have enough challenges without flouting the law. Maybe in another few decades ... http://www.marinbike.org/Campaigns/I...SRBridge.shtml
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Old 06-17-11, 01:31 PM   #13
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The worry I would have on 37 is the section between the racetrack and Vallejo (miles 60 to 69). It has a center divider with a very narrow single lane on each side. There's not much of a shoulder/bike lane and the cars do not have much room to pass you with what can be considered safe clearance. To make it worse this is a much travelled roadway.
Honestly with such a climbing challenge for a one day ride I would play it safe and use BART or a ferry to cross the bay. It should be a great ride.

Last edited by gpelpel; 06-17-11 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 06-17-11, 03:09 PM   #14
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this sounds genuninely epic. That is a long day in the saddle.
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Old 06-18-11, 08:00 AM   #15
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I'd suggest you check out 37 in a car before you ride it. It really doesn't seem like a reasonable place to ride.
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Old 06-18-11, 11:31 AM   #16
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Having driven Hwy 37 more times than I can count, at all hours of the day and days of the week.... let me say this.

You do not have enough money to get me to ride my bicycle on that stretch of highway.
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Old 06-19-11, 12:50 AM   #17
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I used to drive Hwy 37 a lot when I lived in Larkspur and visited friends/family in Sacramento. I honestly don't remember it being that bad but then again I wasn't a cyclist then and wasn't evaluating it from that point of view. Thanks for the candid warnings, I'll take them under advisement.
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Old 06-19-11, 12:45 PM   #18
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^^ I would seriously think more than twice about it.

Back to the original topic...last summer, my friends and I did a version of this Triple Crown: Drove to the base of Hamilton. Pedaled to the top and back to the cars. Drove over to Danville, pedaled to Diablo summit and back. Drove to Mill Valley, pedaled to Tam summit and back. Good times were had.

Your version is way more epic. My version was a lot of fun.
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Old 06-19-11, 01:07 PM   #19
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It's always a good idea to drive the route by car if you are not sure. I don't trust Google Maps or GPS maps, because they don't always get timely updates.
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Old 06-19-11, 04:49 PM   #20
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Epic is the word! I ask though: please don't do this alone, without some sort of on-ride support: other bikers (even if they only ride parts of the route), or someone driving. Especially in summer!
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Old 06-23-11, 10:07 AM   #21
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Old 06-27-11, 02:32 AM   #22
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I'll be devil's advocate and say that THAT ride is impossible. Prove me otherwise.
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Old 06-27-11, 03:10 PM   #23
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Sure it will be a long day and a tough ride but it's not exactly pushing the limits of cycling. By randonneuring standards the ride isn't even all that long - only 350km.
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Old 06-27-11, 03:25 PM   #24
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I did the backside of Mt. Hamilton a couple months ago. It was definitely one of the more difficult rides I've ever done. Wouldn't mind trying it again, though. What time do you think you'll be getting into Livermore. I may try and tack on for the stretch to San Jose.
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Old 06-27-11, 03:44 PM   #25
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We'll turn onto Mines road at mile 141. It's hard to anticipate what the pace will be like up to that point but taking a wild stab I'd say 4:00pm +/- 45 minutes. From that point it's at least 4.5 hours up and over the backside until you get back to San Jose, probably more like 5 hours when you factor in stops. This means descending in the dark so if you come out be sure and bring lights. It would be great to have some extra company out there. I'll probably post my ride progress at http://twitter.com/silentben
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