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  1. #1
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    Mt. Hamilton backside / mines road condition?

    Hi all,

    I am planning to do the Hamilton / Mines Road / Livermore century loop this coming weekend. I wonder if anyone has gotten out there and know if the condition is rideable? I read some says there are icy patches a couple weeks back in that general area. I plan to leave early around 6am up Hamilton from San Jose to get an early start/finish.

    cheers.

  2. #2
    moth -----> flame Beaker's Avatar
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    It was pretty icy on Del Puerto Canyon Road (joins Mines Rd) last Saturday on the Early Bird Road Race for what that's worth. Based on my experience out there, I'd definitely want some reassurance that the rest of your loop would not be the same (I know DPC has lots of cold shaded stretches which are the root cause of that issue, not sure about the rest of Mines)

  3. #3
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Not to mention those nice cattle grates on the backside of the Hamilton descent. Those would be fun if they are all iced up. Not.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

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    appreciate it guys. i will push back my ride a couple weeks and find warmer alternatives in the meanwhile.

  5. #5
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpsmash View Post
    ... find warmer alternatives in the meanwhile.
    Hamilton shouldn't be that bad this weekend. A simple weather search for Sat say's the low in the area is going to be 41.
    With this weak system coming into NorCal this week, temps are warmer than last weekend.
    I'd go for it and enjoy every minute.

    BR
    Looking for a chateau. Twenty-one rooms but one will do. I don't want to buy it. I just want to rent it for an hour or two.

  6. #6
    blt
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenRidin View Post
    Hamilton shouldn't be that bad this weekend. A simple weather search for Sat say's the low in the area is going to be 41.
    With this weak system coming into NorCal this week, temps are warmer than last weekend.
    I'd go for it and enjoy every minute.

    BR
    Last weekend, climbing Mines and the backside of Hamilton would not have been a colder alternative than lower down, the inversion layer made things pretty weird. At one point it was 35 at my house and 53 at the top of Diablo. I suspect things will be more normal this weekend. This time of year, though, there is danger of ice in small patches on roads like Mines and the backside of Hamilton, even on the days that are not as cold, so caution is always advised. When riding downhill on those roads, at this time of year I find unexpected rocks scattered in the road to be a bigger danger than icy patches, but both are worth being careful about.

    Also, there is plenty of weather info on the Lick Observatory website if you want to know current conditions at the top of Hamilton.

  7. #7
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    I did a different kind of ride on Mines a few years ago. We were part of the NorCal Audi club and did a very high speed trip through Mines and up and over Mt Hamilton. I'm pretty sure you've nothing to worry about this weekend, but spring and fall would be different story. At one point, we met the local BMW club going the other way and the meeting was 'interesting' to say the least. I'm not sure if anyone had watched or thought about cyclists on that route but I certainly am glad I wasn't one. We had 51 TT's, plus a smattering of A4's and A6's - and all did the trip at speeds far exceeding both posted and safe limits.

    Once on 680, a number of the drivers decided they were untouchable (or something) and accelerated to over 110 - which is when I dropped off. I value my car, my freedom, my license and the other drivers on the road. Once you're in the pack on a two lane road, like Mines, the chances to bow out are nearly non-existent. Vehicles are less than a car length from each bumper and your sole focus is on staying within that small space and not ending up a tree decoration. After the run, my son commented that he had wondered what would have happened had we encountered cyclists. I shudder to think about that - and I never did another trip with them.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    I did a ride up Mt Ham new years day, and while we were up at the top a group of Porches, BMWs and some more exotic cars arrived, having started from the Livermore side.
    On the descent to San Jose they caught up to us. Some of the drivers, especially the fast ones at the front, passed safely. Some others were at their talent limit just hanging on to the car in front and did not give us much room at all. I stopped at the top of the last descent to let the rest go by so I would not be fighting for position with them on the descent.

    It's possible to drive or motorcycle fast on back roads while still keeping it safe for other traffic. I have no problem with that as a cyclist or motorcyclist or driver. It's the ones who forget that there are other road users and drive at 10 10ths who make me mad. We have plenty of race tracks around here. Go there to drive at 10 10ths.

    Last weekend there was frost ice on the road in the canyons and north facing areas on the west side. It wasn't too bad as long as you rode straight. I didn't ride the east side as I was sick and riding slow. The cattle grates are slippery no matter if it's icy or 100 degrees. The weather last weekend was unusual- clear nights with no wind let the cold air collect in the canyons. It's back to normal now.
    Last edited by ericm979; 01-26-13 at 03:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Come on, it'll be fun BenRidin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadProphet View Post
    ...my son commented that he had wondered what would have happened had we encountered cyclists. I shudder to think about that - and I never did another trip with them.
    I was descending Mines back to Livermore when I came upon a group of Rice Rockets cornering on my side! Seeing that I had my water bottle out and in my hand, it didn't take much of a shot to nail a rider straight in the chest! Imaging his surprise. I would have done the same thing with a group of Audi's, BMW's, or Mom station wagons.
    Looking for a chateau. Twenty-one rooms but one will do. I don't want to buy it. I just want to rent it for an hour or two.

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    delay after delay, looks like the ride will finally happen this weekend.

    I am trying to compile the list of water fountain/supply locations for the route. here are the locations i have found so far from various posting and databases.


    • Joseph Grant park - midway on the Hamilton climb
    • Top of Hamilton
    • The Junction
    • Livermore - Robertson park (where exactly?)
    • Sunol regional wilderness (where exactly?



    can someone help out on other possible locations? plan is to bring at least 2 big bottles but will consider an extra one or camelbak if supply points are limited. luckily weather seems to be pleasant at 50-75F.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    It's a long ways from Hamilton to the Junction. The store there had water last time I was there, inside in the bar. But you should buy something too.
    You can also get water from the fire station on the other side of the road but it is nasty tasting.

    It's a long ways from the Junction to Livermore. We usually stop for food and water at the Safeway on Concannon.

    Last time I did this we found water at Sunol park- the first set of buildings on the left after you go past the entrance station.

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    well, we did it. on the May 11th weekend. it was a great ride. temp was around 70s or so. had to wear a wind vest most of the time and full sleeves on down hills.

    water turned out to be not much an issue due to the pleasant temperature. we took a empty third bottle on the jersey pocket on the way up Hamilton and filled up at the top. The junction have a huge water dispenser which was empty by the time we got there so we bought a couple of bottles there to fill up. there is a huge group (around 30 ppl) doing the same route as us that day. the food at the junction is so so but i think anything tastes good at that point.

    we didn't find any more water outlets since there as we were pretty well loaded with water. but as mentioned, it would've been necessary if the temperature start going into the 80s.

    all in all a good ride. mines road with tailwind most of the time was the highlight and biking up Vellecitos road with cars whipping by and broken glass on the ground was the most unpleasant.

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