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Recommended Bay Area climbs, long rides and clubs?

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Recommended Bay Area climbs, long rides and clubs?

Old 07-26-21, 07:41 PM
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el forestero
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Recommended Bay Area climbs, long rides and clubs?

Hi folks,
I'll be in the Bay Area for a few months starting mid-August and want to stay in shape for my Mt Fuji-area rides while I'm away from Japan. Would love to know about some good places to train long climbs, preferably somewhat rural so there are some trees or views and not too many cars and trucks. Ideally I'd like to train climbing where there's a 700 m to 1.5 km or more elevation gain and at least about a 5% average grade. Would also be interested in finding out about places that have segments with 12 to 20% grades.

For those who watched the Olympic men's road cycling race Saturday, my weekly training climb in Japan is two consecutive runs up the 6.5 km-long segment near the end of the race that's mostly 10 to 20% grades and a total elevation gain of 700 m per run. Some weeks I instead ride up Mt Fuji which is only about a 6% average grade with 1.5 km elevation gain over 24 km distance. Something comparable to or more challenging than either of those would be ideal.

Any suggestions? Would be into trying a few different places to see where's most enjoyable.

And any advice about nice, long rural rides away from heavy traffic? My usual range is 80 to 200 km.

Also if there are any local riding clubs you could suggest with people who like to do long or hilly rides, please let me know. I'll be based in Walnut Creek but will have lots of time on my hands and would be happy to travel anywhere from Santa Cruz to the North Bay for good rides. 2x Moderna vaxxed.
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Old 07-26-21, 08:42 PM
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Diablo will be in your backyard
Mt Tam
Mt Hamilton
Close enough to head to Livermore and do Mines to the Junction
Morgan Territory
Head towards Sunol and do Welch Creek.
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Old 07-26-21, 08:50 PM
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https://www.grizz.org/home/index.php
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Old 07-26-21, 10:12 PM
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73StellaSX76
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All those suggested plus Mt Umunhum near San Jose, the hardest of the local peak climbs.
https://pjammcycling.com/climb/445.H...nhum%2520north
The pjamm site is good for finding other climbs too.
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Old 07-26-21, 11:08 PM
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I suppose it should go without saying that there’s nothing of the scale of Fuji in the Bay Area - the highest peaks here are closer to 4,000 feet than 14,000! the ones listed above are enjoyable and local and some have really amazing views, particularly tam, IMO.

If you really want to climb, drive 6 hours to the eastern Sierra, where you’ll find the highest mountains in the continental US and some monster climbs, https://ridewithgps.com/trips/56070 (not my ride!)
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Old 07-27-21, 08:03 AM
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DiabloScott
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Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
Diablo will be in your backyard
Mt Tam
Mt Hamilton
Close enough to head to Livermore and do Mines to the Junction
Morgan Territory
Head towards Sunol and do Welch Creek.
I suggest just doing Diablo six times.
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Old 07-27-21, 12:21 PM
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SCTinkering
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Originally Posted by 73StellaSX76 View Post
All those suggested plus Mt Umunhum near San Jose, the hardest of the local peak climbs.
Mount Umunhum is no joke. Hicks to the junction is also joke free. Nothing like 18% kickers to make those 9% sections such a relief to be on.

Mount Hamilton is its own joy in that if you start from Alum Rock it's three exposed climbs on the way up and two on the way back, so five total climbs.

Like every climb in the SF Bay Area, they are best done very early in the morning or during Late Fall/Winter/Early Spring.
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Old 07-27-21, 04:12 PM
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el forestero
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Thanks for the advice, all. Looking forward to checking those out!
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Old 07-27-21, 05:43 PM
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curbtender
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Mt Fuji ride for example...

https://pjammcycling.com/climb/1294.Mt.-Fuji-Fujinomiya
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Old 07-27-21, 06:16 PM
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KJ43
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I can say that on the Peninsula there aren't the super long sustained climbs like Mt. Fuji, but Page Mill Road (2,000 ft or 605 meters elevation in 8.3 miles or 13.4 km) and Montebello Road (1940 feet or 591 meters elevation in 5.30 miles or 8.53 km are good climbs. Montebello Road is very light on traffic too. Both rides have sections that exceed 10% and you can't be thinking the average grade matters as there are long flat sections on both climbs which bring it down.

There are also "lesser" climbs that you can link up because climbing up to Skyline Boulevard you are climbing to the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains. You can go up and down and back up and down on either side to get the elevation you want and the scenery is great and there are trees so the climb isn't super exposed (mostly).

You can do things like climbing Kings Mountain Road to Skyline Boulevard, take Skyline South to 84 and descend (because 84 isn't the greatest climb anyway), go South on Portola Road to Old La Honda Road and climb back up to Skyline Boulevard and then pick whatever descent back down you like (Old La Honda Road sucks to descend and 84 isn't the greatest - Page Mill Road is a great descent if you go that far South).

The Bay Area has a surplus of great riding, scenery, and climbs. It's really a great place to ride.

Last edited by KJ43; 07-27-21 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 07-27-21, 10:19 PM
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Short ride with lots of climbing is to start at Woodside, up Kings Mountain road, left on skyline and down 84, left on Pescadero Rd to Alpine rd back to Skyline. From there descent Pagemil back or take skyline back. Former is better as there is less cars going fast.
Longer ride with more climbing is continue on Pescadero Creek Rd to stage rd, and take Tunitas back. (stage to HW1, right on Tunitas Creek Rd).
Tunitas is a fun climb. It's steep at the bottom and levels up at the top.
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Old 07-27-21, 10:48 PM
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Take a look at Home Page - Jay's Essential Bike Rides (I have no affiliation with it, I just like it as a reference) - lots of ride descriptions in the Bay Area and California generally. You might also want to sign up for the Marin Century.
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Old 07-29-21, 03:03 AM
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el forestero
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Cool! I'll check those out as well. Thanks, all!
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Old 10-22-21, 10:40 AM
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When I visited Japan pre-pandemic - I rode the Tokyo Olympics road course - it was a great ride. (I did it in January 2019) - Japan has the smoothest roads - its really great to ride.
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Old 10-22-21, 01:10 PM
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Mines Road in Livermore is a good climb up to Lake Del Valle. Alternatively stay left at the for and ride up to Mt.Hamilton.
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Old 10-22-21, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I suggest just doing Diablo six times.
When I was getting ready to do Haleakala in Maui, I just told myself it was just Diablo repeats.
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Old 10-30-21, 01:23 AM
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If you have a bike with treaded tires you could take it up from Aptos Creek Road into Nisene Marks. If that bike also has suspension on the way down you could <REDACTED>


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Old 12-17-21, 09:37 AM
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Great thread. Looking forward to checking these out as my skills improve!
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Old 12-17-21, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by phobucket View Post
Great thread. Looking forward to checking these out as my skills improve!
If you are new to climbing, try mt hamitlon. It's a gradual grade your bike should have deep enough gears for. Some roads like quimby I am wanting a 40T on the back. ha-ha
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