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Has anyone biked over Billy Wright Road?

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Has anyone biked over Billy Wright Road?

Old 07-21-23, 10:30 AM
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Has anyone biked over Billy Wright Road?

Rather than reviving the 10 yr old thread about cycling over Pacheco Pass I thought I would start a new thread. I recently retired at age 61 and want to get back to touring. My brother lives in Stevinson CA and I live in Gilroy. Google Maps shows the bicycle route as including Billy Wright Road. I've never used this app:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/3505171

My 40 yr old Trek 520 is fine for dirt roads, my concern is that there are a LOT of dirt roads in those hills, and I might get lost. Is "Ridewithgps" an android app, and will it work to tell me where I am in those hills? I gather from that route that it is only about 18 miles from 152 near I-5 to paved roads near Hollister. Bringing along a few liters of water, maybe 3, should be enough to get me over that, and I might even camp in those hills (though I'm sure there are plenty of wild pigs and mountain lions).

Have any other adventurous NorCal cyclists ridden over Billy Wright Road?

Cheers.
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Old 07-21-23, 11:08 AM
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haven't done it myself! that unpaved half mile stretch at 17% + in the middle looks pretty brutal, especially on a hot day. these ranch and hill access routes around the bay can be really peaceful with relatively little traffic, but when there are cars, a decent number of them are absolutely not paying any attention or looking for bicycles. biggest risk is someone coming your direction around a turn not bothering to stay to the right. keep your ears open and stay relatively close to the right edge so you can bail if a pickup truck comes barreling down the middle of the narrow road. i doubt anyone would get to the landfill by that road from the west, so the traffic should be mostly pickups and cars. expect terrible paving where it is paved!

rideWithGPS has both iphone and android apps, and assuming your phone has sufficient battery life, it will show you where you are on the map. you'll likely not have cell service everywhere up there, so make sure to download the maps ahead of time - you'll need to subscribe, i think - https://support.ridewithgps.com/hc/e...5-Offline-Maps

throw a small external battery for your phone into a pocket or bag. most of these apps eat a TON of power when they're on mapping modes, and i wouldn't be surprised if it didn't last for a 3-4 hour ride like this with constant usage. if you turn the screen off, or leave it on a dashboard rather than map screen, it'll last much longer. with the phone i use for my cycling (an iphone 12 mini) rideWithGPS gives me 4-8 hours of battery life depending on how much i use the maps. there really isn't any way to get lost up there, but just in case something happens you want some juice.
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Old 07-21-23, 02:39 PM
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Good information, thank you! Especially the extra cell phone battery. For the 17% grade I will just get off and push the bike up the hill. Looking more closely, that grade is up to 21% and seems to go on for nearly a mile. Lots of walking the bike there!

Last edited by Galoot; 07-21-23 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 10-24-23, 12:02 AM
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Hiya,
Did you ever make it over? I was just looking into this road myself.
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Old 10-24-23, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by j_brodu
Hiya,
Did you ever make it over? I was just looking into this road myself.
Not yet! I'm working on getting my '88 BMW R100GS running again--I'll use that to scout out the route first.
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Old 10-24-23, 10:46 PM
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At the 6- mile mark Billy Wright Road stops abruptly at a locked gate with a “private-property, no trespassing” sign posted above it
https://www.summitpost.org/twin-peak...-county/828818

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Bob Burd - Oct 14, 2013 2:33 pm - Voted 10/10

Billy Wright RdThis was sent to me by Murphy Mack via email. Apparently the approach via Billy Wright Rd is a public easement. I doubt the peak itself is part of the easement, however. I have spoken with Merced County public works (roads) and they have told me that Billy Wright Rd. in Merced County, control of this was ceded from the county to the ranch owners there. However, part of the agreement was that a public easement be maintained. I went to their office and got to check out a key to the gate. When I arrived, it turns out the gate is just dummy locked anyway. Two other people in cars there both smiled and waved at me as they passed going the other way.
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