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Route Advice - Peninsula to Stockton

Old 07-30-08, 11:01 AM
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Route Advice - Peninsula to Stockton

Hey everyone,

So I'm new to cycling and new to this forum, but you all seem knowledgeable so I hope you can help.

I'm looking to ride from Mountain View out to the edge of NW Stockton. Google Maps with avoid highways tells me 98.9 miles, so I'll zigzag to make it my first 100.

Has anyone ridden this, or at least east into the valley from the peninsula and able to provide some route advice?

Also, tips on riding first century (gear, training, whatever) would be appreciated. I've only been riding since early May. I commute 5 days (ok, 4 some weeks) between 13-20miles round trip and usually do 1 longer (for me) 30-ish mile ride Saturday or Sunday. I'm looking to do this at the beginning of September and am planning to increase my weekend ride by 10 miles each week to 65/70, then jump to the 100. If there's advice beyond that, I welcome it.
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Old 07-30-08, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Hey everyone,

So I'm new to cycling and new to this forum, but you all seem knowledgeable so I hope you can help.

I'm looking to ride from Mountain View out to the edge of NW Stockton...
Welcome.

Ooof!

You've picked a doozy of a ride to be your first 100. What route did Google give you?

BR
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Old 07-30-08, 12:01 PM
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Really? It looks pretty flat to me, with a little climb over the pass. I thought that would be easy. I'm more worried about being able to sit in the saddle for 6, 7, or 8 hours.

Anyway, the route I was looking at to get out of the bay area from MV was to take Central Expressway south to Trimble rd. Trimble east to Milpitas then north to Niles Canyon Rd via Able St/Milpitas Blvd/Warm Springs to Mission Blvd.

Niles Canyon east through Pleasanton/Livermore, then Vasco Rd. to county rd. 4 to Stockton. Vasco looks to climb to about 1100ft and then coast downhill for quite a few miles.

What I really want to avoid is what happens to me every time I go exploring in Los Altos hills, where I turn a corner and unexpectedly find a dirt road.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sadd...=UTF8&t=h&z=16

Last edited by Ygduf; 07-30-08 at 12:09 PM. Reason: adding map link
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Old 07-30-08, 12:02 PM
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Make sure you eat enough. Shoot for around 250 calories an hour.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
Really? It looks pretty flat to me, with a little climb over the pass. I thought that would be easy. I'm more worried about being able to sit in the saddle for 6, 7, or 8 hours.

Anyway, the route I was looking at to get out of the bay area from MV was to take Central Expressway south to Trimble rd. Trimble east to Milpitas then north to Niles Canyon Rd via Able St/Milpitas Blvd/Warm Springs to Mission Blvd.

Niles Canyon east through Pleasanton/Livermore, then Vasco Rd. to county rd. 4 to Stockton. Vasco looks to climb to about 1100ft and then coast downhill for quite a few miles.

What I really want to avoid is what happens to me every time I go exploring in Los Altos hills, where I turn a corner and unexpectedly find a dirt road.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sadd...=UTF8&t=h&z=16

This map takes me to Riverbank (North of Modesto).

Hmm, I would avoid Hwy 4. Too much traffic combined w/ no shoulder makes for a dangerous ride.

Consider taking Vasco to Old Altamont.
L at Grantline
L at Mountain House Pkwy (Not Mountain House Rd!)
R at West Byron Rd
L at West Bethany
L at South Lammers
L at South Tracy Blvd
R at Howard Rd
From here you can take the surface roads to you destination. PM me if you would a more detailed route.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:30 PM
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If you can work in a climb up Corral Hollow, the descent down into Tracy is a real gas.

I agree with BenRidin about Rte 4 - lots of FAST traffic and no shoulders.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BenRidin View Post
Hmm, I would avoid Hwy 4. Too much traffic combined w/ no shoulder makes for a dangerous ride.
Funny I read this thread and went when I saw part of the route on Highway 4, but my first thought was "I wonder what Ben's take will be on it?".

I ride a lot of hairy roads but Hwy's 4 and 12 in the San Joaquin give me quivers just thinking about em'.

If it's your first century you should go for a thrill and come over Hamilton to the town of Patterson and then take 33 north, 132 east, Kasson Rd to Airport all the way up through the bowels of Stockton. J/K that is not the path of least resistance.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by redspoke View Post
F

I ride a lot of hairy roads but Hwy's 4 and 12 in the San Joaquin give me quivers just thinking about em'.
Perfect. These are exactly the kind of things I prefer to find out sooner rather than later.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by redspoke View Post
...I ride a lot of hairy roads but Hwy's 4 and 12 in the San Joaquin give me quivers just thinking about em'.
Me too. I would never ride on either of these roads...

Originally Posted by redspoke View Post
If it's your first century you should go for a thrill and come over Hamilton to the town of Patterson and then take 33 north, 132 east, Kasson Rd to Airport all the way up through the bowels of Stockton. J/K that is not the path of least resistance.
You are mean!

Ygduf,

Got your pm and sent response.
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Old 07-30-08, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BenRidin View Post
You are mean!
We have yet to meet, but the mental picture of that encounter always has me in a headlock...
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Old 07-30-08, 10:17 PM
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If you're sticking to Montague after Trimble meets it, I'd turn left on McCarthy. Abel gets pretty narrow around 237/Calaveras. I think McCarthy going north is nice and wide, and there's a wide bike lane behind McCarthy Ranch. It ends at Dixon Landing, where turning right will get you to Milpitas Blvd. Take that north to Grimmer and hang a right to Mission.
I would normally tell you to just follow Warm Springs/Driscoll until it hits Mission, but the railroad construction in Fremont makes that a bad route for cycling. Not just cars, but stuff in the road from the work.

Staying on Montague and turning left onto Milpitas Blvd is also a good route.
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Old 08-01-08, 06:08 PM
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First, a couple of "don'ts."

Do not, under ANY circumstances, take Valecitos Road (Hwy 84 between Sunol and Livermore) unless you want to die. I am not exagerating - the combination of the climb, the high traffic volume, the high traffic speed, the twistiness of the road and the utter lack of shoulder where you need it most is an invitation to disaster. Even of you survive, your nerves will be shot. Go north to Pleasanton and then east to Livermore instead. Please.

Do not go over Vasco Road between Livermore and Brentwood. There is enough traffic and enough narrow shoulder to make it unfun long enough to not be worth it. If there were no other options, that would be one thing. But there are options.

Instead, take Old Altamont Pass Road from eastern Livermore into the San Joaquin Valley. (It parallels I-580 fairly closely, but far enough away that freeway noise and exhaust is not a problem.) It's an easy climb followed by a shallow but fun descent, and it almost always has a significant tailwind. (There is a reason for all the windmills in this area.) It also means you avoid the suburban sprawl hell that is the Brentwood area.

Or, if you don't mind a few extra miles and a moderate climb, take bigbossman's advice and go over Tesla/Corral Hollow Road. There is a 2 mile (give or take) technical descent followed by 10 or more miles of the sweetest gentle down with (on most days) a tailwind combination you could ever wish for. The road surfaces after you cross I-5 suck donkey balls, but not for long.

Or, if you don't mind a few extra miles and want to barf up a lung on an uphill and feel like a fighter pilot in a power dive on the descent, go over Patterson Pass Road. (The Tour of California went over Patterson in the other direction in 2007.) That doesn't sound like what you are after, though.

Now, a couple of options to consider.

Consider going across the Dumbarton Bridge (it has a separate bike lane on one side, kind of like the Golden Gate Bridge), and through Fremont (it sucks, but no worse that Milpitas) to Niles Canyon Road. Eastboound Niles is trafficky and kind of marginal in terms of a shoulder, but it is doable.

If you want to go via Milpitas, consider taking Calaveras Road to Sunol. There is a climb out of Milpitas, culminating in a very nasty, albeit short, wall just after making the left hand turn to stay on Calaveras. But once over that wall, it is a beautiful ride that weaves in and out of ravines above a pretty reservoir. It'll add some miles to the total, though. (If you don't include Calaveras in this jaunt, you owe it to yourself to include it in a ride some day - especially in the srping, when everything is noce and green.)
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