Collier Canyon

Friday, January 21, 2011

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The ride I’m leading today will take us on a loop around Collier Canyon with a lunch stop at EJ’s. I decide to ride out from the house to meet up with the group at the Lafayette-Moraga Trail parking lot. I take Los Angeles to Spruce and Wildcat; continue on through Orinda to hop on the St Stephens trail into Lafayette. I make a quick stop at the Chevron station on Mt Diablo Blvd. This is a great place to stop, the restrooms are located on the left side of the building; you don’t have to ask for a key, it’s large enough to roll your bike inside while
you take care of business. Of course, they have a snack shop inside too.

We take Olympic to Tice Valley Blvd and make a stop at the Tice Valley Community Center. Water and restrooms are available. This is another great place to stop in this area.

We remain on Tice and turn on Meadow Rd to Castle Hill and Danville Blvd. It’s a flat run on Danville Blvd for the next 8.8 miles. The streets were surprisingly quiet and it wasn’t a garbage pick-up day; we had ample space riding on the shoulder. We turn on Hartz Way to Laurel and Brookside to Sycamore Valley Rd. Sycamore eventually becomes Camino Tassajara. We stay on this road for the next 10 miles. It’s totally FLAT! Once we get out of the residential areas, we continue on Camino Tassajara for another 3.8 miles; traffic gets a bit heavier here with no shoulder area to ride on. You need to ride single file!

We make a left turn onto Highland Rd; there is barely any traffic here. This whole area is dotted with horse ranches, farm houses with old barns and plenty of cows. The hill sides are starting to turn green; it’s very beautiful back here! The roads are in great condition and it’s nothing but rolling terrain with an average grade of about 3% here.

At the Y intersection, stay on your left to continue on Highland. There are a few short climbs with nothing exceeding 7%, the road levels out as you reach the intersection with Carneal. There are lots of things along here that catch my eye. It’s so calming here, riding in silence is great too; it allows me to take in everything in sight and also hear the birds chirping without any other distractions and background noise. After you pass the last couple of barns, it’s a fast downhill all the way to Manning Rd.

There’s a short climb as you turn onto Manning Rd; then it’s pretty flat all the way to Carneal.

Our lunch stop is at EJ’s Cattle Feed Store on Carneal Rd. I didn’t see Ed around the place. Water and a porta-pottie are available. There are vending machines for snacks and soft drinks too.

We continue on Carneal to Collier Canyon Rd. There are a few more climbs along the way here before we make blasting descent back to Highalnd Rd. I love seeing all the old barns here! We take Highland back out to Camino Tassajara.

We continue on Camino Tassajara and cross Crow Canyon Rd. Riding along here, I get caught at every red traffic light. It’s a flat run all the way back to Danville Blvd. We then take Castle Hill to Lancaster, Lilac and Newell. Olympic Blvd takes us back to the parking lot.

I continue back on the bike path into Lafayette and take Mt Diablo Blvd to Acalanes Rd and Hidden Valley Rd. From there, I reverse the way I came in the morning and climb Wildcat back to Spruce.

Thanks to everyone for joining me on this ride!

9 people in attendance

Original route: 47 miles with 1401′ of elevation gain

Extended route: 82 miles with 3951′ of elevation gain

Weather: FANTASTIC! Sunny and warm! Starting temp of 52 in Albany, dropping to 48 in Orinda, 56 at the Laf-Mor parking lot and reaching a high of 69 in Danville. Temp dropped to 57 while climbing Wildcat back to Berkeley.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>PUSH ON-KEEP MOVING!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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