Two Bridges-Lunch in Benicia

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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For today, I ride out from Martinez to meet up with the group at the corner of SPDR and Wildcat. I take Morello, Vine Hill and Alhambra Way to Alhambra Ave to continue on Alhambra Valley Rd.

The climb on the backside of Pig Farm is much gentler with the gradient ranging from 7-9%. The descent is amazingly fast!

The turn onto Bear Creek Rd takes me through several horse ranches and the Gan Shalom cemetary.

The climb on Mama Bear is under a mile long with a steady grade of 7%. There are two humps between the next climb on Papa Bear.

The climb on Papa Bear is under a mile and starts after you cross the bridge at the intersection with Happy Valley Rd. The gradient is at a steady 7% and comes with a rewarding sweeping fast descent on the back side.

Baby Bear is the short steep climb up to SPDR. The gradient ranges from 9-11% as you near the top.

I get to SPDR and don’t see any other club members there, so I decide to climb up Wildcat to catch them on the way down. The first mile has an average grade of around 6-7% and then eases up as you reach the wide turnout area at El Toyonal. The remainder of the way up Wildcat averages around 3%. I stop for a bit at Inspiration Point and see several members ride by. I join them for the descent on Wildcat. There is a brief regroup at the corner of Bear Creek Rd & SPDR.

We head down SPDR to Castro Ranch Rd and continue on Pinole Valley Rd to San Pablo Ave. Several of us stop on Cummings to check out the horse murals.

We continue on San Pablo Ave and hop in the bike path to cross the Zampa Bridge. There is a regroup at the lookout area.

We continue across the bridge and take 5th St to Lemon and Benicia Rd. We turn on Columbus Pkwy to Rose and hop on the bike path that leads us into Benicia.

Many of us stop at the waterfront to have our lunch. You get great views of the bridges and the surrounding area.

Ron leads us out on the bike path through the Marina.

We continue on Military E Hwy and Jefferson. The bike path off Park Rd leads us across the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. At the other end, we cross the RR tracks to Marina Vista into Martinez. We continue on Alhambra Ave towards Pleasant Hill.

Paso Nogal takes me up and over on Morello back to Martinez.

Thanks to Phil for leading today’s ride!

20 people in attendance

67 miles with 4825′ of elevation gain

Weather: Sunny, warm and breezy. Starting temp of 50 in Martinez and reaching a high of 67 for the day

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

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