Century Prep Warm-Up Ride #1: SPDR & Wildcat

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Click here to watch a short video of the ride

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Today is the start of the club’s Century Prep Rides. It’s a series of 2 warm up rides and 7 rides on nine consecutive Sundays. Each ride progresses in mileage and hilliness. The routes cover many of the roads that are on the GPC Century. By the time you complete the series, you will be well prepared to tackle all the climbs the Century has to offer. Please bear in mind that riding one day a week is not enough preparation, so try to incorporate a few more days of riding during the week if you can.

Michael and I always like to attend and or volunteer for these types of rides to show support for the club and it’s ride leaders. It’s our little way of “giving back”.

The ride meets up at the North Berkeley BART station. We take all the side streets through Berkeley; Sacramento, California, Monterey to The Alameda and Tacoma. The route continues on Colusa through Kensington and we wind our way through El Cerrito and Richmond. We take Rockway, Ashbury, Moeser and Richmond to Elm. There is a short little hill on Elm with a traffic signal, you have to time it just right to make left turn on the green or else you’re stopped at the light on an incline.

We ride pass the Del Norte BART station on Key Blvd. There is another short little hill that takes us up and over to McLaughlin St. There is a brief regroup at Tiller Park.

We continue on McLaughlin which becomes Clifton and continue on Amador St. Amador parallels I-80 all the way to San Pablo Dam Rd. SPDR is a busy street with plenty of traffic. Riding single file is highly recommended. There is another regroup at the intersection of SPDR and Castro Ranch Rd.

We continue to head south on SPDR . The average grade all the way up to the Dam is around 4%. Thereafter, it’s a nice flat’ish run all the way to Wildcat.

The climb up Wildcat is 2.5 miles. The first mile up is steeper than the second half; the average grade is around 7% with the road easing up a bit after you pass El Toyonal. It’s a nice 3-4% all the way to Inspiration Point. There is another regroup at the top. Restrooms are available but no water. The group breaks up at this point, some opt to return to the NB BART while others go for the post ride stop at Peet’s on Vine St.

Michael and I add some extra miles by continuing onto Grizzly Peak Blvd. The views along the ridge are spectacular as always! We stop at the intersection of Skyline and Pinehurst to eat lunch. I spot Mark A and Jane B coming up from Pinehurst and holler out at them. They stop and we chit chat for a bit. We also saw Bart B at the top of Pinehurst.

We continue back on Skyline to Grizzly Peak. There are a lot of cyclists out riding for the day. We see Jaz and Mark N. I saw Paul R on Wildcat earlier in the day. We also exchanged greetings with Jeffrey B and Bob M along the way.

From Grizzly Peak Blvd, we take Golf Course down to Shasta and take Wildcat back to Orinda.

Thanks to Estella, Esta and Ron for leading today’s ride! They did a great job of keeping the group together.

25 people in attendance

Extended route: 46 miles with 3706′ of elevation gain

Weather: Fabulous! Sunny, mild and breezy. Starting temp of 53 and reaching a high of 63

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RIDE ON!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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