Tunnel to Lafayette

Friday, March 11, 2011

Click here to watch a short video of the ride

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The ride I lead today meets up at the Lake Temescal parking lot off Broadway in Oakland. Parking is free during the weekdays; water and restrooms are available. We head up Broadway and cross over the Freeway Overpass to Caldecott Lane.

Tunnel Rd from Caldecott Ln to Grizzly Peak Blvd is about 3.1 miles with an average gradient of 4.5%. It’s a steady climb with fantastic views and minimal traffic.

We make a left on Grizzly Peak Blvd and ride along the ridge for the next 2.4 miles. The views are pretty spectacular.

The 1.5 mile climb on Grizzly Peak starts after you cross Claremont Ave all the way up towards South Park Dr. The average gradient is close to 6%. Once again, the views are fabulous! Water and restrooms are available at the Steam Trains at Tilden.

We descend Grizzly and wind through the neighborhoods to Wildcat Canyon. There is a brief regroup at the Island Picnic Area. Water and restrooms are available. We continue to head east on Wildcat Canyon into Orinda.

The climb up Pumphouse Grade is less than 2 miles with an average grade of 5.5%. You’re on good pavement with a wide shoulder and little traffic. This climb during the summer can get very hot, there is no shade and you’re fully exposed to the sun. Water is available at Briones Park. The descent on the backside is straight and fast!

The next turn is on Happy Valley Rd. It’s a single lane narrow road with an average grade of 9% and several steep pitches that max out at 12%. The climb is less than one mile and it’s actually very beautiful riding under a canopy of trees. You’re near the top when you approach the guard rails. From that point, it’s a fun, twisty downhill into Lafayette.

We continue on Deer Hill Rd to 1st St into the shopping center. The lunch stop is at Noah’s Bagel; there is ample outdoor seating and plenty of space to park the bikes. Water and restrooms are available inside.

After lunch, we return on Happy Valley Rd to Sundown Terrace. The climb is about 2.5 miles long; it’s a nice steady grade of about 2-3% from Deer Hill to the stop sign at Upper Happy Valley Rd. The gradient increases to about 9-10% during the next few switchbacks up to Sundown Terrace. From there, we continue on Sundown to Dalewood and Lombardy Ln. We take Miner Rd to Camino Pablo.

We head up Wildcat Canyon for the 2.5 mile climb to Inspiration Point. The first mile is steeper than the second half with the gradient being around 7-8%. Once you pass El Toyonal, it eases up to about a 4% grade overall.

The route then takes us up Shasta Rd to Grizzly Peak Blvd. Shasta is a short steep quarter mile climb to the intersection at Golf Course Rd.

We continue on Grizzly Peak Blvd for the next 6+ miles. The scenery is great! The climb starts after crossing Centennial Dr and ends at the South Park Dr. The average gradient is around 4.5%. The descent is fun and fast.

We descend Tunnel Rd back to the parking lot at Lake Temescal.

Thanks to everyone for joining me on this hilly hills ride!

9 people in attendance

49 miles with 5245′ of elevation gain

Weather: Sunny, cool and breezy. Starting temp of 52 and reaching a high of 62

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

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