Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I ride out from home to meet up with the group at the Lake Temescal parking lot off Broadway in Oakland. I’m taking a hilly 30 miles route to get over there; east Pig Farm Hill, the Bears, Wildcat and South Park Dr to Grizzly Peak Blvd and down Tunnel Rd.
The sun is out in all its glory and taking in the fresh morning air is a great way to start my day! It’s very quiet as I make my way over to Pig Farm via Alhambra Valley Rd. I assume that the few cars that I do see are taking the back road to work.
The vast majority of Bear Creek Rd right off Alhambra Valley Rd has recently been repaved; it makes for a much nicer ride up to Mama Bear. The climb is under a mile long with a steady 7-8% grade followed by a few big rollers in between.
You get a nice fast descent before reaching Papa Bear. The climb up Papa Bear starts after you cross Happy Valley Rd. It’s also under a mile long with a steady gradient of 7-8%. The explosively fast descent on Pumphouse will take you to Baby Bear.
The climb up Bear Bear is steep and short; it takes you to the intersection with Camino Pablo and Wildcat Canyon.
Wildcat Canyon is 2.5 miles long. The first mile has an average grade of about 7% and once you pass El Toyonal, the road eases up to a much gentler 3-5% grade all the way up to Inspiration Point.
I stop at Inspiration Point to take in the views of the San Pablo Reservoir and the surrounding hills. It’s gorgeous up here!
Continuing on Wildcat to South Park Dr will take me up to Grizzly Peak Blvd. The climb up South Park is 1.4 miles with an average grade of 11%. Going up this road is like a slug fest for me.
The poor road conditions on south Grizzly Peak makes for a bumpy ride down to Fish Ranch/Claremont Ave. The views along the ridge are spectacular!
Grizzly Peak ends at the intersection with Skyline Blvd and I make a right turn to descend Tunnel Rd to Broadway. There is already a large group of club members at the Temescal parking lot. Water fountains and restrooms are available at the park.
We take the bike path to exit the park and take Broadway Terrace to Duncan Way and Florence Terrace. We continue on Mountain Blvd and briefly ride through Monclair to La Salle Ave and Trafalger Pl. We cross Park Blvd to Monterey Blvd. The short climb up Monterey takes us to Lincoln Ave. We cross over Hwy 13 and make an immediate right onto the path to Burdeck Dr. There’s a huge curb which I don’t like to go over so I continue up Joaquin Miller and make a right onto Hedge Ln which leads back to Burdeck Dr.
BBR is Burdeck, Butters and Roboinson; it’s a great jaunt around Butters Canyon and creek to get up to Skyline without having to climb up Joaquin Miller Rd. The climb along Butters is nicely shaded under a canopy of trees on a narrow single lane road. But no worries, there’s no much traffic.
There is a brief regroup at the intersection of Skyline and Joaquin Miller. We continue on Skyline Blvd and take Redwood Rd to Pinehurst Rd. Redwood Rd heading east is one of my favorite descents; it’s fast and fun-no braking is required!
Redwood takes us to our next climb up south Pinehurst Rd. It’s a very gentle climb with one short steep section as you approach the summit. The descent is on a narrow single lane road with tight hairpin turns. Proceed with caution!
We turn on Canyon Rd and take Moraga Way to our lunch stop at Orinda Square. There are many food options to choose from; Petra’s Greek Cafe, Subway sandwiches, Kasper’s Hot Dogs and a Starbucks.
After lunch, everyone heads out on Camino Pablo to climb Wildcat Canyon. I split off from the group and take Miner Rd to Lombardy and Dalewood to Sundown Terrace. I descend Happy Valley Rd to Deer Hill Rd into Lafayette. The last section of road up Deer Hill is steep! The views of Mt Diablo along this ridge are fantastic!
Deer Hill drops me down to Pleasant Hill Rd. I continue north on Pleasant Hill Rd to Reliez Valley Rd. The climb up Reliez is a little over one mile with a 3-4% grade. As you approach the top, the gradient kicks up to 10-13%! It’s a nice down hill on the other side.
As I’m moving along, I see a little green sign that catches my eye; Buddhist Gate Monastery with an arrow pointing to the right. I roll pass it but curiosity has me turning around to check it out. I didn’t know there was a monastery in Lafayette of all places! I’m heading up Gloria Terrace and enter up the driveway that states: no thru traffic. I figure there’s not much risk involved, worse case scenario would be that I would be asked to turn around or yet it’s a private area not open to the public. It’s a short climb up the hill and lo and behold, the gate to the monastery is open!
I’m greeted by two lion head statues at the entrance and proceed to go through. It’s a beautiful place on a hilltop with spectacular views of Diablo valley. I even get a private tour of the monastery by one of the volunteers there.
Grayson Rd from Reliez Valley takes me back to Taylor Blvd and Morello.
Thanks to Dolores for leading the ride!
~30 people in attendance with 2 tandems
70.1 miles with 6726′ of elevation gain
Weather: GORGEOUS! Blue skies, sunny and warm with temps ranging from the low 60’s to mid 90’s