Wednesday, September 21, 2011
For today, Wyatt and I decide to get out and do the Altamont to Patterson Pass loop. We start from the Park ‘n Ride lot on Sycamore Valley Rd in San Ramon. We head east on Sycamore Valley to Camino Tassajara Rd and Highland Rd.
The next 6+ miles through Livermore are completely flat! We take Manning Rd to May School, Dagnino, Raymond, Ames and Dalton. We continue on Vasco to Garaventa Ranch and make a brief stop at the Livermore Park off Altamont Creek Dr. Water and a port-a pottie are available here.
Altamont Creek Dr brings us to Laughlin Rd and Altamont Pass Rd. These 8.5 miles on Altamont Pass is very gentle with a few rollers thrown in; the total elevation gain is a little over 200 feet. The main traffic coming through is all the huge waste management trucks; they’re stinky when they roll on by! As you start approaching the top, all the windmills come into view. If you’re interested, a 305 acre Wind Farm is for sale!
We take Grant Line Rd to Byron Rd for the next few miles before we realize that we’ve missed the turn to Patterson Pass Rd. We turn around back to Grant Line and make a left on Mountain House Pkwy; the name changes to Patterson Pass Rd but there are no signage indicating it. We’re now back on track and ride for the next 2.5+ miles to our impromptu lunch stop at the Union 76 station.
We cross I-580 and head west on Patterson Pass Rd. You’ll pass another Wind Mill Farm and a PG& E Substation. It’s hot out here; the temp is 109F! The 5 mile climb starts after you pass Midway Rd. The average gradient is about 5% with an elevation gain of over 1200 feet. Beware that there is a false summit; look beyond and you will see the “Oh My Gosh” summit ahead! The last mile up is a stair step climb with steep sections of 12-17%! You’ll be glad when it’s over. At the top, take the time to look around and enjoy the magnificent views of all the windmills and the valley below. There’s a lot of grazing cows too!
The 3.5+ mile descent on the west side is crazy fast! We drop back down into Livermore and make our way through downtown on East Ave, 4th St, Holmes and Concannon Blvd. At the corner of 4th St, we see a guy standing outside Mr Pickles Sandwich Shop dressed like a pickle; he’s gotta be in a pickle; he’s stewing inside of that costume!
We continue to Pleasanton on Vineyard Ave and Bernal Ave. Hopyard Rd takes us towards the Dublin/Pleasanton BART where we can cut through to hop on the Iron Horse Trail. There are a few places along the trail where you can get water and there’s access to restrooms at the San Ramon Central Park. It’s a stress free easy 9 miles back to Sycamore Valley Rd.
Thanks to Wyatt for another adventurous tandem ride on a very hot day!
79.32 miles with 2707′ of elevation gain
Weather: Sunny and HOT! Morning temps in the low 70’s with afternoon temps reaching a high of 109F!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>