Crank 2 to Collier Canyon & Livermore-FFBC Thursday Morning Coffee Ride

Thursday, October 13, 2011

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Wyatt and I head out from Martinez at 6:30 AM to meet up with the Fremont Freewheeler’s Thursday Morning Coffee Ride that starts in front of the Crank 2 tandem shop located in Pleasanton.

The moon is setting in the west  and the sun is rising in the east; what a sight to see as we take Morello Ave to get to the Contra Costa Canal Trail. There are already folks out on the trails taking their early morning walks; many with their dogs in tow. The ducks looks like they are enjoying the calm waters in the canals. Taking the trail is stress free and we get to say and hear “good morning and thank you” as courtesies are extended both ways.

We continue on the Iron Horse Trail into Walnut Creek to Danville Blvd. There is a steady flow of commute traffic on this well-traveled road. We make a quick pit stop at the Chevron Station in Alamo; it’s clean and accessible. It’s a flat 5+ miles into Danville and we hop back on the Iron Horse Trail at San Ramon Valley Rd.

The next 9 miles on the Iron Horse Trail takes us through the cities of Danville, San Ramon and Dublin. There are a lot of children using the trail as a way to get to school; it seems very convenient and safe.

We exit the trail at Dougherty Rd and continue to head south on Hopyard Rd into Pleasanton. From there, we take Division St to St Mary and continue on Main St to Sunol Blvd. We arrive at Crank 2 around 9:10 AM.

Bryon, the owner of Crank 2 is kind enough to open the shop one hour earlier for coffee and the use of the restroom. He is even offering a 25% discount on all regular priced merchandise in the store to all FFBC members! WOW!

We are doing a clockwise loop up Camino Tassajara and Collier Canyon Rd into Livermore. The coffee stop will be at the Vineyard Starbucks.

We follow the group out on Junipero St to Valley Ave. It’s an interesting road with traffic circles that takes you along the edge of a nice residential neighborhood behind the Alameda County Fairgrounds. We cross Bernal Ave and take a left onto Hopyard Rd to Las Positas Blvd. The next turn is at Santa Rita Rd which becomes Tassajara Rd after crossing over I-580.

There is a brief regroup at the T intersection at Camino Tassajara Rd. We continue north on Camino Tassajara for the next 3+ flat miles. You must ride single file here; there is not much shoulder area-Share the Road!

The turn onto Highland Rd takes us out of the high traffic area; we’re now in the quiet back roads of Livermore. It’s gorgeous here; there are farm houses, horse ranches, old barns and lots of grazing cattle dotted amongst the rolling hill sides.

The next 5.4 miles on Collier Canyon Rd begins with a short half mile climb; you’re at the top when you see the old windmill and water tank. The remainder of the terrain is flat with a slight downhill. We ride pass more old barns and horse/cattle ranches. There is a brief regroup at the end of Collier Canyon at the Vineyard Terrace Apts.

We take N Canyons pkwy to Airway Blvd. Ride There is a lot of traffic in this area; proceed with caution as you make the left turn onto Kitty Hawk Rd. There is construction work on Airway and traffic has been diverted to Kitty Hawk; you must ride single file here!

Within the next 3 miles, Kitty Hawk becomes Isabel Ave. We ride pass a water treatment plant with really cool whales murals painted on the exterior walls. The turn on Vineyard Ave takes us to the coffee stop at Starbucks. Sandwiches can be purchased at the Subway store and other drinks and snacks are available at the Chevron EM store. Water and restrooms are available at Starbucks.

Wyatt and I depart from the group after the coffee stop and make our way back to the Iron Horse Trail on Vineyard and Bernal Ave. We take the trail entrance off Valley Ave and exit at Santa Rita Rd. We pick up the trail again at Dougherty Rd. It’s a flat 8.7 miles back to Danville. Water and clean restrooms are available off the trail at San Ramon Central Park.

We make a quick stop at the Chevron EM store on Railroad Ave for a couple of sodas and the use of the restroom. The flat run on Danville Blvd brings us to Rudgear Rd where we get back once again on the Iron Horse Trail to Walnut Creek. The Canal Trail takes us back to Martinez.

Much thanks to Lori for leading the ride and to Wyatt for suggesting the meet up with the group-it was fun!

~28 people in attendance with 1 tandem

88.88 miles with 2222′ of elevation gain

Weather: FANTASTIC! Sunny blue skies all day with afternoon winds. Starting morning temps in the mid 50’s and reaching the mid 80’s for the afternoon.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>SWITCH IT UP-RIDE WITH OTHER GROUPS!>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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