Temescal to Willow Park Golf Course

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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The start of today’s pre-Thanksgiving ride begins at the north entrance parking lot of Lake Temescal off Broadway in Oakland. Parking is free on weekdays; water and restrooms are available.

We exit the parking lot via the ped/bike path that runs south along the edge of the lake paralleling Hwy 13. The path takes us out on Broadway Terrace through a nice residential neighborhood on Duncan Way, Florence Terrace and Mountain Blvd. The half mile run along Mountain Blvd between Thornhill Dr and La Salle Ave is a high-density traffic area. Ride single file and obey the traffic signs.

The turn on La Salle takes us over Hwy 13 and onto Trafalgar Pl to Monterey Blvd. The climb on Monterey to Joaquin Miller Rd is less than a mile long; we take a left to cross over Hwy 13 and continue to Hedge Ln.

Hedge Ln brings us to a favorite local cycling route known as BBR; Burdeck, Butters and Robinson. It’s a great alternative to bypassing the nasty steep section up Joaquin Miller. We ride through a very quiet residential neighborhood along Butters Canyon; this open space area is a little over half a mile amongst lush hillsides filled with lots of natural growth. It’s a bit of a hidden gem in the Oakland hills. The short 7-9% climb on Butters is on a narrow single lane road under a canopy of trees with minimal traffic. The surrounding landscape is just beautiful!

Robinson Dr takes us back onto Joaquin Miller; from here it’s a much gentler climb up to Skyline Blvd. There is a brief regroup at the top; the views along the ridge are spectacular, it’s actually a very clear day!

Joaquin Miller becomes Skyline Blvd after crossing the traffic light. We stay on Skyline Blvd to Redwood Rd. The downhill on Redwood Rd heading east is one of my favorite descents in the Oakland hills; it’s on wonderful smooth pavement through the redwoods with great sight lines-minimal to no braking is required on this 2+ miles stretch of road.

The climb on Redwood Rd begins after you pass Pinehurst Rd; it’s a little over 7.5 miles to Willow Park. The gradient starts rolling gently at around 1.5-2% for the first few miles to Bort Meadows. From that point, the grades increases to ranges of 5-7%; beware of the false summit! The road levels out as you near Marciel Gate. It’s a  fun sweeping 3.5 miles descent to the golf course.

Water and restrooms are available at the golf course. You can order hot dogs, french fries, hot/cold drinks and other items from the snack shop.

Heading up the east side of Redwood Rd is a bit steeper and longer. The first mile is pretty flat; the climbing begins after you cross the bridge over the creek. The gradient ranges from 6-7% all the way to Marciel Gate. From there, the rolling terrain takes us back to the intersection with Pinehurst Rd.

There is one very short section of road that is strewn with fallen yellow leaves; it’s a gorgeous sight to come upon. I can hear the crackling of the leaves as I roll through on the bike.

The climb up south Pinehurst Rd to Pinehurst Gate is about 1.25 mile with an average gradient of 4%. There is a short steep 8-9% pitch as you approach the top. The descent on north Pinehurst is very twisty with a few hairpin turns; proceed with caution and watch out for debris and gravel! You can feel the temp drop as you pass through the dense redwood forest at the bottom.

The climb on Pinehurst from Canyon Rd to Skyline Blvd is about 4 miles long. The gentle rolling terrain takes you through the beautiful redwoods into the small town of Canyon. The US Post Office and Canyon School is nestled within the redwoods and a flowing creek; what a gorgeous setting to be in!

The climb up to Skyline begins when the road takes a left hairpin turn; it’s 1.28 miles with an average grade of about 5.25%. The last quarter mile is the steepest; the grades increases to 9% and maxes out at 12% as you near the top.

We continue west on Skyline Blvd to Tunnel Rd. The sight of the yellow-reddish orange leaves on the huge tree at Sibley Park prompts me to stop and take a photo. The colors are so vibrant; it just pops out at you!

While descending Tunnel Rd, I stop a few times to take some photos; the views are magnificent on such a clear day! WOW! I can see the Port of Oakland, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco skyline and beyond; it’s spectacular!

 Tunnel Rd takes me to Caldecott Ln and back on Broadway to the parking lot.

Thanks to Dolores for leading the ride! It was a great way to pre-burn some calories in preparation for all the holiday meals!

~20 people in attendance

37.7 miles with 3578′ of elevation gain

Weather:  GREAT!  Cool with overcast skies. Temps ranged from the low to mid 50’s

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RIDE TO EAT & EAT TO RIDE!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Follow this route sheet for today’s ride:


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