Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The ride I’m leading today starts out at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek and continues out to Concord and Clayton for a long gorgeous jaunt up Morgan Territory Rd. Water and restrooms are available at the park.
We exit the park and take the Contra Costa Canal Trail towards Concord. The unexpected trail closure on Oak Grove Rd leads us onto Santa Paula Dr and Citrus Ave. We’re back on route as soon as we turn onto Treat Blvd.
The wide shoulder area on Treat Blvd allows us ample room to ride along this stretch of road with no problem. The turn on Turtle Creek Rd takes us through the residential neighborhoods of Concord; it’s a quiet road with minimal traffic and very nice pavement.
The next series of turns on Ayers, Brook Hollow, Academy and Alberta Wy takes us across Ygnacio Valley Rd to Pine Hollow Rd. The ride through all the side streets is a great detour from having to climb Ygnacio Valley Rd into Clayton.
We continue on Pine Hollow Rd for the next 1.7 miles to Mt Zion Dr. Clayton Rd takes us to Oak and Main Sts into Old Downtown Clayton. There is a brief regroup at the Downtown Park. Water and restrooms are available. Snack foods and drinks can be purchased at the Village Market located next to the park.
The first few miles on Marsh Creek Rd take us through the residential neighborhoods of Clayton. They certainly have great views of Mt Diablo from their backyards-it’s amazing!
The climbing on Marsh Creek Rd starts after you pass Rodie’s Feed & Country Store. You must ride single file along this section of road-there is no shoulder area! It’s a series of 3 climbs; the last one being the longest. You are near the top when you see the sign for Divide Reservoir. From that point, it’s a very fast sweeping descent to the turn onto Morgan Territory Rd.
Morgan Territory Rd from Marsh Creek up to the Regional Preserve is about 9.2 miles. The gradient is very gentle for the few miles, once the 2 lane road turns into a single narrow road, the gradient increases too. It seems like every large home in this area has their own private horse ranch.
This is really a nice quiet stretch of road with minimal to no traffic. The majority of climbing is along the creek and under a canopy of trees. It’s really beautiful back here! This is one of my favorite roads around the Bay Area.
There are a few sections of road where the gradients hit 9-15%-hang in there; the reward is well worth the effort!
We arrive at our lunch stop at the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. Water and restrooms are available. It’s really gorgeous up here!
The clouds are on the move; it’s getting a bit cold up here. Everyone is anxious to get going! There is one short climb up to the actual summit and then it’s all downhill!
Proceed with caution on the descent-there are blind turns along this single lane road! The views of the valley below are fantastic! The hovering clouds create the shadows that highlight the soft contours of the hillsides-it is SPECTACULAR!
The rolling terrain on Manning and Highland takes us through the quiet “country” back roads of Livermore. The hillsides are dotted with cows, horses, old barns and ranches. It’s beautiful here!
The next turn on Camino Tassajara takes us back towards Blackhawk and Danville. It’s a flat run from this point on to Danville Blvd into Walnut Creek. We take the Iron Horse Trail off Rudgear Rd back to the Canal Trail and to Heather Farm.
Thanks to everyone for coming out to join me up Morgan Territory Rd! It turned out to be a wonderful day! The roads were DRY!
26 people with 1 tandem and 2 recumbent
52.37 miles with 2989′ of elevation gain
Weather: GREAT! Overcast cloudy skies with afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the low 60’s
>>>>>>>>>>>>ANY DAY YOU GET TO RIDE IS A GREAT DAY!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Follow this route for today’s ride: