Saturday, July 7, 2012
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Today’s forecast for the Livermore area is supposed to reach the high 90’s-we’re going to do a heat acclimation ride in preparation for the Death Ride. We both have our Camel-baks filled with ice and water plus 2 extra water bottles; one filled with maltodextrin mix and the other Gatorade.
This out and back route starts on S Livermore Ave at the Civic Center parking lot. We head south on Tesla Rd to Mines Rd. The first 5+ miles are a nice flat warm up to the climbs up ahead; you’ll pass a residential neighborhood with ranches, vineyards, open fields with grazing cattle and horses.
We make a left at the Y intersection with Del Valle Rd and continue on Mines Rd. The next 25 miles on this road takes us out to the Junction at Del Puerto Canyon Rd. Get comfortable-it’s going to be one long stretch!
This is a wonderful ride in a remote area within the dry interior of the Diablo Range situated in eastern Santa Clara County. This road is a very popular destination for birders, motorcycles and cyclists alike. Traffic is very light; usually limited to the locals living in the area.
The first few climbs are tough; you have full sun exposure with no shade! The gradient starts off gradual at around 5-8% with several sections that range from 9-11%! It’s already very warm-temps are in the mid 80’s.
The two lane road eventually levels out and becomes a single lane that cuts through the rolling hills down to the valley floor.
The climbing starts up again as you cross into Santa Clara County at the 20 mile mark. At the top, take a moment to look around and enjoy the scenic views of the surrounding area.
The sweeping descent brings you to yet another climb up to the ranch. The steepest pitch is at around 11% as you near the top.
Another descent takes us pass some old homes, barns and Ruth’s Treasure & Trash-looks like the whole place has recently been cleaned up!
We arrive at the Junction Cafe; this is a funky cafe/bar hang out for bikers and cyclists. You can order from a variety of items off the menu, get a cold beer or soda. Restrooms are available inside the cafe. The owner is nice enough to provide us with ice for our C-baks for our return down Mines Rd.
Now all the glorious downhills are now uphills! The first climb out is about 2 miles with gradient ranges of 3-6%. The descent that follows takes you to the second climb; it’s a little over a mile long with gradient ranges of 5-7%.
The rolling flat terrain takes us in and out of the valley. The headwinds are a cool welcome for our trip back on Mines.
For those who have never been up Mines Rd-come on out and ride it! Be prepared and bring lots of water, food and snacks for the long haul up. You’ll enjoy it!
60 Miles with 3862′ of elevation gain
Weather: HOT! Sunny with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the mid 70’s to the high 90’s-OUCH!
Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while. ~ Kin Hubbard
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Follow this route for today’s ride:
Very good comment about the weather.
Nancy, I used to ride this on a semi regular basis when doing Mt. Hamilton loop ride (about 107 miles with 7,800 feet of climbing) from my start in Milpitas. I recall a lot of cattle guards-are these all past the 84 junction?
I read nearly 100 years ago Charlie Chaplin purchased land in the valley and studio space in Livermore because he believed the San Antonio Valley would be Hollywood north for the filming or westerns–he wasn’t correct, but riding in the area one can see why he though this way.
It’s not my business, but I do hope you consider protecting your skin on these hot rides. These are covers for arms and legs that I now use and recommend.
Jay, Yes-the cattleguards are all along San Antonio Valley Rd up to Mt Hamilton. Nancy
I noticed this is old, but a couple questions. Any storm damage along Mines road? I am still new to cycling Have done some long flat rides, but this sound pretty tough for a beginner? Thanks