Saturday, July 7, 2012
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.
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
Follow this route for today’s ride: