Pinole to Eckley Pier & Martinez

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

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Today’s short loop starts out from Pinole Valley Park and continues into Crockett for a lunch stop at Eckely Pier/Carquinez Regional Shoreline followed by a coffee stop in Martinez.

We head NW on Pinole Valley Rd and continue on San Pablo Ave; there are a couple of short climbs as we ride through Pinole and Hercules.

The turn on Parker Ave takes us pass the small town of Rodeo-the road changes to San Pablo Ave as we head for the short climb up towards the refinery. The short descent is followed by a long’ish climb up to Vista Point.

The road changes to Pomona St as you enter the town of Crockett. There is a short climb starting from the community center up to the war memorial.

The road becomes Carquinez Scenic Dr at the intersection of Winslow St. We make a left into the Bull Valley Staging area and follow the road down to Eckley Pier; it’s a short steep half mile drop to the picnic area.

There is a nice grassy area with plenty of picnic tables and seating. Out on the pier, you get fabulous views of Carquinez Strait and Benicia’s waterfront. The porcelain toilet at the park didn’t live up to the hype I put out; no one got to see or use it-it was locked up! Bummer!

The post lunch climb out from the Eckley Pier is 1/2 mile with a max grade of 15%!

We continue east on Carquinez Scenic Dr for the next 6 miles; the rolling terrain weaves in and out along the shoreline with some great views of the surrounding hills, Carquinez Strait and of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. There is no through traffic on this road because of a landslide in 1982. For bikes, we can cross the barriers to continue out to the end of this road. You also need to watch out for the washed out narrow section of road between the two barriers. Oh yeah, take the time to admire all the colorful road art!

Towards the end of Carquinez Scenic Dr, there is a short steep climb up to the cemeteries before you enter Martinez. We take Talbert to Main St for the coffee/snack stop at Starbuck’s. It’s located at the plaza in the Old City Hall Bldg next to Alhambra Creek. The murals portray the rich history of this little town.

The post coffee stop route continues on Berrellessa St to the main business district on Alhambra Ave. The murals are a great lead out to this little town.

We continue on Alhambra Valley Rd for the next  6 miles; the rolling terrain brings us to the gentle climb up the back side of Pig Farm Hill followed by a fast descent on the flats back to Pinole Valley Rd.

Thanks to everyone who came out for today’s ride-it was wonderful to do this loop with the group!

23 people in attendance with 2 tandems

31 miles with 2240′ of elevation gain

Weather: FANTASTIC! Cool and overcast in the morning. Warm and sunny for the remainder of the day. Breezy with temps ranging from the mid 60’s to high 70’s

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Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. ~ Epicurus

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Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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