East Bay Hills

Sunday, November 25, 2012

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As of late, I’ve been doing more short local rides, maybe it’s the change of weather or I’m just getting kind of lazy. Either way, any ride is a good ride! This hilly 30 mile loop around the East Bay Hills hits the mark.

We start at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve and head south on Skyline Blvd for the next 4.2 miles to the top at Redwood Regional Park.  The quick downhill takes us to the intersection with Joaquin Miller Rd, hang a left at the traffic light to continue on Skyline Blvd.

At the next traffic signal, take a left onto Redwood Rd; this is one of the best road descents in the Bay Area-you’re riding through the redwood forests on super smooth pavement with minimal to no traffic!

The climb up south Pinehurst Rd is 1.3 mile with an average grade of 4%, the last bit up to the top has steep pitches of 8-10% grades. The descent down to Canyon Rd is very twisty with plenty of tight blind turns and debris on the road-proceed with caution.

At the Y intersection, take a right onto Canyon Rd, this road leads you into the town of Moraga. This is the urban part of this ride; Moraga Way is the main thoroughfare from Moraga to Orinda, it’s 4.5 miles on a 2 lane road with heavy traffic. Stay in the bike lane/shoulder area and watch out for all the debris on the road. There is one positive to being on this road; the pavement has been resurfaced and it’s pretty smooth sailing!

As you enter Orinda, watch out for all the traffic on the busy interchange on Camino Pablo. This busy road continues through Orinda out to Wildcat Canyon Rd.

The climb up Wildcat Canyon Rd to Inspiration Point is 2.5 miles with an average grade of 4.4%, the first mile is steeper with grades of 6-8%. After passing El Toyonal Rd, it eases up all the way up to the top. The next flat 1.4 miles on Wildcat Canyon goes through the tall groves of eucalyptus trees out to the Brazil Building. There is one short steep section right before the turn onto Shasta Rd.

Shasta Rd is a short steep quarter-mile climb with grades of 9-12%! At the top, take a left to continue on Golf Course Rd. Golf Course Rd is less than a mile long with roller coaster climbs of 7-10% up to Grizzly Peak Blvd.


The climb on Grizzly Peak Blvd from Golf Course Rd up to South Park Dr is 1.6 miles with an average grade of 4.4%. There are several vista points at the top-take a moment to enjoy the wonderful views from the top of the ridge!

The 1.4 mile descent on Grizzly Peak Blvd down to Claremont/Fish Ranch intersection is horrible-watch for all the big cracks running horizontally and vertically on the road, the patch jobs really doesn’t help much!

The pavement doesn’t improve much on the uphill either-the section of Grizzly Peak Blvd up to the ridgeline is just as bad if not worse. There is no way to avoid the huge horizontal cracks and potholes! Descending this road from the opposite direction is just brutal! The conditions vastly improve as you round the curve out to the open ridge-there are unobstructed views of the Bay Area and beyond! The last couple of miles back to Sibley is pretty flat with gorgeous views of the backside of the park.

If you’re short on time, this is a great loop to do! Quality miles with quality climbing!

VDO Stats:
30.8 miles with 2768′ elevation gain
Avg grade: 4%
Max grade: 12%

Weather: GREAT! Areas of light morning fog with afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to low 60’s

A bicycle does get you there and more…. And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun.
~ Bill Emerson

Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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