Calaveras Palomares Century

Thursday, February 28, 2013

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The century route for today heads south into Sunol for the gorgeous climb on Calaveras Rd up to the reservoir. The course turns north through Fremont for the run up Niles Canyon Rd to another gorgeous climb up south Palomares Rd. The return includes the gentle ascent on Dublin Canyon Rd to Foothill Rd.

The early morning climb up Taylor Blvd into Lafayette always wakes up the legs for what’s to come for the rest of the day. We take Olympic Blvd and weave through Walnut Creek on Newell, Lilac, Lancaster and Castle Hill Rd. The flat 4.8 miles along Danville Blvd takes us to the turn onto San Ramon Valley Rd.

We head south on San Ramon Valley Rd out to Dublin and stay on Foothill Rd towards the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton. We make a quick stop at the Pleasanton Ridge Park and stay on Foothill Rd into Sunol.

Before making our way out to Calaveras Rd, we decide to check out the Sunol Water Temple on Paloma Way. The Temple is open to the public Monday-Friday only. It’s quite the treat to see the Corinthian style concrete temple with the beautiful painted murals under its dome.

We exit the Temple and head south on Paloma Way to Calaveras Rd. The first four rolling miles on Calaveras Rd takes you through several nurseries, a tree farm, an aggregate company and a water treatment plant.

The gentle beautiful climb up Calaveras begins after crossing the bridge over Welch Creek; the 3.3 miles up to the false summit goes through the Sunol Regional Wilderness and is followed by a rolling descent towards the reservoir. The next climb takes you up to the high point of Calaveras Rd at 1124′ and continues to snake up and around the wooded Calaveras Valley to the next summit at 1087′. You can spot the eagle’s nest atop of the transmission tower at the south end of the reservoir. The surrounding hills are a gorgeously green!

We descend Calaveras Rd to our lunch stop at the Ed Levin County Park. Water and restrooms are available. The remaining downhill on Calaveras Rd drops us into Milpitas. The turn on Evans Rd goes through the residential neighborhoods with several horse ranches. The hillsides are blanketed with an abundance of yellow wildflowers!

We head north on Warm Springs Blvd into Fremont and continue through an industrial area before reaching the busy intersections at Auto Mall Pkwy, Washington and Paseo Padre. Osgood and Driscoll Rd brings us directly to Mission Blvd.

We stay on Mission Blvd for the next 2.6 miles for the turn up Niles Canyon Rd/Hwy 84. This is a heavily used high traffic area, be very alert while riding along this stretch of road! Watch for traffic before making the left turn onto Palomares Rd and get into a lower gear for the initial short gravelly steep pitch up the road.

The first 1.5 mile has gradient ranges of 6-8% with several steeper short pitches of 10-11%. The road goes up along Stonybrook Creek and enters a residential area with a couple of vineyards and a monastery. The gradient eases up to around 3-6% for the next few miles and kicks up on the approach up to the summit.

The descent on north Palomares is fast with sweeping turns through the many horse ranches and residential homes in the area. We take Paloverde Rd to the gentle climb up Dublin Canyon Rd; it’s 2.6 miles with gradient ranges of 3-4% followed by a fast descent into Pleasanton.

From this point, we reverse the route back on Foothill, San Ramon Rd and San Ramon Valley into Danville. From Danville Blvd, we take S Broadway into Walnut Creek and return to Martinez on the Iron Horse and the Contra Costa Canal Trails.

The day turned out to be fabulous for doing this loop; the temps reached up to the high 60’s! Thanks to Wyatt for a great tandem ride!

VDO Stats:
113.09 Miles with 5220′ of elevation gain
Avg grade: 3%
Max grade: 11%

Weather: FANTASTIC! Sunny, warm and breezy. Temps ranged from the low 40’s to the high 60’s. SW winds in the morning turning to NW for the afternoon

I love life and nothing intimidates me anymore. ~Olivia Newton-John

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Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. Wow Nancy! your doing these rides faster than I can click the mouse! Great report and photos as usual.

    Thanks Carl, I’m having a great time doing these centuries! Hope all is going well with you. Nancy


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