Corral Hollow 200k

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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The 200k route for today heads southeast into Tracy for the climb up east Corral Hollow Rd; this road winds up the canyon through Corral Hollow Pass and descends into the Livermore Valley.

We start from Holiday Highlands Park in Martinez and ride the city streets out to Taylor Blvd for the climb up and over into Lafayette. We take the flats on Danville Blvd to Sycamore Valley Rd; one of the main arteries through the city of San Ramon.

Camino Tassajara leads us out of the city and onto the beautiful quiet country back roads on Highland and Manning. Grazing cattle, horses, ranches, farmhouses and barns are spread throughout the magnificent green valley and hillsides. Vibrant yellow wildflowers carpet the open meadows to complete this bucolic pastoral scene.

The rolling terrain on Highland takes us out to the flats along Manning Rd and Livermore Ave. A couple of jogs through the valley floor on May School, Dagnino, and Raymond Rd take us through the residential neighborhoods of around north Livermore.

Strong west winds are blowing us up Altamont Pass Rd as we head east through the wind farms out to Grant Line Rd.

The next 7.8 miles on Grant Line and Byron Rd takes us along the flats through open fields and meadows of San Joaquin County.

Corral Hollow Rd begins at the north end of Tracy and heads southwest; the first several miles takes you out-of-town and crosses over I-580. At that point, the gentle rolling terrain through the canyon brings gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Our lunch stop is at the Carnegie SVRA; you just tell the park ranger that you’re passing through and you’re in! This place has fantastic big clean restrooms with flushing porcelain, air dryer, paper towels and running water-it’s even nicely tiled! The MotoMart sells everything needed for motor crossing along with a small snack bar inside. You can order hot dogs, sandwiches and buy snacks and drinks. They even have a nicely covered outdoor patio area-it’s great! It’s spring break for the kids, so they’re out and about riding their bikes on the trails winding up the hillsides-it looks very fun and dangerous at the same time!

We continue west on Corral Hollow for the 1.75 mile climb out of the canyon; it begins when you see mile marker 10.5 and ends at the upper guard rail at mile marker 8.35. The gradient ranges from 6-9% with the steeper upper sections hitting grades of 10-12%! This is a brutal climb during the summer months; full sun exposure with no shade in sight!

Beyond the Alameda County line, the road becomes Tesla Road; the fast sweeping descent drops you down into the Livermore Valley. This area of Livermore is filled with horse ranches, equestrian centers and of course vineyards and wineries.

We roll along the flats on Tesla to N Livermore Rd and ride through the revitalized downtown area with its boutiques, restaurants and parks. We take Portola Ave to cross over I-580 up to Collier Canyon Rd.

Collier Canyon is a beautiful back road that runs 5.4 miles on gentle rolling terrain from Livermore to the outer edge of the unincorporated town of Tassajara. This road is lined with old ranches, farmhouses, barns and abandoned farm equipment. Grazing long horn cattle, horses, mules and alpacas fully dot the green pastoral lands surrounding this canyon. You’re at the top of Collier Canyon when you reach the water tower with the windmill.

The fast short descent brings us back to Highland Rd and Camino Tassajara. This section of the route goes through the residential neighborhoods of Blackhawk and San Ramon. We stay on Camino Tassajara and make our way around Danville and Alamo to Roundhill Dr for the jaunt around Round Hill Country Club. This is a nice detour that goes around the pretty neighborhoods of Alamo out to Rudgear Rd in Walnut Creek. We get to avoid the heavy traffic along Danville Blvd!

We take S Broadway and hop onto the Iron Horse Trail at Newell Ave and continue on the Canal Trail back to Taylor Blvd. We head south on Taylor Blvd to Grayson Rd for the short climbs up Reliez Valley Rd towards Briones Park.

We take Alhambra Ave into Martinez and continue on Muir Station Rd for the short stair-step climb up to Center Ave. From Center, we take Morello to Arnold Dr and Fig Tree Ln to the finish at Holiday Highlands Park.

It was great to be out riding on such a beautiful spring day! The winds could’ve cooperated a little more though, it was breezy all day long with mostly headwinds! Thanks to Wyatt for being such a good wind blocker and safe tandem pilot!

Garmin Stats:
128.11 Miles with 5367′ of elevation gain
Avg grade: 3%
Max grade: 11%

Weather: Wonderful! Sunny with clear blue skies. Min temp-42.8F, Max temp-80.6F. Breezy with SW winds

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I like people that enjoy life because I do the same.

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Follow this route for today’s ride:

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