Carquinez Scenic to Benicia

Saturday, May 11, 2013

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Today’s route includes a south loop along Carquinez Scenic Dr in Martinez followed by a bridge crossing to Benicia for a north loop along Lake Herman Rd.

A later start time means not having to wear layers and carrying it through the whole ride; the temps are supposed to reach up to the high 80’s for the day!

We begin by heading up the gentle rolling terrain on Franklin Canyon Rd for the 3.6 miles out to McEwen Rd. This quiet stretch of road goes through the canyon pass residential homes, a miniature horse farm, a plant nursery, vineyards, ranches and weathered barns.

McEwen Rd from Franklin Canyon Rd runs 2.4 miles to the other end at Carquinez Scenic Dr. The climb up the gentler south end has grades of 5-7% up to the summit followed by a steep drop to the other side.

We continue SE on Carquinez Scenic Dr; the flat terrain meanders along the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline. The majority of this non maintained road is closed to through traffic with two barrier crossings. The colorful road art and views of the Carquinez Strait will keep you distracted from the poor road conditions.

There is also one short section where the road narrows to a compacted dirt crossing-watch for the large rocks jutting out of the ground! The bumpy descent on the other side of the barrier crossing takes you up pass two cemeteries before dropping into the Old Downtown area of Martinez.

Escobar St cuts through a residential neighborhood and becomes Marina Vista Ave up to the oil refineries out along the RR tracks. We take the Ped/Bike path off Mococo Rd to cross the Benicia-Martinez Bridge into Benicia.

We ride through the industrial areas of Benicia on Park Rd and Industrial Way; the 1.8 mile along Industrial Way has fantastic views of the bridge, the Mothball Fleet and marshes around Suisun Bay.

Lake Herman Rd is 5.4 miles from the east end at Industrial Way to the west end at Columbus Pkwy. The rolling climbs will take you to Lake Herman-there are picnic tables and porta-potties but no water. There is one longer 5-7% climb out from the lake up to the quarry; it begins when you near the large ranch and older farm structures.

The descent on Columbus Pkwy heads south to the Ped/Bike crossing on Rose Dr. The 0.9 mile stretch along the bike path through Benicia State Park has fabulous views of Carquinez Strait and the surrounding marshes.

We exit the path and continue on W K St to Benicia Point at the end of 1st St out by the pier. Take some time to enjoy the gorgeous views of the two bridges, the waterways of Carquinez Strait and the Franklin Hills.

The jaunt along the path around Benicia Marina leads us out to E 5th St to Military E.

We return to the Ped/Bike path and cross the bridge back over to Martinez. 

For me, being on the bike is a wonderful way to improve my physical and mental well being-life is as great or as bad as you make it to be, it’s all up to you!

Garmin Stats:
44.07 Miles with 2831′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 561′
Avg grade: 3%
Max grade: 13%

Weather: FABULOUS! Sunny and warm with clear blue skies and mild SW winds. Temps ranged from the mid 60’s to the low 90’s



Click here to view the interactive route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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