Sunday, May 11, 2014
Today’s clockwise loop starts from Castro Valley for a gentle climb up Dublin Canyon to Foothill Rd in Dublin. It continues south on Foothill Rd into Sunol and onwards to Calaveras Rd for a gorgeous run along the Calaveras Reservoir. The route drops down into Milpitas and heads north along the city streets into Fremont to Niles Canyon Rd. This is followed with a climb up through the beautiful shaded canyon on Palomares Rd.
We exit CV BART onto Norbridge Ave to Castro Valley Blvd; this is a high traffic area leading up to the I-580 interchange. There is a half mile 7.9% climb from the intersection at Crow Canyon Rd up pass the shopping plaza to Five Canyons Pkwy.
The road drops down to the I-580 underpass and continues alongside the freeway to Palo Verde Rd.
Dublin Canyon Rd runs parallel to I-580 for 5.2 miles; this frontage road has a gentle 2.5 miles climb with an average grade of 2.75%.
The road drops down into Dublin with fabulous views of the Dublin Hills and valley.
The rolling climbs on Foothill Rd take us south out to estate homes around Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton.
The flat terrain along the edge of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park leads up to the short rolling climbs through the vineyards and ranch homes before dropping into the town of Sunol at Kilkare Rd.
Main St takes us through Sunol to Niles Canyon Rd.
The flats along Paloma Way take us through the open valley to the freeway interchange at I-680 and CA-84.
Paloma Way becomes Calaveras Rd at the I-680 underpass with very rough pavement leading up to the Calaveras Nurseries. The flat terrain through the lower section of Calaveras Rd goes along the valley floor pass the industrial quarry, aggregate and excavating companies.
The road continues with short rollers through the oak studded hills around Sunol Wilderness and along the rows of potted trees at Valley Crest Tree Company to the bridge crossing over Welch Creek.
The base of the climb on Calaveras Rd begins at Geary Rd; the first 2.6 rolling miles runs under the beautiful shaded woods around Sunol Regional Wilderness to the false summit at 946 feet with an average grade of 4.1%.
The road drops down towards the reservoir and continues on rolling terrain for the next 6.7 miles with an additional elevation gain of 152 feet.
The road weaves its way in and out of the shaded woodlands with fabulous views of the surrounding mountains and the calm blue waters of the Calaveras Reservoir.
Calaveras Rd continues to snake around the outer edge of the reservoir with views of the transmission towers and the hillside meadows.
The rolling terrain along Calaveras Rd has short sections of 6-9% grades at the switchbacks leading out towards the ridge. The road exits the woodlands and open ups with grand views of Calaveras Valley!
The next few fun turns along the ridge take us up and around to the summit at the long driveway leading to the brown ranch house at the top of the hill.
The steep 13-15% drop from the Calaveras Wall takes us to the T intersection at Felter and Calaveras. We descend Calaveras Rd to our lunch stop at Ed Levin County Park.
We exit the park and continue to descend Calaveras Rd onto Evans Rd in Milpitas.
The flats on N Park Victoria take us along I-680 through the residential neighborhoods at the east edge of town to the I-680 underpass on Scott Creek Rd. We continue on Warm Springs Rd and take a stop at the local 7-Eleven for some ice-cold drinks.
The flat terrain on Warm Springs Rd leads us along the busy commercial shopping areas to East Industrial. We continue north on Osgood for the cross over on Washington Blvd to Driscoll Rd into Fremont.
We continue on Mission Blvd and head up Niles Canyon Rd/CA-84; this road runs along Alameda Creek with a decent shoulder area and one narrow section leading up to the trestle bridge.
The turn onto Palomares Rd comes 2.2 miles up Niles Canyon-CAUTION-watch for traffic! Shift to your lower gear for the immediate climb and watch for sand and gravel at the base of Palomares.
Palomares Rd is a gorgeous road that follows the curvatures of Stonybrook Creek through the wooded canyon with minimal to no traffic. The first 2.1 miles climbs up with an average grade of 6% with steep pitches of 9-11% grades at the switchbacks.
At mile marker 7.73, the road flattens out for the next 2.1 miles with an average grade of 3%. Palomares Rd goes through a small canyon community with views of the Holy Cross Orthodox Monastery, the Westover Winery and the vineyards at Chouinard Vineyards and Winery.
The road tilts up for 0.4 miles with an average grade of 6.25% at the switchback up to the summit at Walpert Ridge.
The descent on Palomares Rd is slingshot fast; it drops 5.1 miles through the wooded canyon along Palomares Creek to the open horse and cattle ranches at the other end.
Palo Verde Rd leads us back onto Castro Valley Blvd for the return to the CV BART station.
This is a very scenic urban/country metric century with decent climbs from the city out to the less traveled back roads on Calaveras and Palomares-you’ll enjoy it!
62.45 Miles with 4304′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1051′
Max grade: 11%
Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the low 60’s to the mid 80’s. Breezy NW winds with 35% humidity.