Sunday, August 24, 2014
We head south on S Livermore Ave to Tesla Ave; there is the option to take the multi-use path that runs between the main road and the valley vineyards.
The turn on Mines Rd takes us along the valley floor to the junction at Del Valle Rd.
Mines Rd continues on flat-rolling terrain for the next 1.3 miles along the valley through the Live Oak Stock Ranch to the bridge crossing over Arroyo Mocho creek.
The road slowly stair steps its way up to Crane Ridge for the next 1.7 miles with an average grade of 7.3% and steeper pitches of 9-11%. Every curvature of the road provides a different view of the chaparral covered mountains, open grasslands and deep canyons around Cedar Mountain.-it’s quite beautiful!
Mines Rd winds along the open ridge on rolling terrain through a scattering of ranches for the next 10+ miles to the lower gap of the mountain.
At road marker 14, we cross over Arroyo Mocho and continue through a small ranching community. Mines Rd narrows to a single lane road as it snakes through the canyon along the dry creek to the postboxes at Callahan Gulch.
The road continues through the flat scenic valley along the dry creek bed of Arroyo Mocho and snakes up around the huge rock outcroppings before dropping down to Smith Gulch at the 20 mile road mark.
The short pitch up from Smith Gulch takes us across the Alameda County line into Santa Clara County onto a fairly new chip sealed surface. The road continues on false flat terrain for the next couple of miles to Turner Gulch and Pulse Canyon.
At South Pocket, the road tilts up for the next 0.4 mile to the gap at the summit of Burnt Hills with an average grade of 6.2%. Enjoy the views! At the Ruthy sign, the road sweeps down into Horsethief Canyon.
The rolling terrain through the canyon leads us to the second ascent up Burnt Hills.
At the red wagon wheel gate, the road kicks up for the next half mile with an average grade of 6% to the Burnt Hills summit at the cattle pen/switchback.
Mines Rd quickly descends for the next 2.9 miles with a small hump up and over towards the valley.
We stop for lunch at the Junction Café; it’s a popular stop for cyclists and motorcyclists. There’s even a resident tortoise keeping an eye out on the place!
For the second half of the ride, we simply reverse our way back to Livermore on Mines Rd. The short pitch up to the cattle guard drops us into the canyon.
The climb up to the summit at Burnt Hills from the south end is two miles with an average grade of 5% followed by a descent back into Horsethief Canyon. If you have the time-stop at Ruthy’s Barn and pick through all the trash & treasures!
The second climb up Burnt Hills to the gap is one mile long with an average grade of 6.1%. Look around and enjoy the mountain vistas!
Mines Rd drops back down through the valley, gulches and canyons to the Arroyo Mocho crossings for the next 16.3 miles.
The rolling descent along Crane Ridge has several short humps as it rounds the mountainside.
At mile 50.5, Mines Rd swiftly drops down into the valley back through Live Oak Stock Ranch to the junction.
We return along the valley vineyards on Mines Rd and take the mulit-use path back to Robertson Park.
Mines Rd may be one of the longest back roads in the East Bay; it’s one of the few roads in the Bay Area where you feel like you’re in the “middle of nowhere”. Come out and enjoy the peaceful scenic valleys and canyons with minimal to no traffic-you’ll love it!
58 Miles with 4012′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 2886′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately Hilly
Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the mid 60’s to the low 100’s. NW winds with 68% humidity.
Follow this route for today’s ride: