Thursday, January 8, 2015
This loop crosses over the Carquinez Bridge and heads north through Vallejo on Columbus Pkwy for a short out and back climb on St Johns Mines Rd . It continues along the Solano Bikeway for a stop at Lynch Canyon Open Space. The return south goes along Lopes and Goodyear Rd to the Benicia-Martinez Bridge crossing over Carquinez Strait.
We begin this ride out of Martinez on Arnold to Glacier and Vine Hill to Alhambra Ave.
Franklin Canyon Rd runs 4.4 miles from the SE end at Alhambra Ave to the NW end at Cummings Skywy between Hwy 4 and the Franklin Hills. The road begins with a short little bump from under the Muir trestle up to the wall of colorful murals. Franklin Canyon drops down through a small community with horse and cattle ranches, vineyards and residential farm houses and ranch type homes. The terrain up through the wooded canyon has minimal to no traffic with an average grade of 2%.
The road does kick up to steeper grades of 6-8% for the last 0.4 mile to the top of Franklin Ridge at Cummings Skywy.
Cummings Skywy crosses over Hwy 4 and runs along the top of the ridge for 2.1 gentle miles to Crockett Blvd with great views of the soft rolling hills and west Contra Costa.
Crockett Blvd drops us down into the town of Crockett; it’s a fun sweeping descent on very smooth pavement with fabulous views of the Zampa-Carquinez Bridge towers. We head west on Pomona St towards the Zampa-Craquinez Bridge.
The Carquinez Bridge Trail leads us across the Zampa-Carquinez Bridge with fabulous views of San Pablo Bay.
We exit the Carquinez Bridge Trail onto Maritime Academy Dr and cross Sonoma Blvd to the residential neighborhood along 5th St. The turn on Magazine Dr leads us up and over I-80 to the Beverly Hills neighborhood in Vallejo. Fulton Rd takes us onto Glen Cove Rd; this road cuts across I-780 to the outskirts of town to Benicia Rd and Columbus Pkwy.
Columbus Pkwy stretches 6.1 miles from Benicia Rd to Auto Mall Pkwy at the I-80 interchange. The road climbs up through the residential neighborhoods to Lake Herman Rd with gradient ranges of 7-10%.
Columbus Pkwy continues on to Blue Rock Springs Park with 4-6% grades before descending to St Johns Mine Rd.
St Johns Mine Rd is a quiet short gentle 0.6 mile out & back climb through Sulphur Springs Valley; it ends onto private property at the cattle guard crossing.
We drop back down onto Columbus Pkwy and continue on Auto Mall Pkwy to Admiral Callaghan Ln.
The Solano Bikeway begins off of Admiral Callaghan Ln; the climbs on this bikeway goes up along I-80 through American Canyon for 2 miles with gradient ranges of 6-9% and steep pitches of 10-11%.
The Solano Bikeway exits on McGary Rd; this road continues along I-80 with beautiful views of Sulphur Springs Valley.
The turn on Lynch Rd leads us to the gated entrance into Lynch Canyon Open Space-a working ranch with free-range cattle. The gravel road winds around to the open parking lot with picnic tables and a restroom.
Enjoy the views of the gorgeous valley and rolling hills! “Lynch Canyon is the northeastern portal between the Greater Bay Area and the Central Valley. Grasslands, oak groves, riparian woodlands, and wetland meadows provide shelter and forage for deer, fox, bobcat, waterfowl, and many raptors. The 900-foot ridges offer panoramic views extending from the Coast Ranges to San Francisco Bay and across the Delta to the Sierra Nevada.” (http://solanoopenspace.org/OtherOutdoor.asp)
We exit Lynch Canyon and continue north on McGary Rd for the next flat-rolling 1.7 miles to Red Top Rd in Cordelia.
Red Top Rd turns east to Oakbrook Dr; this road goes through the residential subdivisions in Cordelia/Fairfield to Lopes Rd.
We head south on Lopes Rd for the next 3 miles; it’s a quiet frontage road that runs along the west side of I-680. The scenery is simply gorgeous; to the west, the soft rolling green hills are dotted with grazing cattle. To the east, you can see views of the wetlands and sloughs around Suisun and Grizzly Bays.
Marshview Rd crosses over the freeway to Goodyear Rd; this road runs parallel to I-680 for 1.7 flat miles with great viewpoints of Grizzly Bay and its’ surrounding ponds and waterways.
We take Lake Herman Rd to Industrial Way and Park Rd.
The climb up Park Rd from the Valero refinery towards the Benicia-Martinez Bridge has gradient ranges of 5-7%.
The Benicia-Martinez Bridge Bike/Ped path takes us across the Carquinez Strait into Martinez.
We return on Shell Ave and Pacheco Blvd to Morello and Midhill. Fig Tree Ln takes us back to Holiday Highlands Park.
This is a wonderful local ride from Martinez to Vallejo and Fairfield; it has two bridge crossings and a nice stretch along the Solano Bikeway to Lynch Canyon Open Space. This route is front-loaded with climbing and finishes off with about 20 miles of flat-rolling terrain back to Martinez.
49.89 Miles with 3107′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 591′
Max grade: 10%
Terrain: Moderately hilly
Weather: Cloudy overcast skies with some morning sun. Temps ranged from the low 40’s to the mid 50’s. NE winds with 87% humidity.
Follow this route for today’s ride: