Wednesday, January 21, 2015
This classic route goes around “The Bears” on Bear Creek Rd to SPDR, Castro Ranch and Alhambra Valley Rd. The ride includes the climb up the east & west side of Pig Fam Hill.
Exit Holiday Highlands Park to Arnold, Glacier and Vine Hill Way to Alhambra Ave.
Head south on Alhambra Valley Rd to the junction at Reliez Valley Rd.
Alhambra Valley Rd continues west on flat terrain through a small residential community with front yard vineyards, orchards, and acreage homes.
After passing Deer Creek Dr, the two lane road narrows as it continues through the wooded canyon for the next couple of miles; the rolling climbs leads up to the base of east Pig Farm Hill.
The climb up east Pig Farm Hill begins at the orange left turn sign; the half mile stretch up to the summit has gradient ranges of 7-8% followed by a fast descent into the valley.
Turn onto Bear Creek Rd through the country horse ranches to the climb up Mama Bear; it’s 0.7 mile with a steady 7% grade followed by two small humps before the drop down towards Briones Park.
Papa Bear is 0.7 miles with a steady grade of 7% followed by a short hump before the fast sweeping descent on Pumphouse Grade.
Baby Bear is a short steep climb of 9-11% grades up to the traffic light at the top of Bear Creek Rd.
San Pablo Dam Rd; this road runs along the west side of San Pablo Reservoir to the main entrance followed by a fast descent into El Sobrante.
The turn up Castro Ranch Rd goes through the residential areas of Carriage Hills. The descent drops onto Alhambra Valley Rd.
Head east on Alhambra Valley Rd for the next 7.6 miles; this area has minimal traffic with gorgeous views of the rolling hillsides, open grasslands and grazing cattle.
Alhambra Valley Rd at Bear Creek Rd begins with a gentle climb up along the vineyard to the olive grove and animal farm. The road continues through the valley and ranch lands of JMB ranch to the base of the Pig Farm Hill.
The climb up west Pig Farm Hill begins around the bend at JBL Ranch; it’s a steep half mile climb with grades of 13-15%!
Alhambra Valley Rd descends through Vaca Canyon to the valley out to junction at Reliez Valley Rd.
Take Alhambra Ave back to Vine Hill Way; it’s a short 0.2 mile climb with an average grade of 7.4%.
Return on Center and Glacier to Arnold Dr and Fig Tree Ln.
This short hilly ride will get you out of the house and back with plenty of time to do other things. It’s also a wonderful early afternoon ride which leaves more time in the morning for extra sleep or a leisurely breakfast.
38 Miles with 3114′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 807′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Extremely hilly with a steep climb
Weather: Sunny and cool. Temps ranged from the high 40’s to the high 50’s. NE winds with 87% humidity.
Follow this route for today’s ride: