Saturday, April 11, 2015
This short ride crosses over the Benicia-Martinez Bridge for a counter clockwise lollipop loop along Lake Herman Rd to Columbus Pkwy. The route continues along the Bay Area Ridge Trail to Downtown Benicia and the waterfront area at the end of 1st St. Meander through the Benicia Marina before returning across the bridge to Martinez.
From Holiday Highlands Park, it’s a quick 3.3 miles through the city streets of Martinez to the Bike/Ped path off Mococo St.
The mile long incline across the bridge has an average grade of 4.5% up to the center of the path before dropping to the other side onto Park Rd in Benicia.
Park Rd goes pass the Benicia Historical Museum and the Amport car lots before the descent along the pipe lines to the Valero Oil Refinery.
Head north on Industrial Way under the Benicia Trestle through the industrial area along Suisun Bay. There are marvelous views of the Mothball Fleet, Mt Diablo and the surrounding marshes and wetlands along Goodyear Slough.
Turn west and cross over I-680 for the rolling climbs on Lake Herman Rd. This two lane back road has minimal traffic with views of the gentle golden hillsides and of course the backyard refineries!
The rolling terrain leads us to the stop at Lake Herman Recreation Area; there are porta-potties and no water.
Continue west on Lake Herman Rd to the cattle ranch and farm buildings around Sky Valley.
From the Sky Valley, there is a short climb towards quarry at Syar Industries; it’s 0.4 mile with 6-9% grades. Lake Herman Rd ends at the outskirts of Vallejo at Columbus Pkwy.
The descent on Columbus Pkwy winds down through the residential subdivisions along the edge of Vallejo to the strip malls at Rose Center in Benicia.
Turn right onto the sidewalk off Rose St and take the path across I-780 to the Bay Area Ridge Trail through Benicia State Recreation Area.
Exit the trail onto W K St; the road goes along the residential neighborhoods to Benicia’s downtown waterfront area on 1st St.
Ride out to the end of the road on 1st St and stop at Benicia Point Pier. This is a great place to take in the views of the Carquinez Bridge and Benicia-Martinez Bridge, the blue waters of the Carquinez Strait and the Franklin Hills.
Meander along the path around Benicia Marina to the exit at Turnbull Park.
E 5th St and Military E leads back to the bridge crossing off Park Rd.
From the Benicia-Martinez Bridge, simply reverse the route back on Shell Ave, Pacheco Blvd and Morello Ave to Holiday Highlands Park.
Not every ride has to be arduous and long, this short scenic morning ride allows us to get back home and take Shadow for an afternoon hike around Briones.
28.5 Miles with 1480′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 407′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with one low hill
Weather: Sunny, warm and breezy. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the low 70’s with NW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: