Wednesday, August 12, 2015
The next 1.6 miles rolls along San Ramon Valley Blvd (SRVB) into San Ramon to Norris Canyon Rd.
Norris Canyon Rd stretches 4.7 miles from San Ramon to Castro Valley; it begins with a flat stretch through the residential neighborhoods west of SRVB. The road continues along San Catanio Creek towards the gated community at Norris Canyon Estates.
The road kicks up for a steep half mile climb with gradient ranges of 9-13% grades to the summit top ranches.
You cross into Alameda County as you roll pass the ranches for the sweeping descent along Norris Creek onto Crow Canyon Rd in Castro Valley.
The left turn on Crow Canyon Rd leads you down along Crow Creek to E Castro Valley Blvd.
E Castro Valley Blvd climbs up from the freeway interchange area up pass the shopping center to Five Canyons Pkwy. The road drops down under I-580 to Palo Verde Rd.
Palo Verde Rd takes you through Eden Canyon to Palomares Rd.
Palomares Rd is 9.7 miles long and stretches from Palo Verde Rd in Castro Valley to Niles Canyon Rd in Sunol. The gentle rolling terrain for the first couple of miles on this beautiful quiet back road takes you through the many horse ranches and wooded canyon along Palomares Creek.
From Pair A Dice Ranch to narrow bridge:
Once you cross the narrow bridge, you’ll come upon the steeper sustained climb up to the summit; it begins at mile marker 4.05 with grades of 7-8% and steadily increases to grades of 9-12% as you reach mile marker 4.74. It maxes out at 13% as you approach the turn at the yellow right arrow sign.
The descent on Palomares Rd goes through the gorgeous Stonybrook Canyon along the shaded creek; it’s a fast downhill with a few tight turns-beware of gravel and the short steep drop to Niles Canyon Rd.
Turn around and reverse your way back up Palomares Rd; it’s still 9.7 miles to the north end at Palo Verde Rd. South Palomares Rd follows the curvatures of Stonybrook Creek through the wooded Stonybrook 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 north end.
The right turn on Palo Verde Rd leads you to Dublin Canyon Rd; it’s a frontage road that parallels I-580 with a gentle climb along the canyon with grades of 3-5% with minimal traffic. This remote area has a couple of ranches and a Lockaway Storage facility.
The turn on Schaefer Ranch Rd takes you under I-580 for the short steep 11-13% climb up to Dublin Blvd. Schaefer Ranch is the newest upscale luxury development located along the ridge line with gorgeous views of the rolling hills and open space around Dublin Hills.
The descent from Schaefer Ranch on Dublin Blvd drops you down onto San Ramon Rd in Dublin.
Return north on SRVB, cross over I-680 on Greenbrook Dr to Camino Ramon and take El Capitan and Orange Blossom Dr back to Osage Station Park.
You’ll enjoy some quiet country riding through the beautiful shaded canyons and creeks on the back roads along Norris Canyon and Palomares Rd. Go local!
46.63 Miles with 3820′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 979′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Hilly with steep climbs
Weather: Sunny and hot with temps ranging from the high 60’s to the high 80’s with NW winds
Follow this route for today’s ride: