Wednesday, December 27, 2017
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This ride goes out along Franklin Canyon and Cummings Skywy to Crockett Blvd. It rolls through the town of Crockett on Pomona St to the scenic stretch along the Carquinez Shoreline on Carquinez Scenic Dr. Climb up McEwen Rd before dropping back to Franklin Canyon for the return into Martinez.
Exit Holiday Highlands and jog around the city streets to Alhambra Ave and Franklin Canyon. 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.
It drops down through a small community with horse and cattle ranches, vineyards and residential farmhouses and ranch type homes. The terrain up through the wooded canyon has minimal to no traffic with an average grade of 2%.
The road kicks 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 Mt Tam and west Contra Costa.
Crockett Blvd drops down into the town of Crockett; it’s a fun sweeping descent on a very smooth pavement with fabulous views of the Carquinez bridge.
Head east on Pomoma St; it’s a 0.4 mile climb with an average grade of 5%. It goes up through the residential neighborhoods to the Veterans War Memorial.
The road continues straight and becomes Carquinez Scenic Dr; this road winds above the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline with gorgeous views of Benicia and the waters along Carquinez Strait.
Carquinez Scenic Dr drops down towards Port Costa.
At the intersection of Canyon Lake Dr, the road tilts up for a short section around the reservoir with views of Port Costa’s residential rooftops and its surrounding hills. The road drops down very quickly to McEwen Rd; you have to shift to your lower gear before the immediate right turn!
The climb up north McEwen Rd is a challenge. Think of it as a 3 part climb-the first 0.4 section is on a narrow stretch of two-lane road with very steep grades of 12-16%!
The second section begins as the road bends on the approach to the eucalyptus stand at the “No Dumping” sign; it’s 0.3 mile with lesser grades of 9-12%.
The third section leads you out under from the canopy of trees to the open clearing with views of the tree-lined Franklin Ridge; it’s 0.6 mile to the summit with gradient ranges of 5-7%.
At the summit, the road drops down and goes over a small bump to the cattle ranch and steel barn.
McEwen Rd descends on a super smooth pavement as it gently sweeps around the little bends and straightens out onto Franklin Canyon Rd.
Franklin Canyon Rd rolls through the quiet canyon for 3.6 miles to Alhambra Ave.
Alhambra Ave leads back to Vine Hill Way for the return to Holiday Highlands Park on Center to Glacier and Arnold.
This short back yard ride has a decent amount of climbing; it gets you out for a few hours and still leaves plenty of time in the day to do other things.
25.19 Miles with 2392′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 688′
Max grade: 16%
Terrain: Hilly with a steep climb
Weather: Sunny and clear. Cool temps ranging from the high 40’s to the mid 50’s with NW winds.
View the interactive RGPS route map & profile
Follow this route for today’s ride:
Nancy, thanks for the gradients and distances info on McEwen! Good to know what one is getting into. I love the long descent from the top of McEwen to the bottom of Franklin Canyon Road!
Thank Jim! Happy New Year!