Category Archives: Web Rides

Detailed ride descriptions for website

Caltrain+BART+Bike = Mt Diablo, 80 miles, 6400ft of climbing= great ride, but oh my has the Dumbarton bike path deteriorated!

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An odd ride, eh? Starts and ends in different places. Ah, the things you can pull off if you’re not tied down to a car!

We’ve got some decent transit in the bay area, so why not use it? Not really fast transit; you have to go to France for that. But you can put together a good East Bay ride by riding to your nearest CalTrain, connect to BART at the Millbrae Station, and arrive in Walnut Creek ready to go! We left the house at 8:17am, just enough time to pick up coffee and breakfast at Starbucks before catching the 8:41am train, which connects to the 9:21am BART, which arrives in Walnut Creek at 10:30am. Could you drive there faster? Sure. About 1 hour 10 minutes; 1 hour 30 including the stop for Starbucks, so maybe 45 minutes faster by car. But then you’ve got a car that you have to get back to, limiting your riding choices. If you do an out (by transit) and back (by bike), you can effectively increase your radius from 50 miles to 75 or more! Which is obviously what we did.

It was pretty nice out there; close to hot, but not quite. The climb up Mt. Diablo was between 73 & 80 degrees and was surprisingly easy. We stopped once on the way up to help a guy with a flat (new bike and he wasn’t too familiar with it, plus he was using the tubeless road clinchers, something I don’t think is quite ready for prime time). Tried to save a snake but unfortunately got to watch a car drive right over it. Lots of road stain from previously run-over snakes & tarantulas, much more than I’ve seen elsewhere. The road surface is fantastic, far better than Mt. Hamilton.

Interesting thing about the top of Mt. Diablo today. It was just exactly the right temperature to make you a bit too comfortable. You felt like you could sit down and read a book for a couple hours, chat with people, whatever. Seemed like a nice place to hang out. That’s not usually what goes on on a bike ride!

The ride back down was uneventful but slow (slow mostly because the park has radar-enforced speed limits of 15 to 25 miles per hour), after which came an unexciting cruise through Blackhawk and the backside of Dublin. I’d been concerned there might not be many places to eat on this ride, and maybe 15 years ago that would have been true, but things are pretty built up now and it was no problem finding a Subway near Camino Tassajara & Blackhawk Road.

Palomares Canyon was as challenging as ever, and also the finale as far as anything really fun on the ride. After that it was city roads with traffic through Fremont, which was actually a whole lot better than what followed- the Dumbarton Bridge lead in, the bridge itself, and the Bayfront bike path on the other side. Talk about crumbling infrastructure! The road leading up to the bridge is both grainy and choppy, and the bridge? Yikes, unbelievable amount of glass and other tire-biting debris, so much that I had to boot my tire midspan after I noticed an irregularity when I ran my (gloved) hand over it, making sure I hadn’t picked up glass.

And the other side? If this is what I go to DC to lobby for, I’ve got to change my thinking. They’d recently cut down the grasses and weeds along the path, and not bothered to sweep it. Crud everywhere. And the part where you have to cross the street at the former Sun Microsystems location (now Facebook)? Glass so bad in the bike section that you have to lift your bike over it. And when you get to Marsh Road and have to use the push button to get across, just try and find where they hid it in the shrubs! In my opinion, the Dumbarton Bridge bike path is a disaster, something not suitable for road bikes unless you’re willing to risk destruction of expensive high-quality tires.

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Darned good 70 mile ride starting in Woodside!

It’s hard coming up with something new & fun after living and riding here since… well, pretty much since the dinosaur (I started doing longer bike rides around 1967). But today I think I put together a pretty nice one. As with all my rides, they start at the center of the Universe, that being Canada Road & Olive Hill, just north of Woodside. Why? Because it’s a couple miles from where I live and is the start/finish of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride.

You can view the ride on BikeRouteToaster here, and also download it from that site directly to your Garmin computer!

In a nutshell, this ride starts in Woodside, goes over Old LaHonda to the coast, then south on Highway 1 to Gazos Creek, north on Gazos Creek to Pescadero, Stage Road to San Gregorio and then Highway 1, and then Tunitas/Kings to get back to Woodside.

We started late (as usual), Kevin had one of his all-too-common seizures on Old LaHonda (again, as usual, although we were hoping that keeping his heart rate below 170 would keep that from happening), had a light headwind going out to the coast (as usual), and a pretty nice run south to Gazos Creek, where we ate at the Gazos Creek Grill (highly recommended!) before returning.

Not too many cyclists out on the coast side today, but those we did see were often on bikes we sold, and that always makes me feel good! But what really made me feel good was getting up Tunitas even faster than last week, despite, or perhaps because of, a bee or yellow jacket that stung me on the neck at the base of the climb. Kevin and I stopped for less than a minute to make sure there was no stinger to be removed, after which I flew up the hill with legs that felt stronger than they have in years. Maybe it was actually a radioactive spider that bit me, like Peter Parker (Spiderman)? More likely it was a desire to get back before any nasty swelling might set in. But whatever it was, Kevin hung on pretty well, and the 48:44 time was his best so far. More soon.

This page might be a bit messy right now as I’m trying some new things. Within a day or two it should be cleaned up. –Mike–

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