Saturday, being the last weekend before the Mendocino Monster, Tracy and I were looking for a nice long ride with some decent climbing. Since we had limited time, we decided to loop two of our local rides together, the Palomares and the Calaveras Loops.
I started at my house, rode over to his house and we headed out for the Alameda Creek Trail.
Immediately I could tell that something was different. The trail was pretty busy with walkers and cyclists from Union City all the way to Fremont. Yep, first nice weekend of the year...
From there we rode out Niles Canyon, which because it’s so busy is one of my least favorite rides, and out to Palomares Canyon. Palomares is the exact opposite of Niles. If you see more than a couple cars, its rush hour and Saturday was no exception. I think I saw 2 cars and one cyclist. (I’m used to being passed by cars, but even the cyclist went by me like I was in reverse)
Palomares is a nice climb, followed by a great downhill and takes you out to Dublin Canyon Rd which is also a climb followed by a nice fast downhill. Dublin Canyon has quite a bit more traffic but also has a really nice wide bike lane.
From there we turned on to Foothill Rd where Tracy decided to pick up the pace. We hammered from Dublin all the way to Sunol at 20+ mph and when we finally pulled in to the market in Sunol, my legs were pretty well cooked so we decided on lunch and a Gatorade.
Note to Self – no matter how hungry you are, pre-packaged turkey sandwiches from an out of the way market are NEVER a good idea on a ride.
Adequately fueled, we started out on the second leg of our ride. Calaveras is another local, very low traffic, very scenic ride
and it seems like we weren’t the only ones that thought so.
We must have seen at least 50 other riders on Calaveras Rd. Granted, the further out we got, the fewer we saw, but still. A ton of riders were out enjoying one of the first really nice weekends of the year.
By the time we came out the other side of Calaveras at Ed Levin Park, I was feeling pretty spent which surprised me. Last weekend we had done almost 100 miles with double the climbing and I felt good. I’m guessing the pace we were going had everything to do with it as we hadn’t done that many miles or that much climbing.
Of course once you get out of Calaveras there’s the nice long, slightly uphill Mission Bl to deal with...Did I mention it had gotten windy?? And it was blowing north to south?? As in the exact opposite direction we were headed??
Eventually though, Tracy split off for home, I continued another few blocks and thankfully turned west and towards the house...
All in all, 78 miles 4300 ft of climbing...although it felt like more...