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4/C/46 – 6 January 2018 - Recce! BART Warm Springs and Alum Rock Park

  • 07 Jan 2018 11:44 AM
    Message # 5665980
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    6 January 2018

    4/C/46 – 6 January 2018 - Recce! BART Warm Springs and Alum Rock Park

    This route took advantage of the fairly new BART station in Warm Springs/South Fremont at 45193 Warm Springs Boulevard, which opened for service March of 2017.  This time my route was not bIocked by an unexpected barricade, but Quimby Road was much steeper than I anticipated.


    Verdict

    Quimby Road from the San Jose side averages 10% grade over 1.3 miles in the early part, followed by a brutal 1 mile of 13% average that attains 20% at some of the switchbacks.  However well you climb, everyone suffers going up this leg breaker, because this climb is so protracted and unrelenting.  However, it is all made worthwhile with the route which follows.

    Report

    Leaving the train station at 0915, I was quite aware the roads were still wet from the previous rains.  The first 17 miles were flat, so there was time for the streets to dry.  I made a stop at Lake Cunningham Park (Mile 16).  By the time I was on the approach to Quimby, the roads were mostly dry, except portions under the trees.

    I said to myself to take it easy on this climb, since it was an unknown stretch and I am a horrible climber.  Between the steeper pitches, I allowed my heart rate to reduce a bit, before tackling the next rise.  This strategy worked well until the final quarter mile, when my legs gave out.  Before toppling over, I dismounted and walked a bit. 

    Next time, I want to reach the summit in one go, but a group of riders should consider throwing in a stop halfway up before anybody blows up completely.  Thankfully, there is very little traffic on Quimby and vehicles with trailers are admonished not to take this road because of the severe hairpins.  Some of these switchbacks are marked with 10-mph yellow diamond signs and scrapes and gouges from the undercarriage of cars.

    The 1-mile downhill is occasionally twisty as well, but not as long and steep as the ascent.  Soon I hung a left turn on Mount Hamilton Road (Highway 130 at Mile 23.4), a known section of road, before hanging a right on unknown Crothers Road (Mile 29.1).  There are some rollers here, but nothing to be unduly concerned about and the scenery, with a vista over San Jose, is quite nice.

    Before you know it, you enter Alum Rock Park (Mile 31) and one must be careful to select the middle service road of the three roads converging at the terminus of Crothers Road.  There are joggers and cyclists about and one particularly rutted and bumpy section, where one must take good care to stay upright.  The terrain is fairly level and displays a slight downhill at Miles 32.5-34.5 when one follows my route.  The final 12 miles to the Warm Springs BART station are in an urban setting again.

    Conclusions

    I still averaged 13 mph, though I was barely moving up Quimby Road.  That road would be a lot easier to tackle from the Mount Hamilton Road side, but reversal of my route would then also entail a lot of uphill cycling.  So, it is a tossup what one would rather do:  suffer greatly at the start and have an easy ride for the remainder, or parcel out a more gradual climb for the majority of the ride, followed by a hair-raising descent.  Maybe I will try that.

    -- Ralph

    Last modified: 28 Jan 2018 12:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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