13 January 2018
4/C/46 – 13 January 2018 - BART Warm Springs, Alum Rock Park and Down Quimby
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 I decided to go clockwise, which allowed me to go through Alum Rock Park first, then negotiate the climb of Quimby Road from the less excruciating side.
Quimby Road from Mount Hamilton Road is only 1.1 miles long, so 2.2 miles shorter than from the San Jose side, but still averages a 10% grade and attains 20% in one brief section. However, to get there, you must climb three quarters of the route and the descent on Quimby must be taken with utmost care. I will probably never climb Quimby Road from San Jose again, it was just too painful.
I left Kaiser right at 8 o’clock, since nobody decided to join me at the last minute. This allowed to me to catch the earlier 0809-train, depositing me at the Warm Springs BART 20 minutes sooner than planned. Leaving the train station at 0852, I made good time to Alum Rock Park and breezed past the cars waiting at the gate to the park. The speed limit there is 15 mph, so quite conducive to cycling.
When I reached my turnaround point, the service road out of the park was blocked to all traffic. I doubled back a half mile to Alum Rock Avenue, the third paved road in or out of the park and an option which spared me from returning the way I came. Once out of the park, I overshot the junction with Crothers Road and retraced my way back again.
The climb up Crothers can be quite steep and is protracted, but is nothing compared to Quimby. Once off Crothers, I was on Mount Hamilton Road with a quite manageable 7% pitch. The turn onto Quimby is at the halfway point of the route and there I took a short breather, since climbing this hill, even from the easier side, takes some concentration, a game plan.
This time, I managed to climb it without stopping, but I was not going very quickly either. The descent has several hairpin turns marked with 10-mph signs and cannot be overcooked. Once in the valley of San Jose with rolling roads, I made up my lost time on the climbs and managed an overall average speed of 13.7 mph. Going the opposite direction only allowed me a 13.0 mph average speed, proving that tackling Quimby from the North is the preferable choice.
A good route and not too long, since one still must climb 3,600 feet. Going up and down Mount Hamilton itself increases the climbing portion to 4,750 feet over 36.4 miles, 18.2 miles each direction, is a bit monotonous and obliges you to traverse the same road twice. So, my route is a good option for a loop, whose urban approach will be shortened by 11 miles once the new BART station on Berryessa is in operation. That would reduce this 46-mile route to 24 miles.
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