3/C/78 – 27 January 2018 – Alameda, Sunol, Livermore, Danville and Walnut Creek BART
This is a fairly flat, rollicking route, that combines two traditional routes into single ride. No deviations were necessary, except my original intent to head North on Isabel Avenue (Highway 84). Isabel is undergoing a highway expansion from 2 to 4 lanes and Google Street View tells me this is a mess for cyclists. Therefore, it was never included on my route.
A lot of up-and-down on this route, but nothing too extended. This makes it a great training ride for time trials or for covering a lot of distance in a relatively short amount of time. Riding time was exactly 5 hours. Time in urban settings is minimal and there are a lot of vineyards along the way. Well worth repeating, perhaps later in the year, when club members wish to tackle longer distances.
One rider, Steve Torrence, did join me and we left Kaiser shortly after 9 o’clock. He announced he would likely stop in Livermore, but I was glad for the company. We were quickly warmed up, though we were conversing the first few miles. The jackets came off quickly and the sun was shining. There was little wind, except for the latter part of the ride and that was mostly due to the funneling effect from the contours of the land.
My novel route through Castro Valley, avoided the inclines of Seven Hills Road. Instead we jogged south on Somerset Avenue and back onto Heyer Avenue. I submit this is the quickest transit through that part of town and the one burning the least calories.
Once over Dublin Grade and onto Foothill Road, an appreciable gap developed. This was not to be any contest, so I waited for Steve to catch up at a huge, luxurious mansion, which had a group of gardeners working to maintain the sumptuous appearance. Once in Sunol (Mile 33), Steve gave his final verdict of abandoning the tour in Livermore.
At Mile 39, we separated. Steve went North to the BART station, I continued on the, to me unknown, streets through Livermore (Miles 38-50). Since Steve was in an urban setting, I was not unduly concerned he would have any difficulty finding his way. This was borne out when I checked in with him after my return home.
Once on Mile 50, I was back in the countryside. I was in the zone, and my average speed improved. The roads at the terminus of Morgan Territory Road were familiar again and I was making good progress. One older gentleman drafted me along Danville Boulevard, which I had joined, after avoiding downtown Danville by riding a stretch on the Iron Horse Regional Trail. I arrived at the Walnut Creek BART station at 1445 hours and I was back home at 1550.
Only 3,700 feet climbing in 78 miles. That compares favorably to the Davis 97-mile ride with 4,200 feet elevation gain (about the same ratio of miles to feet). This particular ride over Castro Valley, Sunol, Livermore, Danville and Walnut Creek affords more rest stops and only Miles 50-62 can be considered as remote. That is why I did not categorize this ride as a recce and consequently no wrong turns were taken.
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