Alameda to Warm Springs BART via Calaveras Road
A great road on a rehabilitated Calaveras segment and without the need to perform the traditional OAB. Only about 3,000 feet of climbing as well.
As announced, I showed up at Kaiser just before 0800 and to my pleasant surprise, Isabella appeared as well. I had been concerned about doing yet another solo ride and this circumstance allowed me to also submit a completed ride sheet for credit as ride leader. With Isabella as an experienced participant, my job was easy, though I had to take into consideration her recent four weeks off the bike and hold back a bit to allow her a high B pace.
It was all very much worth it. I was especially keen to find out what Calaveras Road looks like now, after having been closed since 5 July 2016 due to a landslide, as well as construction and large trucks associated with the Calaveras Reservoir. Though Calaveras had reopened 3 January 2019, rain that weekend prevented an outing by bicycle, so many cyclists and some large clubs were encountered on that stretch of road during our ride.
Coming from the North and up to where the terrain levels off, about half of Calaveras Road is freshly paved and striped, with a very smooth rolling surface. It is blacktop in the truest sense of the word and many new PRs will be achieved on it. Along this segment, there is a wider section adjacent to a smooth semicircular earthen embankment with retaining elements and inclined wooden steps representing the landslide repairs. In addition, numerous “Share the Road” signs are posted, more than I have ever seen on any other public road in California. Many are within sight of each other, so the cycling lobby must have worked hard to get these erected.
This precaution is needed, since many cars and SUVs still manage to challenge the space needed by cyclists. As an example, a car slowed, lowered its window and the driver was trying to ask me how much longer the road continued. However, I was moving uphill, out of earshot in the opposite direction, and a large group of cyclists was descending at speed behind this car and were already yelling warnings. The driver accelerated just in time and this foolish individual would need to determine her own answer. It nearly got dicey there, another reason I did not stop, though the driver must have known about the group coming up from behind.
Once the top of Calaveras Road is reached, the terrain becomes up-and-down and twisty, and a chip seal surface appears, though the aggregate is smaller and therefore the surface is not as rough. It is perfectly passable, though Isabella was starting to struggle. We stopped to eat and rest, as we had in Sunol and other occasions; the cramping in her legs only occurred in the flats when we approached the BART station, where the train was already waiting for us. I was home by 1430.
Isabella said “awesome ride” on Strava and I must agree. Any ride leader can make this part of the ride calendar on future occasions. The route and cue sheet are not trademarked, so feel free to use it!
TeamAlamedaPO Box 1216Alameda, CA 94501