19 January 2019
3/A/51 – Butters, Redwood and Five Canyons
Having the unrelenting climb on Five Canyons Parkway at the end of the route made this ride a bit challenging for me. However, this route offers an alternative loop, assuring the roads are never traveled twice. About 3,500 feet of climbing as well, which offer a good workout since some sections are fairly steep (20+%).
I was pleased to see Rob Jankowski already waiting for me in front of Kaiser. He had his brand-new cross bike and a bottle tucked into his jersey pocket. Ron Arth came canoodling out of Peet’s at the last minute with a fat-tire e-bike. I announced that my climbing up any hills would be slow and deliberate, as the week-long rain showers had prevented me from training since last Saturday.
We proceeded up Leimert and Butters to the ranger station on top. At first it was overcast, but at our first assembly point, the sun started to peek out, contrary to all predictions. Ron decided to go on Skyline via Golf Links home to Alameda, so Rob and I zoomed down Redwood. As the roads were still wet, I tried to take the best lines around the bends. However, the mid-week rain storms had not left any debris on the tarmac, likely because the trees and hills sheltered this road from the Westerly winds.
We met up at the shooting range, then at the golf course, by which time the roads were dry. Rob had the heavier bike, but I am not a climber. I did not stop until reaching the summit of Five Canyons and Fairview, though I was not going very fast either. In fact, I was afraid of starting to cramp, so I was relieved I did not do so. Many people don’t know this, but the top of this rise is higher than the highest elevation on Redwood, and the view from there towards the Bay is magnificent, though you only see a small sector.
The downhill is fast and technical and there are side streets and driveways one must be aware of. We reached Redwood Road very quickly, which Rob chose to follow to Alameda. I’d had enough of climbing and stuck to my route past Lake Chabot and Williams. I reached my home at 1230, having made up some of the missing miles from the past week and nicely tired.
Next time I will post it as a “B” ride, since my pace only averaged 13.4 mph. Those who suggested I tackle the Five Canyons again will be sorry they missed out on this ride. The weather turned out to be fairly warm and sunny and the roads were clear, so if you want to do this or a similar ride soon, you will have to post it yourself. I am working on making a decision on where my next announced ride will lead.
Thanks for the ride lead Ralph. I only need up with a 10.6 mile average but that was with Pinehurst finishing ending with 58 miles and 5,900 ft. Next time maybe I won't go with 35mm cross tires... maybe. ;)~
If I had your bike, I would not have been able to finish!
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