3/A/71 – Alameda, Sunol, Livermore, Collier Canyon and Walnut Creek
The most enjoyable ride so far this year, particularly since I did not ride solo as during the reconnoiter on February 10th. This time Klaus accompanied me and he shared my opinion. The mild weather, though it started overcast, gradually became sunnier and warmer. Favorable winds and gradual inclines permitted an average speed over the entire course of 16.3 mph.
Actual saddle time was 4 ½ hours and we made it to the BART station in Walnut Creek by 1315 hours, by which time a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit prevailed. Though Klaus is a better climber and I tend to forge ahead on the descents and flats, our respective abilities nicely balanced each other, so we never strayed too far apart.
We saw plenty of other cyclists, including on Collier Canyon, so this section is well known and safe, though there is no shoulder. The only time Klaus expressed a reservation was for the overpass on Isabel Avenue over the 580 in Livermore. The marked bike lane bisects the lane for the on-ramp from the lanes passing over the freeway. The bike lane is rather narrow and traffic moves fast on both sides. Unfortunately, there is no other street that would allow access to Collier Canyon from the South, since the closest alternative overpass affords no bike lane at all.
However, this section on the overpass is not long and brings you quickly to Collier Canyon, a very nice area with farmlands, horse farms and grazing cows. It is well worth traversing this landscape, if you have never ridden it before, and is certainly preferable to finding your way through downtown Livermore via Stanley Boulevard. After Mile 57 everything is on a downhill gradient and we arrived at the BART station nice and early at 1310.
I am hoping to find more adherents in the future, willing to explore new roads that can easily be reached by utilizing our network of BART stations. In fact, the new Milpitas and Berryessa stations North of San Jose are scheduled to open in November of this year.
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