8 June 2019
4/B/37 – RECCE - Butters - Redwood - Moraga - Orinda - Wildcat Canyon - Golf Course – Centennial
Though a relatively short ride, it has challenging inclines, both uphill and downhill. To finish by noon on a mid-week ride, one would have to start at 0800. We started 0915 and finished 1312, after 3,000 feet of climbing, so perhaps a bit more than a Tuesday/Thursday ride could support. For this Saturday, it was perfectly feasible, especially since it did not get too warm and we made numerous stops for certain individuals to recover and the group to join up. The downhill on Centennial I will describe later.
After some persuasion, four members joined me:
To reach Butters, this time we proceeded straight up Fruitvale Avenue, then hung a right onto Lincoln Avenue, which is an unrelenting climb at maximum 15%, thus depositing us for the beginning of Butters at Mile 4.7. We bypassed the ranger station by going Rishell Drive. Down Redwood, over Little Pinehurst and via Canyon Road to the gas station in Moraga, where a longer stop was called for.
Moraga Way to Orinda and beyond, we encountered some head wind, but I kept the overall pace reasonable, so people could catch up. By that time, it was getting warmer as well and we had Wildcat Canyon to climb. Though Inspiration Point usually culminates this climb, further climbing was necessary to surmount Shasta and Golf Course Roads.
Going downhill on Centennial Drive requires some care, since certain sections are at 25%, very, very steep. You need to feather your brakes, to allow the rims to cool and avoid the brake pads from melting. Even so, I smelled some burnt rubber on the way down and we had to allow our rims to cool after reaching the bottom. Great bike handling clinic.
Now all we had to do was transit Oakland. Tom baulked when sighting the last (small) hill and offered to lead us another way down Broadway. Though not the most scenic part, he eventually brought us to the lake, where my breadcrumb route re-appeared on my computer. This had been a great workout and so all decided to proceed directly home.
Maybe too much for a mid-week ride.
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