20 October 2019
3/B/36 – RECCE - Hallowheel Cemeteries Ride
I discovered many secondary roads winding their way through Oakland, especially in the Kensington area, after passing though the Sunset View Cemetery. A few were sharp, steep pitches, not conducive to keeping a rhythm and higher average speed. A few other surprises were encountered, particularly at a nasty intersection where the light would not trigger. Accordingly, the route was amended for the official ride on 31 October 2019, which now includes the Ohlone Greenway and a simplified route exiting Sunset View Cemetery. All three (3) cemeteries have climbs in them though, an unavoidable fact.
Original Route (now improved)
This planned ride was to commemorate Halloween by visiting as many cemeteries as could be accommodated for a mid-week ride. I found three, in sequence: Saint Mary Cemetery, Sunset View Cemetery and Evergreen Cemetery. Though the route was only 36 miles long, it displays numerous elevation changes, amounting to an overall gain of 3,200 feet.
Due to the many turns, especially onto small, neighborhood roads from main thoroughfares, I did miss some streets by a few hundred feet and was forced to turn back. I made mental note of the changes I would wish to make, but, in general, it was an enjoyable ride. The navigation forced me to slow to a C-pace, an average of about 12 mph, which I hope to improve on the actual group ride.
Being on new roads, even within an urban or suburban setting, gives one a sense of exploration. Saving time was not of the essence for this new route. The views from the cemeteries are wonderful, enhanced by the slopes within these final resting places. I would also stop and rest at these mile points, while considering the best option for traversing each cemetery towards the second exit. Only Evergreen Cemetery had the second gate locked, affording only one street to enter.
I was gratified to realize this route was doable and safe. Particular vigilance is required only on the last few miles through Oakland, after leaving the Evergreen Cemetery, since it is a bad neighborhood, but even there bike lanes exist. Certainly, I have changed the route to make it less convoluted and I reduced the climbing by about 200 feet (see second link below). I was in Alameda by 1230, and with a higher average speed, a return by at least 1215 is anticipated.
Improved version: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31345625
TeamAlamedaPO Box 1216Alameda, CA 94501