Re: Mt Hamilton Challenge (was Re: Kirsten Gum)

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides' started by [email protected], Apr 22, 2004.

  1. Mike Jacoubowsky writes:

    > Mt. Hamilton Challenge is even sooner, this Saturday. Too bad that
    > you're working Saturdays, Mike. There should be a pretty good size
    > group of us grizzled old mountain goats there for a 7:30 start.


    I hope you have as nice a ride as I did today Thursday 22 Apr 04 on
    which there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The ascent began as usual in
    Milpitas (Piedmont Rd, Penitencia Cr Rd, Toyon Ave, McKee Rd, Alum
    Rock Ave, and Mt. Hamilton Rd HWY 130):

    http://tinyurl.com/2ebeg

    Although some of the wildflowers of three weeks ago were gone, others
    sprang up along the road, such as lupine in yellow through blue and
    white to violet, purple vetch, mule ear with its large yellow
    blossoms, golden wallflower, red (cobweb) and blue thistles, paint
    brush, sage, and some "pinkies" the tiny pink flower (five petals
    blossoms less than 5mm diameter) with pink stems and leaves that grow
    only on barren scree.

    Pinkies were profuse three weeks ago from the hill after Isabel Creek
    to the cattle guard before San Antonio Valley. Now they are still
    around on the last 200m before the turn-off to Lick Observatory... and
    a few in the shade from the first bloom where I had seen them before.

    To make up for that, someone carefully sprayed day-glo orange around
    ground squirrel sink holes in the road, some are fairly deep but
    smooth. These holes are made by ground squirrels that love the solid
    ceiling of pavement for their burrows, not realizing that traffic
    will spell doom. A truck towing a street sweeping rotary brush was
    clearing the east slope of the road of loose gravel, I suppose to
    prevent more crashes than need be.

    From the last left hander 500m from the summit, before crossing under
    the observatory, the snow capped Sierra were clearly visible, making a
    wonderful backdrop for the central valley that was hidden under haze.
    To the south, the Santa Lucia mountains that drop off to Monterey mad a
    fitting boundary and reminded me of the great ride last week over the
    Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd. a ride that was just described in
    rec.bicycles.rides.

    Among some of the preparations for next Saturday, I was passed by a
    truck load of porta-potties, three of which were dropped off at San
    Antonio JCT. I was most impressed that the drinking water spring at
    MP3, where the big "3" is in the center of the road on the descent to
    Isabel Creek, was once again repaired and is flowing fast with
    beautiful ice cold spring water as it had done these many years in the
    past. I don't know who fixed it but it is something that needs doing
    annually after winter rains clog the intake in a concrete cistern under
    lock and key a short way up the gulch. I presume this watering hole
    was originally made available, as most on mountain roads, to refill
    radiators. Friends and I have stopped there in the summer to drink
    un-chlorinated pure ice cold water.

    With a brisk and turbulent wind on the mountain of from 15-20mph, the
    descent to the cattle guard down the back side, tucked in and no
    braking, was not as fast as usual but close. Don't do this with other
    riders nearby!

    Isabel Creek (2192ft) was still flowing with crystal clear water and
    with a tailwind the climb over the divide (2388ft) to Arroyo Bayo went
    briskly as did the descent to the valley (1974ft).

    http://tinyurl.com/29zfd

    After the short steep spot (2004ft) along Arroyo Bayo, the road
    parallels the Arnold Ranch at MP10 where Mr Arnold's peacocks will
    respond to your peacock like shouts if you try. Unfortunately his
    wonderful display of daffodils is gone now, although it was
    magnificent three weeks ago.

    There were still a few pinkies along the road just before the divide
    and cattle guard (2079ft) between Arroyo Bayo and the San Antonio
    Valley. This divide is decorated with the smallest California
    Poppies, so small and light yellow that at first one can't recognize
    them for what they are. I haven't seen similar ones anywhere.

    Although there were sounds of bullocks orioles and grosbeaks, I didn't
    see any, they seemingly hanging onto a good branch in the brisk wind.
    Although deer were grazing near the road without letting themselves be
    distracted by my presence, there were no elk across the way this time
    as I entered the San Antonio Valley. I have seen herds of 30 or more
    on other occasions.

    Although it was directly into the wind, the next four miles to the
    junction (2039ft) went easily because it's slightly downhill.
    Approaching the junction, Red Mountain with its white mining spills of
    Magnesite make a good backdrop for Mines Road. The book "Red
    Mountain" available at the Junction Restaurant tells the history of
    the region, how and why the Mt Hamilton Road was built and who built
    Mines road and the railroad up Del Valle from Patterson. I recommend
    the book especially because it is not available through usual
    channels. It was written by the author who wrote books on Jane
    Stanford and her probable murder. Unfortunately ha died last week at
    his home on Mines Rd.

    After a soda pop and medjool date refill I headed over the little hill
    into the Sweetwater Creek drainage at the Digger Pine Ranch with the
    "Air Mail" mailbox 20ft up in the air above the gate. From here it's
    past Ruthie's Mall and up the Blackbird, a 1.5 mile grade up to
    (2785ft) the divide into Colorado Creek followed by the Double-Ess a
    one mile hill (2881ft) to descend to Arroyo Mocho, the river that
    mines road follows to Livermore.

    The valley was amazingly green and above all, the trees that were
    still bare three weeks ago were in full rich foliage. Looking across
    the canyon I was impressed with how green the forest was and that I
    could not see any signs of sudden oak death.

    Somehow the wind turned so that it came across the canyon and caused
    no impediment to my progress. In fact, when I reached the valley it
    was at times a slight tail wind, something that I was sure was going
    to be useful as I headed west from Livermore to Pleasanton. This was
    as advertised, so to speak, and I zipped along Stanley Blvd as thous I
    was in better shape than I am.

    I stopped at the Milk Store in Pleasanton, across from the old SP
    Depot and got a frosty cone in traditional manner before heading off
    to Sunol JCT and Paloma Rd (Calaveras Rd.) As I crossed under I680 I
    was glad to see that swallows, martens, and white throated swifts were
    diving into their nests in the overpass. This part of the road is
    lined with cork oaks that are in their inconspicuous desiduose act of
    dropping all their leaves while the new ones are already there,
    something they do around easter.

    High above and over Apperson Ridge, red tailed hawks, turkey vultures
    and possibly golden eagles that I have identified on other trips, were
    soaring high above. Having a tailwind here is unusual but it held up
    all the way to the huge wired-together split bay tree that stands at
    the last curve on Calaveras Rd before the little crest and high speed
    descent to Felter Rd. Even down the hill, the tail wind made sure
    that I could exceed the speed limit all the way to Piedmont Rd.

    It was a great ride. I hope the cast of thousands has it as nice on
    next Saturday. 103 miles, 7800ft climbing.

    Jobst Brandt
    [email protected]
     
    Tags:


  2. G.T.

    G.T. Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >
    > From the last left hander 500m from the summit, before crossing under
    > the observatory, the snow capped Sierra were clearly visible, making a
    > wonderful backdrop for the central valley that was hidden under haze.
    > To the south, the Santa Lucia mountains that drop off to Monterey mad a
    > fitting boundary and reminded me of the great ride last week over the
    > Nacimiento-Ferguson Rd. a ride that was just described in
    > rec.bicycles.rides.
    >


    I'm going to have to look for that one on r.b.rides.

    Greg
     
  3. > > Mt. Hamilton Challenge is even sooner, this Saturday. Too bad that
    > > you're working Saturdays, Mike. There should be a pretty good size
    > > group of us grizzled old mountain goats there for a 7:30 start.

    >
    > I hope you have as nice a ride as I did today Thursday 22 Apr 04 on
    > which there wasn't a cloud in the sky. The ascent began as usual in
    > Milpitas (Piedmont Rd, Penitencia Cr Rd, Toyon Ave, McKee Rd, Alum
    > Rock Ave, and Mt. Hamilton Rd HWY 130):...


    I had a great ride this morning, but not quite as nice as you had! Maybe
    I've been out of the loop too long... have you joined the ranks of
    professional (as in retired from work) cyclists? That's quite a ways off
    for me. My goal is to someday cut back from working 6+ days/week to only 5.
    Maybe then I can ride more!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  4. <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:ET%[email protected]
    >

    I was most impressed that the drinking water spring at
    > MP3, where the big "3" is in the center of the road on the descent to
    > Isabel Creek, was once again repaired and is flowing fast with
    > beautiful ice cold spring water as it had done these many years in the
    > past. I don't know who fixed it but it is something that needs doing
    > annually after winter rains clog the intake in a concrete cistern under
    > lock and key a short way up the gulch. I presume this watering hole
    > was originally made available, as most on mountain roads, to refill
    > radiators. Friends and I have stopped there in the summer to drink
    > un-chlorinated pure ice cold water.
    >


    If it's the same watering hole I'm thinking of, it was fixed by Don Axtell
    from the Almaden Cycling Touring Club on Easter Sunday. He's not only a
    fantastic rider, but goes out of his way to help other cyclist. He wrote an
    article on how he spent his Easter when he took his pick and shovel out and
    cleared the path to get the water to flow.

    http://www.campyonly.com/images/ride_photos/2004/4-24-04_dmd/IMAGE0035_800.JPG

    -tom
     
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