On Saturday, I hooked up with a bunch of guys for a road ride near the San Francisco Bay Area. Most, if not all the guys were significant others of girls riding in the Cinderella Classic, hence the name "Cinderfella". I can't really tell you where I started riding. From my hotel, I switched cars three times before getting dropped off in some area in the urban sprawl along the 680 corridor. Looking at the map, I think the drop off point may have been the city of Clayton just north of Mount Diablo.
We started heading south through some traffic, and I got the impression that the whole ride would be like this. I was wrong! After turning onto Morgan Territory Road, we saw very little traffic for miles. In fact, it was so quiet that I felt very isolated. It was a nice long climb up a heavily shaded canyon below the east side of Mount Diablo. The green hills on both sides and the trees above my head gave me no indication on how far the top of the climb was. We finally came up out of the trees at the summit, and had a nice break at the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve.
After a nice rest we began our descent. It was probably the craziest descent I've ever done on the road to date. Steep, narrow, twisty, low visibility corners, with a drop-off on the downhill side. It was kind of scary, but I guess it's stuff like this makes you feel alive! We came out north of Livermore, and took the back roads to Altamont Pass Road. This pass was very short with not a whole lot of climbing. Which is good, because the big climb was coming up.
We rode the foothills above Tracy, and made our way towards Patterson Pass Road. We passed hundreds of windmills along the way. At first I was pretty excited to see them, but after hours of them, they became just part of the scenery. We also passed quite a few young thug work crews picking up trash along the road. One kid wanted to borrow my bike. I thought better of it, and besides, his baggy pants would've gotten all messed up in my chain rings. We started our climb up Patterson Pass Road, and it continued to climb for quite a ways. You could never really see the top. Every time you thought you were at the summit, a new summit would appear. Finally the real summit loomed in the distance...the picture you see here.
Here's a picture of the summit looking down at where I shot the previous picture. I think this climb was the highlight of my ride. It is certainly the most memorable section. At the summit we had just completed 4,000 feet of climbing and were about to start our final descent into Livermore to complete the 50 mile loop. Afterwards, we regrouped at a brew pub for much deserved dinner and beer.
This is just my adventure...Kristy will be posting the story and pictures from her ride soon...
More pictures of this ride can be found HERE.