Sunday, July 11, 2010
LanceOldStrong of Bikeforums.net and I had never ridden up the famed Mt. Hamilton. It's a classic SF Bay Area ride, so we figured we'd better get it done this summer. It was a stellar day, so sunscreen was in order. More is better, too much is just right.
The ride up is about 20 miles, with a couple of short downhill sections in the middle. The whole thing makes for just a bit over 5000 feet of climbing. Since the road was built to haul up huge parts for the Lick Observatory it never gets steeper than about a six percent grade. That makes for a very nice ride indeed. The observatory is old school UC Berkeley architecture. It makes you feel smarter just from walking through it. It's really a beautiful place.
The ride back down is a blast. It isn't as steep or as technical as Diablo, so you can feel almost like you're skiing it without thinking that you might miss a corner any second. The pavement was a delight, especially near the bottom, where it's baby-butt smooth. All in a all it's a very rewarding 40 mile round trip.
We're thinking about doing a future ride as a 100+ mile loop from Livermore, and up the back side. It's supposed to be a bit harder, and it's over 100 miles.
We were wearing our new Northern California gear. Our fans seem to love it.