Fremont to Mt. Hamilton 85-mi self-supported ride
See also my photo album from this
(Saturday, May 25 in Fremont, CA)
I left home at around 8:00 and headed southwards, following the route from the
Primavera Century past Mission San Jose. In
Milpitas, I left that route and continued south. I got a call from Denise and
Ralph, who I was meeting at 9:30, saying there wasn't any legal parking at
SR130 & Alum Rock, so we decided to meet at Linda Vista School, just down
the road from there. I met them around 9:30, we stretched and headed towards
It was a warm'ish day, contrary to the weather forecast that assured me that
it would be "much colder than Friday" - oh well, I needed the heat training
anyways :). In short order, we caught Mt. Hamilton Rd. (AKA SR130) and headed
up. After a few miles riding through the outskirts of suburbia and
McMansions, we were well and truly away from civilization. After a short
descent, we rolled into Grant Ranch park. We stopped here for a few to use
the facilities, refill our water bottles, and stretch.
After Grant Ranch, there's a nice spot of climbing over a ridge, then another
short descent to a CDF station, and then the real climbing begins. The ascent
of Hamilton isn't particularly steep, but its quite long (19mi, including
about 2mi of intermediate descents) and as such, can wear on one! Ralph rode
on ahead, while Denise & I took it easy (hey, I still had ~25mi left after
I was off the mountain!). It felt pretty hot, and I doused myself with water
to keep cool. There were tons of wildflowers all along the road, which along
with the lovely views, distracted us nicely. We took a quick break a few
miles from the top to snack and cool off, then continued on our way.
Before too long, we arrived at the summit! It had taken us 3 hours to get
up the mountain, including stops - not too bad for a leisurely climb. We hung
around for a while, refilled out water bottles and ate, and eventually headed
back down after I admonished Denise & Ralph to be extremely careful.
The descent from the summit to the CDF station is very demanding. The road is
bumpy, narrow, with cars frequently crossing the centerline, and chock full of
blind corners with gravel in them. We made OK time, though, and stopped at
the CDF station to let our hands regain feeling :) A quick climb later, and
we were bombing down the ridge to Grant Ranch.
We stopped again at Grant Ranch to eat and top off our bottles, but didn't
stop long. I was feeling pretty good, so I hammered up the final climb, then
we enjoyed the fast descent back into San Jose. We went to a yummy little
deli and I wolfed down a very large pastrami, roast beef, swiss, and provolone
sandwich and a large bag of chips, then we parted ways.
I headed back northward into a moderate headwind, through Milpitas, and into
Fremont. I'd planned the route to take the prettier, but less direct roads in
the morning, and the faster roads back, since I don't like riding out and back
routes if I can avoid it. The only problem with this was that the faster
roads through San Jose and Milpitas were booooring. Ah well. Shortly into my
return trip, I wasn't feeling terribly well - I think a huge high-fat lunch
was not a great idea! Every drink of water made me feel worse since I was so
full - yecch! I'd originally been thinking of adding another 15ish miles in
Fremont to make it a full century, but given how I was feeling, I just wanted
to go home now. After a short, but painful, climb on Paseo Padre Parkway, I
was on the home stretch, arriving home at around 5:30.
This was a fun ride overall. It had more suburban riding than I prefer, but I
got to ride from home, which is always really nice. On fresh legs, it
wouldn't have been too difficult, but I'd done a lot of hard riding the
previous week, and thus hadn't fully recovered from the Davis Double the previous weekend.
See the route sheet for this ride.