Best of the Bay"BOB", OctoberOct 7th, 2017

Routes

  • Route Overview

    The BEST OF THE BAY Double Century can be broken down into the following three segments:

    • A 55-mile rural and scenic trip from Castro Valley through the East Bay hills, up to Grizzly Peak and down the other side, and returning through those hills to our headquarters in Castro Valley.
    • A 53-mile ride from Castro Valley to Mt. Diablo, climbing up the South Gate road, descending the same road, and followed by a gentle ride up Bollinger Canyon to our lunch stop at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.
    • A 90-mile ramble south on Bollinger Canyon Road and San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Foothill Rd. to Sunol then Ohlone Park; returning over Calaveras Road to Pleasanton, heading east through the Livermore vineyards, and then north on Collier Canyon towards Mt. Diablo. This time you won't climb Mt. Diablo, but cycle past it to Danville, then south to Dublin, and finally descend to the finish in Castro Valley.
  • Rest Stops and Times
    REST STOP # LOCATION TIMES AT MILE
    Check-in Castro Valley HQ - Check-in 3:45 am - 4:30 am 0
    Start Castro Valley HQ - Mass Start 4:15 am; 5:00am 0
    1 Grizzly Peak - Island Picnic Area 6:15 am - 7:30 am 30
    2 Castro Valley HQ 7:30 am - 9:15 am 55
    3 Mt. Diablo - Summit Picnic Area 9:30 am - 1:00 pm 84
    4 Las Trampas Regional Wilderness 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm 108
    5 Sunol-Ohlone Park (enforced cutoff)     2:30 pm - 5:30 pm 135
    6 Robertson Park (enforced cutoff) 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm 157
    7 Danville - Extra Mile (enforced cutoff) 6:30 pm - 10:15 pm 182
    FINISH Castro Valley HQ 6:30 pm - 12:00 am 198
  • Detailed Ride Description

    Segment 1:  Castro Valley to Grizzly Peak Loop

    The BOB Double Century begins with a journey north through the East Bay hills to the top of Grizzly Peak, high above Berkeley. The roads are all rural, winding, moderately hilly, and scenic with sweeping panoramic views of San Francisco Bay.

    The first climb is up Golf Links then up to Skyline, which you will stay on all the way to Grizzly Peak.  It is mostly climbing at varied inclines, until you reach the summit (at the Chabot Space Center), then level and slight rollers until you get to Grizzly Peak Blvd. Note that early in the morning, many of these roads may be damp and slippery.

    After you turn right onto Grizzly Peak Blvd., you will have more views of the Bay before you quickly descend to a four-way stop, and then resume your climb to Grizzly Peak. Along the way, you will pass the steam trains, and then begin a long, fast descent that winds through the woodlands before continuing into residential neighborhoods and the start of Wildcat Canyon.

    Wildcat Canyon Road is an outstanding road for cycling, winding but level, with new pavement, on the edge of the wilderness. It will take you to rest stop #1 at the Island picnic area which has good restrooms and picnic tables among big redwoods.

    The sun will be rising as you depart the Island picnic area. You'll climb up short but steep Shasta and turn left onto Golf Course Rd.  A couple of miles of rollers will get you back to the rural part of Grizzly Peak Blvd.  Now you will again get to see the panorama of the whole bay, but this time as the sun is rising.  Follow Skyline (mostly descending this time) back to Galf Links, and through San Leandro.  You will turn up Estadillo and climb up to Lake Chabot, then descend Lake Chabot Rd. back to BOB headquarters (rest stop #2) for breakfast and the opportunity to drop off gear.

    Segment 2: Castro Valley to Mt. Diablo to Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

    This segment features the greatest challenge of the BOB Double Century - climbing rugged and pristine Mt. Diablo. The climb is difficult, but hugely famous and popular for advanced cyclists. Bicycling Magazine lists the ascent on its official list of ten best mountain climbs.

    From Castro Valley, you travel east through Crow Canyon to Norris Canyon, a hidden cycling gem that takes you across the East Bay hills and into the foothills of Mt. Diablo. After exiting Norris Canyon, you make you way back to Crow Canyon Road, and eventually enter the city of Blackhawk. As you pass through Blackhawk, the road changes its name to Blackhawk Road. On this road, you climb over a little saddleback before turning onto Mt. Diablo Scenic Road to begin your ten-mile ascent of Mt. Diablo.

    You'll pass a school and about a dozen houses before it is just you and the road and the increasingly awesome views in every direction. You will need to pace yourself because the climb is long and steep. You will find that a pattern emerges as you climb steeply from north to south, turn left onto a short section of level pavement, a hairpin right turn, and another steep climb. After repeating this sequence for the fifth time, you will arrive at the gatehouse where cars must pay a fee, but cyclists can freely peddle through. Near the gatehouse parking area, there is a water faucet if you need to refresh your bottles. After the gatehouse, the road levels for over a mile. After you pass the helipad (at the horse-crossing), you have one more steep climb of about a mile up to the junction, where there is water, then you continue up the remaining 4.5 miles to the Summit picnic areas and rest stop #3.

    Descending the mountain is thrilling and great fun, but also a time for care. Park rangers enforce the speed limit and will also ticket reckless riders. There are many sharp corners that entice you to enter them too hot. Be aware that the descent is long and winding, and that your brakes may overheat. At the same time, because you will be descending in the early morning, your descent may be quite chilling, even cold.

    At the bottom of the descent, you will come to a stop sign, just past the school. You turn right onto a downhill stretch of Diablo Road. This road has high-speed traffic but drivers here are very used to cyclists. After the descent, you will wind through the friendlier back streets of Danville and onto rider-friendly San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Continuing on this road for a number of miles, you eventually turn right onto Crow Canyon Road, this time avoiding the Interstate 680 freeway interchange.

    You will ride on Crow Canyon Road for about one mile. Be aware that the road does not have a bike lane so you should take over the right lane, leaving the other two lanes for the cars. They do not drive so fast here because of the frequent stoplights.

    You will turn right onto Bollinger Canyon which will take you through the hills to the end of the road. Along this road you may be able to see several ostriches and a large flock of 50 to 75 turkeys. Upon arriving at rest stop #4, lunch will be served in a nice tree-shaded picnic area.

    Segment 3: Las Trampas to Sunol-Ohlone Park to Robertson Park to Danville to Castro Valley

    The second half of the BOB Double Century consists of 99 miles that take you through easier but still top-notch cycling roads. There are no more big climbs; from here on the route h the route has only short or gentle climbs.

    After lunch, you start with ten miles of easy riding. When you get to Crow Canyon Road, use the special button to trigger the traffic signals. On Crow Canyon Road, eastbound traffic frequently travels at high speed so you do not want to cross the road while the cross traffic has a green light.

    After turning off Bollinger Canyon Road, you will continue south on two roads that are popular with cyclists, San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Foothill Road. The latter road becomes increasingly rural and scenic as you near the small community of Sunol.

    From Sunol, you will continue south on another popular destination for cyclists - Calaveras Road. You will first have a five-mile run of straight, level rural road with no stops. It is very good for a drafting paceline. Just where the road starts a steep climb (and where there is a gate that closes the road for construction), you turn left onto Geary Rd. This is less flat and more scenic, and at the end of the road is the Sunol-Ohlone Park - your next rest stop.

    Then you will return along Calaveras but take a right before Sunol onto the Pleasanton-Sunol Road. After a short, easy climb, you have many miles of smooth, flat pavement that takes you to downtown Pleasanton. You'll encounter a few blocks of urban traffic before turning right onto Vineyard Blvd. which will take you east to the vineyards of Livermore.

    You'll wind left and right through several miles of vineyards before you reach rest stop #6 at Robertson Park. As you leave the park, you will travel north, passing through downtown Livermore before again heading into the southernmost Mt. Diablo foothills. You'll first ride through Collier Canyon, a long gentle meander through bucolic cow and horse country. Turn left onto Highland Road, and continue through the rural landscape until you turn right onto Camino Tassajara Road which transitions your experience from rural to urban, with its high-speed traffic. You will stay on this road for about eight miles with some gentle climbing at first, and then a long, shallow descent all the way to Danville.

    After turning left onto San Ramon Valley Blvd in Danville, you will ride for about ten miles until you reach the town of San Ramon and rest stop #7 at the intersection of San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Crow Canyon Road. The rest stop is actually the Extra Mile Chevron Station where you can use the restrooms and pick up any fuel you may need for the final twenty miles to the finish.

    From rest stop #7, continue south on San Ramon Valley Blvd to the town of Dublin. Take a right on Dublin Blvd. and begin your last significant climb on this lightly trafficked road. After the climb, you will turn left and descend Schaefer Ranch Road. The descent is short, but steep, with a stop sign at the bottom where the road intersects with Dublin Canyon Road. Be sure to stop since there may be high-speed cross traffic.

    As you turn right onto Dublin Canyon Road, you'll ride a nice long, downhill stretch towards Castro Valley. After the descent, you will have about five easy miles that wind through the back streets of Castro Valley and return you to the finish.

  • Elevation Diagram

    BOB ELEVATION DIAGRAM

  • Route Segments
    SEG# TITLE DIFFICULTY    MILES CLIMBING
    1 Grizzly Peak - Out 7 30 3500
    2 Grizzly Peak - Return 5 25 1850
    3 Mt. Diablo - Out 8 29 4500
    4 Mt. Diablo - Return 2 24 890
    5 Las Trampas to Calaveras 4 27 400
    6 Calaveras to Robertson 3 22 350
    7 Robertson to Danville 3 25 1310
    8 Danville to Castro Valley 3 16 1200
      TOTALS:   198 14000
  • Route Overview

    The BEST OF THE BAY Century ride of 104 miles can be broken down into the following two segments:

    • A 52-mile ride from Castro Valley to Mt. Diablo, climbing up the South Gate road, descending the same road, and followed by a gentle ride up Bollinger Canyon to our lunch stop at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.
    • A 52-mile ramble south on Bollinger Canyon Road and San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Foothill Rd. to Sunol, then on to Ohlone Park off Calaveras Road, returning via Calaveras Road to Pleasanton, and finally descending to the finish in Castro Valley.
  • Rest stops and Times
    REST STOP # LOCATION TIMES AT MILE
    START Castro Valley HQ 6:30 am - 7:30 am 0
    1 Mt. Diablo - Junction Picnic Area 9:30 am - 11:30 pm 29
    2 Las Trampas Regional Wilderness 11:00 am - 2:00 pm 53
    3 Ohlone Park 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm 80
    FINISH Castro Valley HQ 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm 103
  • Detailed Ride Description

    Segment 1: Castro Valley to Mt. Diablo to Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

    This segment features the greatest challenge of the BOB Century - climbing rugged and pristine Mt. Diablo. The climb is difficult, but hugely famous and popular for advanced cyclists. Bicycling Magazine lists the ascent on its official list of ten best mountain climbs.

    From Castro Valley, you travel east through Crow Canyon to Norris Canyon, a hidden cycling gem that takes you across the East Bay hills and into the foothills of Mt. Diablo. After exiting Norris Canyon, you make you way back to Crow Canyon Road, and eventually enter the city of Blackhawk. As you pass through Blackhawk, the road changes its name to Blackhawk Road. On this road, you climb over a little saddleback before turning onto Mt. Diablo Scenic Road to begin your ten-mile ascent of Mt. Diablo.

    You'll pass a school and about a dozen houses before it is just you and the road and the increasingly awesome views in every direction. You will need to pace yourself because the climb is long and steep. You will find that a pattern emerges as you climb steeply from north to south, turn left onto a short section of level pavement, a hairpin right turn, and another steep climb. After repeating this sequence for the fifth time, you will arrive at the gatehouse where cars must pay a fee, but cyclists can freely peddle through. Near the gatehouse parking area, there is a water faucet if you need to refresh your bottles. After the gatehouse, the road levels for over a mile. After you pass the helipad (at the horse-crossing), you have one more steep climb of about a mile up to the junction.  There is water there, then you continue on up the other 4.5 miles to the Summit Picnic area -rest stop #1.  Be sure on the way down to go left at the Junction so you return down via the South gate -- the same way you came up.

    Descending the mountain is thrilling and great fun, but also a time for care. Park rangers enforce the speed limit and will also ticket reckless riders. There are many sharp corners that entice you to enter them too hot. Be aware that the descent is long and winding, and that your brakes may overheat. At the same time, because you will be descending in the early morning, your descent may be quite chilling, even cold.

    At the bottom of the descent, you will come to a stop sign, just past the school house. You turn right onto a downhill stretch of Diablo Road. This road has high-speed traffic but drivers here are very used to cyclists. After the descent, you will wind through the friendlier back streets of Danville and onto rider-friendly San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Continuing on this road for a number of miles, you eventually turn right onto Crow Canyon Road, this time avoiding the Interstate 680 freeway interchange.

    You will ride on Crow Canyon Road for about one mile. Be aware that the road does not have a bike lane so you should take over the right lane, leaving the other two lanes for the cars. They do not drive so fast here because of the frequent stoplights.

    You will turn right onto Bollinger Canyon which will take you through the hills to the end of the road. Along this road you may be able to see several ostriches and a large flock of 50 to 75 turkeys. Upon arriving at rest stop #2, lunch will be served in a nice tree-shaded picnic area.

    Segment 2: Las Trampas to Ed Levin Park to Pleasanton to Castro Valley

    The second half of the BOB Century consists of 65 miles that take you through easier but still top-notch cycling roads. The only significant climb is on Calaveras Road after which the route is increasingly downhill, or at least has only either short or gentle climbs.

    After lunch, you start with ten miles of easy riding. When you get to Crow Canyon Road, use the special button to trigger the traffic signals. On Crow Canyon Road, eastbound traffic frequently travels at high speed so you do not want to cross the road while the cross traffic has a green light.

    After turning off Bollinger Canyon Road, you will continue south on two roads that are popular with cyclists, San Ramon Valley Blvd. and Foothill Road. The latter road becomes increasingly rural and scenic as you near the small community of Sunol.

    From Sunol, you will continue south on another popular destination for cyclists - Calaveras Road. You will first have a five-mile run of straight, level rural road with no stops. It is very good for a drafting paceline. Just where the road starts a steep climb (and where there is a gate that closes the road for construction), you turn left onto Geary Rd.  This is less flat and more scenic, and at the end of the road is the Sunol-Ohlone Park - your next rest stop.

    Then you will return along Calaveras but take a right before Sunol onto the Pleasanton-Sunol Road. After a short, easy climb, you have many semi-rural miles of smooth, flat, wide-shouldered pavement that take you towards Pleasanton. After riding about 2.7 miles, you'll turn left onto Castlemont road. This road takes you over the Arroyo de la Laguna stream on your way back to Foothill Road. You traveled south on Foothill earlier in the day, but now you will travel north on the road, climbing a little, but mostly riding along a flat course. Along the route, you'll see the Castlewood Golf Course and the well manicured yards of some of the pricier real estate in Pleasanton. The final descent on Foothill takes you to the Stoneridge Shopping Center. Depending upon the time of day, there could be considerable traffic in this area. Stay alert as you make your way through a number of intersections.

    At the final intersection for the shopping center, just before the freeway overpass, you'll turn left onto Dublin Canyon Road and ride past the Pleasanton Marriott hotel and a Safeway administrative building before arriving at another stretch of semi-rural geography that features churches, homes, and ranches. After traveling about 1.5 miles, you'll begin a climb that will take you to the summit of Dublin Canyon Road. After reaching the summit, you will appreciate the 2.75 mile downhill run to the stop sign at Palo Verde Road. From here, you will have a gentle 5 mile ride that winds through the back streets of Castro Valley and returns you to the finish.

  • Elevation Diagram

    Century Elevation Diagram

  • Route Segments
    SEG # TITLE DIFFICULTY MILES CLIMBING
    1 Mt. Diablo - Out 8 29 4500
    2 Mt. Diablo - Return 2 25 1000
    3 Las Trampas to Calaveras 3 27 500
    4 Calaveras to Castro Valley 4 23 800
      TOTALS:   104 6800

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