OYJ Tunnel/Grizzly 2011 (preseason)

Randy and Kyle and the bottom of Wildcat Canyon
Since this route makes a counter-clockwise circuit around the north part of the East Bay, I decided I’d ride to the lake and then bail out back to Richmond around San Pablo Dam Rd./Key Route. It was a beautiful morning, slight chill in the air, lots of birds around.

Tons of people already walking their dogs at Point Isabel at 8:30. I crossed over the Berkeley I-80 Bridge and then I made a fateful decision.

Instead of continuing straight on surface streets or winding through Aquatic Park, I decided to check out the road between the park and the freeway. I had never done it before. I was making good time this morning, so what the hell?

I didn’t get 100 yards down the gravel strewn path when I flatted. It was my flat in ages. I know I had a few last year, but this was first with the black and white Vittoria tires, so I know it’s been a long, long time.

I had all the gear with with and I quickly got to work replacing the tube. I amazed myself and had the tube and tire mounted back on the wheel in less than 10 minutes. I eschewed my CO2 cartridge in favor of my little pump which looks like an oversized lipstick (with a carbon fiber case). It took about 4-5 minutes of pumping to get the pressure up to something I could ride.
The delay meant I wouldn’t make it to the lake by 9:20 and I was going to miss the start of the ride. No big deal. I would just have to cut the peloton off at the pass. I headed for Rockridge.

The first rider to come along was Michael and we rode together about half way up Broadway when we were overtaken by the Advanced group. I picked up Randy and he joined me all the way up to the top of Grizzly Peak.

Views from the top, were great, as usual, but it was a unusually hazy day with San Francisco shrouded in an ugly brown cloud. Not pleasant at all.

There were a couple of loose dogs on South Park that made the descent more treacherous than usual, but I managed to make it down to San Pablo Dam Rd without incident, although Kevin did point out that my rear quick release was loose (a result of changing the tire too quickly, I suppose).

At SPDR, most riders either went over the Bears or headed towards Pinehurst. I needed to keep going on the regular route since I was riding home. The effort up to Grizzly Peak had warn me down. It was the first real sustained climb of the year, but I got a second wind and it blew me down through El Sobrante.

I found my way through some of the uglier parts of San Pablo and Richmond and made my way home. I was psyched to have finished before noon, but I was locked out. Raquel had gone off to Walnut Creek to have a lunch with a friend. I really wanted to get inside and hose down. Instead I went out for another hour long ride to Point Molate.

Miles: 38.36 mi
Ride Time:2:52:52
MPH: 13.6 mph
Max Speed: 36.7 mph
Elevation Gain: 2,858 ft
Flats: 1

More photos on Flickr
More detailed ride stats here:

Here’s the route map:

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