For today's ride, the group meets up at the bottom of Mines Rd; which is just beyond the intersection with Del Valle Rd in Livermore. It's already feeling very warm. This is an out and back ride out to Mines Rd and beyond.
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We head up Mines Rd; it's 25 miles to the lunch stop at the Junction Cafe. The first few climbs start off very gradual with the gradient ranging from 5-8%. There are sections that hit 9-10% grades.
The road then levels off for miles and miles. There are some wildflowers to be seen along with horses and cattle.
The fabulous sweeping descent is followed by yet another climb. The steepest pitch maxes out at 11% as you near the top.
We past the CAL Fire Station and continue past the junction on San Antonio Valley Rd. The road levels off as we continue out towards the meadows for the next 5 miles. There are a couple of short climbs in between.
We spot a herd of Tule elk roaming about the San Antonio Valley. It's quite a sight to see! It might be time to upgrade to a better camera with 100x zoom. The wildflowers are a bit sparse out here.
The lunch stop is at the Junction Cafe & Grill. There is ample outdoor seating with plenty of space to park the bikes. Water and restrooms are available inside. You can order hot dogs, burgers and fries and get hot or cold drinks too.
For the return, every downhill we had is now an uphill. There are two longish climbs back, each with a gradient ranging from 3-6%. After that it's pretty much a slight downhill and a few short rollers all the way back to the start with headwinds of course.