Fall is Morgan Territories season for Spokers. After last years, seven flats on two bikes, I dared the flat gods and asked Jerome to lead the ride again, and I volunteered to co-leader (read: sweep.)
On another fabulous fall day, seven of us took on the challenge, in addition to Jerome & myself, we were met at the Concord BART station by Tony M. and Roger H. on the tandem, Bill B., Doug D. and a newcomer to the Bay Area and to Different Spokes, Brian S. We departed the station; with me immediately leading us out the in direction of the entrance, followed by a wrong turn. Once on the right track, we headed out Clayton Road.
The Morgan Territories is on the back (east) side of Mt. Diablo, you have two climbs, the first up Marsh Creek Road, followed by the real climb up Morgan Territories Road. There are several spots where you think you must be at the top, but the clearings are deceiving. Fortunately it is “only” 2,000 feet in 20 miles, compared to last weeks Mt. Hamilton.
At the top, or very near it, is the park where we re-assembled, and took a snack break. Refreshed, we finished the last very short climb to the top, and begin the descent towards the Livermore valley. The landscape changes from oaks & pines of the climb, to bare rolling grass land, it’s quite amazing. After the descent, we eventually head toward Pleasanton and stopped for lunch.
Continuing on towards Sunol the ride then heads up Niles Canyon. At this point, Roger & Tony kicked the tandem into overdrive; Jerome and Doug were close enough to hitch a ride on their pace line, Brian and I never did catch up, and it was here that I designated myself permanent ride sweep. At about mile 50 is the turn up Palomares Canyon, a 5 mile and 1,000 foot journey. From there, it was all downhill to the Castro Valley BART station.
The ride was completed an hour and a half sooner and before sunset, than the previous year! Thanks everyone, for another fabulous ride, and… no flats!