After eight years of trying to convince Spokers at least to try this ride, which IMO is one of the most interesting I know, finally they came. What makes Mt Hamilton Challenge nice is the fact that most of the route is in very remote scenery. Notwithstanding those silly first (and last) miles visiting Silicon Valley. Otherwise, at least 70 miles of the rote are spent in areas where no developments have taken place.
As usual I have put the GPS information on GPXchange so you can get the exact route.
One of the drawbacks of this century is that it starts by a long climb, which tends to spread apart any group that may start together. Which might explain the absence of any spokers in my photos.
In other words, I was by far the slowest and never catch up with the rest of the group.
Joe was already turning the corner from the start with Doug when I arrived, so he must have finished when I had lunch. His boyfriend Mark left after me but quickly passed me to catch up with him, which was even more impressive. Bart and Bill left us at the beginning of the climb and I kept up with them for time to time only because they had decided to make the most of the rest stops (and even off the rest stops, since they decided to enjoy Junction Cafe). How they manage to stay together is a mystery that I will leave to People’s readers.
So, most of the pictures I have taken were pretty cyclist-less. But the views were beautiful, especially the last part of Hamilton, riding above the clouds and amongst the wildflowers , an exceptional sight on San Antonio valley, due to the heavy rains these last months.
There is a variant of the ride, the Mt Hamilton ascent, which consist in clibing to the top and getting back by retracing your steps. That the option that Doug and David chose. How reasonable.
The only thing that bugged me was running (twice) into other cyclists doing the Devil Double Mountain.
You dont’ want to know.
It is a double century including Mt Diablo, Morgan Territory, Altamont, Mines Rd, the back side of Hamilton, Sierra Rd and Palomares. I told you, you asked for it.
I felt like such a slacker…
One thought on “Mt Hamilton Challenge”
Great photos, Jerome! I forgot all about the wilflowers in San Antonio Valley, what a great shot! That and the bird of prey with the suicidal squirrel (my guess?) Sorry I had to scale back to the Ascent, it definitely was an off day, it took me 30 minutes longer this year to do that first 35 miles to the Observatory.
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