My first ride with Different Spokes as a co-leader was Morgan Territory from Walnut Creek BART, with Tony Moy in the fall of 2004. It was my first ride in the East Bay since taking up cycling actually, and I really enjoyed it.
That same year Jerome posted and led an alternate ride, starting at Concord BART, up and around Morgan Territories, and instead of circling back thru Danville, it headed on to Dublin for lunch, then into Niles Canyon and up Palomares Road to end at the Castro Valley BART station. I had 4 flats that day, so it was VERY memorable. Four flats that could have been avoided, had I replaced the tires on the bike before tread started showing thru, not very smart.
In in 2005, I asked Jerome if he and I could co-lead his ride again. In 2006 Will led several different variations, including an 84 mile route back to Orinda BART, Bill and I were on our cruise, so I missed both of his rides last year. It’s a fabulous ride, that should be done in the fall or spring, as it can be quite hot in the summer or even the early fall. Imagine my surprise when the forecast for this year was for temperatures in the 80s!
Tony and Roger, Stephanie, Nancy and Will joined Jerome and I and we departed from the Concord BART station promptly at 9:30am, heading out Clayton Road. We did a quick regroup in Clayton before heading up Marsh Creek Road and the first climb before reaching Morgan Territories Road.
We regrouped at the staging area into the park, just about at the top of Morgan Territories Road. After just a tad bit more climbing we crested the top for the long downhill towards Livermore and then on to Dublin for lunch. The “normal” lunch stop has been the Bagel Street Cafe, but Jerome mentioned having stopped at a Subway on Main Street, so we had planned to meet there instead.
In Pleasanton, we caught up with Will, on Main Street, outside the Subway. Jerome then realized it wasn’t Subway he meant, but it was Quiznos down the block, which was cordoned off for some sort of parade or festival, so we at the Subway anyway.
From Pleasanton, we headed on to Sunol and onto Highway 84 into Niles Canyon. Will was waiting and marking the turn on to Palomares Road, as it is easily missed. The climb up Palomares isn’t as long as Morgan Territories, and we regrouped at the top, before a nice descent to Castro Valley. Will, Tony and Roger were way ahead of the rest of us on the downhill, we didn’t see them at the turn at Paloverde Road, where Jerome was waiting.
We then decided to head to the Bayfair BART station (where I was parked) instead of Castro Valley. Jerome, armed with his new iPhone and Google Maps, figured out that Castro Valley Boulevard would take us to East 14th Street and up to Bayfair, adding a few more miles and another Morgan Territories loop.