Wildflowers & Sunshine & Raptors, Oh Mines!

Steph suggested this ride up Mines Road from Livermore to David Goldsmith, Nancy Levin and myself, to ride out and enjoy the wildflowers on in the San Antonion Valley on the way to the backside of Mt. Hamilton. We got a date together hoping that the recent rains would have kept the wildflowers blooming just a bit longer. It was a gorgeous day for it, after the rains we have had through the month of May, a 100 degree day would have been acceptable perhaps, though not preferred. It was comfortable in the 70s and 80s.

We were joined by Tony Moy and Roger Hoyer, on single bikes, not the tandem; Doug Sabo, back on the bike after several months of traveling; Doug O’Neill, Jerome Thomere, Roger Sayre and new member, David Rickabaugh, and Heather Gilmour who recently moved to the Bay Area (and thanks to Lorri with VeloGirls sharing notice of this ride, Heather found us!)

The description mentioned a “challenging climb at the beginning”, it started just a mile into it and continued for about eight miles with a 1300 foot gain. There was a race of some sort going on, and we had packs racing down Mines Road as we headed up, lending a bit of excitement to the day too! At a wildflower photo op, Tony and Roger caught up and as he saw Jerome with the camera, he immediately threw both arms up in air, winning the race (unfortunately the shot wasn’t captured, and you had to be there to appreciate it.)

Tony, for the win!

While the climbing didn’t stop there, we had a chance to get some miles in and a gentler climb. The last two climbs on the way out, Eylar Mountain (2,800′) and Red Mountain (2,700′), are relatively short, before the final descent in to the Junction at Del Puerto Canyon Road, San Antonio Valley and Mines Road. The “Junction”, a bar/restaurant recently re-opened, after changing management this spring. It’s kind of a funky place in the middle of nowhere, mostly cylists and bikers, or lost motorists.

After a lengthy lunch break (service for our food orders was a bit slow) some headed back immediately, and the rest of us took a brief jog out San Antonio Valley Road, hoping that the wild flower field were still green and gorgeous as they would be in April, with all the rains. Things were a bit dry and so we headed back. Good thing we were treated to lots of wildflowers on Mines Road, even the Arroyo Mocho still had water running in it. The return back down Mines Road was challenging as the headwinds were strong. A few of us tried to get a paceline going, but just Jerome and Steph jumped on my tail, and I, and we took a few turns till the final descent back to the ride start. I think we found a new annual spring ride! Thank for suggesting it Steph and for putting it together.