Mount Hamilton Plus
Route: Mount Hamilton/Del Puerto Canyon/Corral Hollow/Livermore
This is an old favorite ride with a new twist. After crossing Mount Hamilton we take a right at the junction and ride out Del Puerto Canyon to I-5, and follow it north to Corral Hollow and back to Livermore. The ride is a mixture of tight mountain roads and wide open valleys, no freeways except for the first few miles on 101 and a short stretch of 5, and very pretty. These are some of the best sportbike roads left in Northern California. They are lightly patrolled, with a smattering of twisty, sandy or icy corners to keep you in reasonable limits.
Here is the Ride Route
Depart Mountain View and head south on 101 to Alum Rock Road, east to Mt. Hamilton Road (Hwy 130). We usually regroup just before the turnoff. Stay on 130 to the summit of Mt. Hamilton. Regroup again at the Lick Observatory parking lot. (Make a hard right into the observatory driveway just as you reach the summit to find the parking lot.) Watch out for shiny, slippery tar strips and rough sections of pavement. If your tires slip on the tar strips, just relax, you'll regain traction immediately.
I suggest bringing something to drink; there are bathrooms at the observatory. If you leave Mountain View around 9:00 you'll get there around 10:15 - 10:30. When you head out, take San Antonio Road east to the Junction, where Mines Road and Del Puerto Canyon Road split.
Your second break will be at the little cafe at the Junction. If you are lucky, it will be open for coffee. If not, just wait till Livermore. From the Junction any rider who has to get back early may continue left down San Antonio/Mines Road directly to Livermore. You will be turning right on Del Puerto Canyon and riding out to I-5. Take I-5 north to Corral Hollow Road, and take that west, straight in to Livermore, where we recommend lunch at Emil Villa's Hick'ry Pit.
The Hick'ry Pit Restaurant (925-449-1499) is at the east side of the first shopping center on the right as you come into town. If you eat on the porch, the first riders to arrive can reserve tables together. After lunch you can ride back either on Calaveras Road or on 84 if we are tired. As always, remember that you are on a social ride; your safety and the safety of your fellow riders is paramount.
The following are some basic group ride protocols for anyone:
Be ready to leave on time. Show up with your tank full, your tires checked, with proper clothing and a bike which is safe to ride. Don't hold up your fellow riders because you did not prepare for the ride properly. Also, be prepared to help your fellow riders with any problems on the road.
- Safe speed: The safe speed for road conditions will differ from rider to rider. You are responsible to pick a pace that is comfortable and within your ability. There will be plenty of opportunities to regroup. Do not ride beyond your limits in an attempt to keep up with other riders! Do not follow too closely! Ride in staggered files on the freeway, and leave a safe distance between you and the next rider. It is very important to avoid following too closely on the secondary roads.
- Passing: If you are prepared to ride faster than the rider in front, put your blinker on and pass. If you see a rider behind you preparing to pass, move over and give plenty of room.
- Stopping: If the group stops, be sure to pull off the road completely. When the group starts, be sure to look over your shoulder for approaching traffic before you pull out to follow the person in front of you.
- Breakdowns: The sweep riders and riding friends may stop and provide assistance. It is not safe for then entire group to stop for one rider.
- Taking off early: There are plenty of opportunities to take bail-out routes and head home early. It is appreciated if you let the ride leader, others in the group or sweeps know that you are planning to take off early so we don't wait around and go looking for you.