Posts Tagged ‘mt. hamilton’

Hwy 84 reboot 30 years later

April 21, 2013

Plenty of water on the Mt. Hamilton ride. At the summit there's a spigot at the dining hall.

Plenty of water on the Mt. Hamilton ride. At the summit there’s a spigot at the dining hall.

Looking for some variety on the Mt. Hamilton loop, I set out this morning from home (115 miles, 8,500 feet climbing) and decided to check out Hwy 84 from Livermore heading back to Calaveras Road.

Jobst Brandt used to lead us that way until I and others decided it was a bit dicey riding up Pigeon Pass (875 feet) on a narrow two-lane road with no shoulder. Around 1983 we started taking Vineyard Avenue for a time until housing development made it less desirable. Then Jobst switched to Stanley Boulevard.

A two-mile stretch of Hwy 84, or Vallecitos Road, was widened at a cost of $32 million, completed in October 2008. This stretch of Hwy 84 was built in 1931.

On the hottest day of the year so far (90 degrees in Livermore), I started the climb at around 500 feet. I remembered it as being a grind and it still is, about 6-7 percent. It’s just long enough to be annoying.

The good news is that there’s a massive shoulder, with a rumble strip on the side, but even with that there’s plenty of room. The other good news is that the descent is wide open at 34 mph. Lots of traffic though.

There’s only one narrow section of 0.14 miles just before the 680 junction. You need to take the Sunol underpass exit to put yourself on Calaveras Road. I saw a couple on tandem heading the other way.

Even with coffee and chocolate coffee beans to stave off cramps, I started feeling twitches around 58 miles, so I downed a couple of Advil and that took care of the muscles. No doubt heat was a factor.

Mt. Hamilton overlook four miles up. Click here for full size.

Mt. Hamilton overlook four miles up. Click here for full size.

Photo of the Week

September 2, 2012

Mt. Hamilton had its share of warm sunshine on Sunday.

Both times I’ve been up Mt. Hamilton Road in the past month, strange things happened. First, the road was closed at Crothers. No explanation and not even an official vehicle blocking the road.

Then today I see two sheriff’s cars zooming by on the way up Mt. Hamilton following a car that was also zooming. They didn’t have lights on. Strangely, the car turned around and parked at the Grandview Restaurant and the sheriffs followed. Minutes later the sheriffs were both driving up the road and then just as quickly turned around. Weird.

At the observatory I went inside at noon and took the tour to see the 36-inch refractor. Well worth the visit.

In finally saw the new bike lanes in San Jose, on 10th Street next to San Jose State. I think they’re a bit strange to look at.

Here’s the new bike lanes on 10th street. A welcome addition, but I think the striping is odd.

Mt. Hamilton by Bike

December 19, 2010

Coming soon on

Here now, an exhaustive (what else for this ride?) look at Mt. Hamilton from the cyclist’s perspective. Historical facts about the road, past and current rides, and a detailed map of my updated century route over Mt. Hamilton and through Livermore are included.