May 1, 2009

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Ride Friday: Antioch to Clayton

I’d like to introduce yet another of my half ass’d concepts of “regular programming”. This one is motorcycle related (::small cheer::). Basically in my random wanderings around wherever the hell it is I’m wandering, I’ve found a few nice/interesting/challenging/etc rides. Generally they aren’t too long, just short trips that I think are worth while that you may want to incorporate, should you also be riding in the same area we will be discussing. I’ll explain briefly the ride and any interesting points. Unfortunately, as I’m returning John’s bike to him (he loaned it to me for the winter, for which I’m extremely grateful) here shortly (for certain values of shortly as the fates continue to conspire against him), I won’t have too many to post until later this year when I buy my own bike.

General Area: Antioch to Clayton.

Difficulty: Piece of cake.

Ride Length: 20 miles (30mn+ depending on slow ass drivers)

Scenery: Some nice rolling farmland & the north side of Mt Diablo State Park.

Special Notes: I highly recommend going from Antioch to Clayton rather than the reverse because you get a much more enjoyable view.

Comments: I’ve taken this ride a couple of times (both directions) and I really do enjoy it… when there isn’t heavy traffic. It is really nice to come off of Highway 4 in what is standard Bay Area sprawl, and then suddenly be out in the country farm lands. In the “twisty” section many of the turns are labeled for 30-35mph, but that really means 50-60mph (assuming you have a moderate riding proficiency). Generally there are very long sight lines so you don’t get too many surprises (which I personally appreciate). The only major downer is if you get a slow poke in front of you, there aren’t many (safe) places to pass or for them to pull over. On the Clayton/Walnut Creek side I prefer taking Ygnacio Valley Road out to the freeway. It passes through the Lime Ridge Open Space giving you one last glimpse of pristine rolling hills before you dive back into the sprawl.