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Here's a good resource of rides in Norcal. If you know of any others, post them up. If you've participated in any of these, let us know what the ride is like.

francois

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Saturday Training Rides

Compiled by Garry Birch and Richard Brockie.
Sorted by start time.

Bay Area Velo Girls Club Rides
Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Time:
Meet: Various Bay Area locations
Webpage: http://www.velogirls.com/current.html
Restrictions: Women only

Various rides happening most days with a women-only slant by the 2003 USCF Women's Club of the Year. Check their ride list for full details.

First Saturday Bay Area Women's Cycling
Day: Saturday
Time: -
Meet: -
Webpage: http://www.bawcycling.com/
Restrictions: Women only

Every First Saturday of the Month the women of the Bay Area will put together a different ride. For more details check their web site.


Saturday Morning Ride (SMR)
Day: Saturday
Time: 07:00 AM
Meet: Monterey Doubletree Plaza

Meets at the Monterey Doubletree Plaza at 7:00 a.m. Ride length is approximately 40 miles, brisk pace, some hills. Route is out and back along Peninsula and into Pebble Beach for a climb up to Huckleberry Hill. Ride can attract up to 100+ people and splits into "A" and "B" ride. "A" ride is race pace with sprint point and no stops. "B" group has several predetermined regrouping points. At least a dozen women show for this ride. This ride is also the official weekly social event for area cyclists and is THE place for exercise and to catch up on the latest gossip. Runs year-round.


Berkeley Bicycle Club (Sat)
Day: Saturday
Time: 08:00 AM
Meet: Sproul plaza, Cal Berkeley campus

A mixed group that normally splits in two after 10-15 miles. The longer ride will be 50-80 miles and contain some good local racers.


Roasters Ride
Day: Saturday
Time: 08:00 AM
Meet: Golden Gate Bridge

8:00am sharp at the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge with a second meeting point of 9:00am at Coffee Roasters, San Anselmo.
A very organic ride which has been going for a long time - people show up every sat at 8:00 unless its a hurricane - there are always riders there. A really competitive 45 mile ride with 17 miles of preamble and 17 of warm down riding out and back from the bridge - 80 miles in total.

Route: San Francisco - San Anselmo - Fairfax - Nicasio - Point Reyes Station - Olema - Samuel Taylor Park - Fairfax - San Francisco.



Santa Cruz Saturday Morning Ride
Day: Saturday
Time: 08:00 AM
Meet: Santa Cruz Harbor by the Crow's Nest

Starts at 8 a.m. at the Santa Cruz Harbor by the Crow's Nest. Riders may also pick up the ride along Soquel Ave. in Aptos. Runs year-round. Big pack of approximately 80 riders with about 5-7 friendly helpful women. Leisurely pace from the Harbor to Freedom Blvd., then brisk pace to Watsonville where it slows down on Beach St. Three route options exist from there: (1) short course is about 45 miles in total, flatish, fast; (2) Hazel Dell is just a tad longer with a painful climb, fast; (3) Aromas, 70 miles in total, fast, mostly flat except for a shattering gradual hill into Aromas. Runs year-round.


Saturday Morning Later Ride
Day: Saturday
Time: 08:00 AM
Meet: Winning Wheels

Later than the SMR. Meets at Winning Wheels at 8:00 a.m. Ride length is approximately 35 miles at a moderate, no-drop pace. Runs year-round.


Sacramento Area (Folsom)
Day: Saturday
Time: 08:30 AM
Meet: The Coffee Republic, corner of Greenback and Auburn, Folsom.
Contact: Ed Keller
Email: [email protected]

Note variable start times!
This racing oriented training ride is every Saturday starting at the Coffee Republic, corner of Greenback and Auburn-Folsom. The longer option starts in Loomis at 6990 Horseshoe Bar. Ride start time is 8:30 during the hottest part of summer, 9:00 the rest of summer and 9:30 during the winter. It is strongly recommended that you join one of the race clubs if you plan on doing this ride. Mako and Sacramento Golden Wheelmen are the two clubs with the largest number of Wheelmen who are dual members. This ride is very fast and should be attempted by riders who have an interest in racing. Call Ed if you are planning on doing this ride (Ed Keller 652-6361 [email protected]).



House of Pain
Day: Saturday
Time: 08:55 AM
Meet: Park-N-Ride on Rudgear, right off Danville Blvd./Rudgear exit on 680

Typically 10-30 riders, mix of Strada Sempre Duro and non-Duro members, mostly racers - or riders who can keep up with racers Usually 65 miles, out to Livermore up Collier Canyon/Vineyard & back. Fast-paced ride, with one re-group point at the Livermore gas station. Finishes around 1pm.


Alto Velo Saturday B Ride
Day: Saturday
Time: 09:00 AM
Meet: Peet's in Los Altos
Webpage: http://www.altovelo.org/

From the Alto Velo website:
The pace of this ride is slower then the A ride on Sundays, with an emphasis towards a steady pace with short regroups. If you need to really hammer, go on the A ride. The B Ride meets at Peet's in Los Altos at 9 am on Saturdays.



Spectrum Ride, The
Day: Saturday
Time: 09:00 AM
Meet: Starbucks at Hollenbeck and Homestead

A Bay Area classic:
The Spectrum Ride officially starts at the Starbucks at the corner of Hollenbeck and Homestead in Sunnyvale, but often picks up additional riders as it motors along Foothill expressway towards Palo Alto. The route has changed somewhat over the years, and now winds its way through Portola Valley, and out Canada road through Woodside. Riders typically contest hot spot sprints at the Woodside town line, and the end of Canada road.

This local classic can attract over 100 riders and starts each Saturday at 9 am, and typically rolls past downtown Los Altos around 9:15.



Third Saturday VSRT Women's ride
Day: Saturday
Time: 09:00 AM
Meet: Shannon Park in Dublin
Restrictions: Women only

Third Saturday of the Month!
Meet at Shannon Park in Dublin at 9:00 am SHARP.
Take I-680 to Alcosta Ave. exit and go west; turn left at San Ramon Rd.; turn right on Shannon Ave. and right into parking lot.

ALL WOMEN with road bikes are invited to join the Women of the Valley Spokesmen Race Team to work on pace lines on this friendly, no-drop but brisk paced training ride, for Women only.



Wheels of Thunder / VSRT ride
Day: Saturday
Time: 09:00 AM
Meet: Neal Street between Main and First, Pleasanton
Contact: Darryl Smith
Email: [email protected]

Some of the VSRT members join the Wheels of Thunder racing team in a joint training ride on Saturday mornings. The ride starts in downtown Pleasanton at 9:00 am from the parking lot on Neal Street between Main and First. Rides are usually 40 to 60 miles of varying pace. This means some easy sections and some hard sections with regrouping at the top of most long climbs. Most routes have turn-around or bailout points for those wanting shorter or less difficult versions of the ride. If you cut your ride short, please make sure to let someone in the group know so they don't wait for you at a regroup point. All riders are welcome, but are warned that these are not entry-level rides. You should be "reasonably fit" to keep up with the group. Several groups may form during the ride depending on who (or who doesn't) show up.
The first Saturday of each month offers several "no-drop" rides. The Pleasanton "no-drop" rides are slower than the rest of the month (closer to 18 mph) and is a good place for new riders to start. For details on the route this Saturday e-mail Darryl Smith at [email protected].



Sacramento River Ride, North
Day: Saturday
Time: 10:00 AM
Meet: Behind City Bicycle Works, 24th and K, midtown Sacramento
Contact: John Elgart

This is an all teams, racer oriented ride. The course is dead flat, and the group promenades to the Garden Highway, and then races to the the Yolo County line where there is a sprint. The ride then turns around and stragglers can get back on. There is a return sprint as well. Lots of pros will be there if there is no racing going on, and the ride can be very fast and hard on a windy day. Usually there are 50 -100 riders. Roughly 40 miles with an easy cool down of another 40.
 

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Spectrum Ride - full writeup

The Spectrum ride is the classic Peninsula ride. It's been going on for more than a decade and it swells to 150 riders at times. It's short but full of drama since once the hammer drops, it doesn't relent. There's a lot of places to get dropped and once it happens, there's no bridging the gap. Here's an awesome write-up on it.

francois

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The Spectrum Ride
If you have been riding on the San Francisco Peninsula, chances are you have heard of this ride. It's not the most splendid setting per se (unless you happen to like your front man/woman's derriere), but it's a great ride, and you can join whenever you like.

Directions
The ride starts at 9 AM every Saturday, come rain of shine, at the intersection of Hollenbeck and Homestead in Mountain View. That's where the old Spectrum bike store used to be, and if you are an old timer, you still have your Spectrum store jersey with you!

Highway 87 has an exit "Homestead". Use that one, and go to the East from there. Soon you'll get to Hollenbeck and its Starbucks (why do all bikers end up at coffee houses?). The trek leaves at 9 sharp, so be punctual!

Basically, Spectrum is an open ride and anyone can participate. It is quite a fast ride, so you have to be fit to participate. A lot of us jump on and leave after a variable amount of minutes, proud of having been part of the pack. Others though are pretty annoyed at slower bikers, and people don't mince with their disapproval, especially at newcomers.

The Ride
After doing all of Homestead to Foothill Expressway, you'll follow Foothill past Los Altos. You will see a lot of really good bikers joining there - they have been waiting for the fast part of the game, at the Los Altos Peet's. You should go there to check out the latest bikes.

Lombardi Sport and Alto Velo now lead the pack down Foothill. You will be many, so you will probably ignore a lot of the traffic signs. Even police seem to feel unable to stop that rude behavior. The first change of pace will happen now - you'll stop on the left turn lane onto Page Mill road, after the famous ascent that has shred many a youngster's dreams of belonging.

You'll turn on Page Mill and rush through Old Page Mill road, an abandoned section. Soon you'll join the main road and cross highway I-280. You'll still be enough to scare the heck out of cars shooting down the off ramps at 70 mph. Again you'll ignore the stop sign, zip along until you turn right on Arastradero, and there the hammering starts.

The Hammering Starts
Arastradero is famous for its (frankly rather short) hill. The pack will break at the bottom, and a few riders will be chewed out, unable to join the main group again. You'll reach the top of the hill, turn right and descend gently (at 30 mph, of course). Watch out, the road surface is abysmal.

Ari (as I tend to call the road lovingly) ends at a T-intersection onto Alpine road. You will want to turn left, which means you'll have to cross traffic. Nominally, the speed limit is 35 mph, but you can be sure cars are going to come both ways at about 50 to 60. Good moment to let the pack split into many parcels, particularly dangerous since from now on it's slightly uphill again.

If you managed to avoid all the guys with flat tires, if you succeeded in turning on time, if you succeeded in catching up to the snobbish lead group, things are rosy soon after. When Alpine hits Portola Valley road, you'll turn right. Police will try to stop those that didn't stop at the stop sign :)), but with two hundred riders, they'll be able to catch only the slow ones.

Portola is a descent almost all the way, and it shows. The pack bends and gets out of shape while the best guys shoot ahead in an attempt to gain and keep leadership. Soon, much sooner than you'd like, you'll reach the turn on Portola that indicates Old La Honda is near. That's another day's ride, for now you go straight ahead until the intersection with Mountain Home road.

Gushing Through the Side Streets
Mountain Home forks after a few hundred yards, and you'll take the turn left towards highway 84 (La Honda road). It starts downhill but immediately catches up and has an impressively decieving uphill stint. Soon you'll get to highway 84, which you'll follow on the flat side (turn right).

After a while, you'll reach a turn. You'll stay straight and ride through the side streets (pavement sucks again) until you hit King's Mountain road. This is another ride you'll have to do on your own, for now it's all about turning right.

A hidden turn that you will easily miss if you are the leader by now gets you onto Manuella, an unassuming neighborhood road that serves the only purpose of not getting you through Woodside proper. Soon enough you'll turn left, then right onto Olive Hill road, which leads to the long awaited Canada road.

Long-Awaited Canada
Canada is an almost perfectly straight road that lead six miles to the Northwest. To you ignorants that's towards the wind. And here's where the courageous captains of fortune try their luck. A breakout group is almost certain to form on the downhill ride after topping the hill. Usually a single rider will shoot forward, and if he's lucky (never seen a woman do the trick), he'll get to the end first. More likely not.

Riding against the wind is not pleasant, and a few try drafting as much as they can. The pace gets undecided, since people don't really know how fast they can get any more. Some weeks 25 is the best all can do, others we get closer to 30.

Past Edgewood road, with its flurry of activity, you'll get to the most beautiful section of road I have seen on a bike. Filoli Gardens is to your left (although you won't see much of it). The Crystal Springs reservoirs beckon while you start ascending the last hill.

When you get to the top of the hill, the group is already tired. The breakout is still zooming, and won't stop until the bitter end. Which fortunately is not far, but requires a last ascent on a really windy breath taker.

The end of Canada is flat. You'll find a lot of cars, and the winners and losers will cheer each other up, turning around, almost crashing into each other. Then the return starts.

Rushing Back
The pace now becomes more friendly. People start talking to each other, riding back at a quick but reasonable pace. We will ride through Woodside, this time, losing a few of the pack to the luring cafes and bakeries.

It's Whiskey Hill road, then Sand Hill to Junipero Serra. We try to be fast, but it's a sunny day (usually), and we don't need the pace. I zip around a bit, not tired from the original race since I haven't partaken in any of the sprinting. Lousy sprinter, you know.

The race is off, and most of us get lost in their original path before we get back to Homestead. A few hardy will have parked their car and go all the way back. That's when you make friends. Not with the Lombardis and the Alto Velos on Foothill. You meet the nice people at the parking lot.

And it was fun.

Marco R. Gazzetta
 

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That is a great write up on the Spectrum ride I have never one it but I do try the Wednesday night rides aka Valley ride! Much of the same just shorter and same route just no Canada road. What a blast.
 

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travis200 said:
That is a great write up on the Spectrum ride I have never one it but I do try the Wednesday night rides aka Valley ride! Much of the same just shorter and same route just no Canada road. What a blast.
Oh the Valley ride... When does that start anyway? I rode that last year too. Maybe you or I should do a write-up.

As a description, the Valley ride is on Wednesday afternoons and is very similar to Spectrum but instead of going to Canada to 92, it climbs 700 feet through the back side of Huddart park until it meets Kings Mountain road.

I consider myself a climber so I was eager to do this and show the goods on the climb. Well all of last year, if I wasn't dropped before the climb, I would start the climb way in the back and end up even farther in the back.... passing no one. Maaan, these folks can climb. The girls too! Good stuff.

francois
 

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yea I never made to the climb with the group so I was always the one of the guys at the bottom waiting for the regroup to head back. Those are some fast guys and my goal this year is to at least go up the hill even if at the back of the group barely hanging on to a wheel.
 
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