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For anyone looking to get in a short, but tough, climb in the South Bay, read on:

I had heard all about the triple crown of Bay Area road cycling (Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tam, and Mt. Hamilton) and happened to be in Santa Clara last weekend. I started from the intersection of Tully Rd. and Quimby Rd., parking at a strip mall across from Govea's mexican restaurant (1996 Tully Rd., San Jose, CA - more on this later). On the road around 8am and within a few miles was struggling in my compact double eastward on Quimby towards Mt Hamilton road (some of the switchbacks are rated at 10 miles per hour). Enjoyed the short downhill from the summit of Quimby, and then right into the climb up Mt. Hamilton to the Lick Observatory (http://mthamilton.ucolick.org/). The climb up Mt. Hamilton was less severe than going up Quimby - overall it was more of a slow grinder, but it is always a good ride when more bicycles than cars are counted. Once at the top, there was a great view of the valley and some awesome photography in the museum (also cold water from fountain to refill for ride home).

One note of caution - on the decent I received 2 flats - one pinch on the front from nailing a rock at 30 mph and the other from a slice in the sidewall going around a corner (?!). The road was in overall good shape, but plenty of potholes and rocks just waiting to pop a tube. Total for route: 38 miles, about 3 hours

Aside from the view from Mt Hamilton, the highlight of the ride was at the conclusion - enjoying "the finest in homestyle mexican cooking" at Govea's - the chicken burrito had me smiling the whole drive back to Sacramento.
 

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I just rode up the backside of Mt. Hamilton in the Canyon Classic. I heard the front side (San Jose side) is quite mild comparibly. Great view from the top.
 
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