Ride recap – HCC Saturday Ride 03/07/2015 – Climber’s Delight

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Ride recap by Chris B. and photos by Jonah and Darryl B.

This past Saturday the HCC took to the hills of Berkeley for another Climber’s Delight ride. It was another beautiful day in the Bay Area as spring has taking over for winter these past few months.

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As the usual the group met at the Hercules Starbucks. It’s was small group for our standards lately with 8 riders departing Hercules to tackle one of the steepest climbs in the east bay the fabled Marin Ave.

It was a nice easy warm up social pace through Hercules and Pinole to start, but the group would be tested early with a nice short wall to climb Sara Dr.! I like to call it our morning cup of coffee.

From there it was a fast descent through EL Sobrante to SPDR, which would lead us into the EL Cerrito hills and our next climb up Arlington blvd. this is a great climb with great views of the SF bay and a wall to top it all off.

After getting to the top of Arlington blvd, it was time to descend, which is equally great on Arlington blvd with its sweeping fast curvy roads into the city of Kensington.

We regrouped at the Chevron station for a quick break to refuel for our next climb the big daddy the mighty Marin Ave.

After the break it was a short fast descent from Kensington to Marin Ave. circle where the mighty walls of Marin Ave awaited us. I wasn’t going to do it myself, but after some prodding from Kenny LeDuc and I quote “we are just a bunch of senior citizens going on a ride” I reluctantly joined the pain train and up we went to tackle this beast of a climb with 32% grade at it steepest sections.

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(Marin Ave pictured above)

Marin Ave. is a half mile step stair type climb with a 17.2% avg. grade. Lucky with intersecting roads, to take breaks before tackling each section of Marin. Let me tell you, this climb lived up to the lore. Definitely one of, if not the hardest climb I’ve ever done.

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I happy to report everyone made the climb up Marin Ave. I want to give Kenny LeDuc kudos for doing the top part twice after coming down to check on me. You sir our a beast!!

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Needless to say we took a long break at the top of Marin Ave. then it was on to South Park rd in Tilden park. This is were the group would split with some going on to tackle the South Park climb and Centennial climb. The rest of the group deciding to head home through Wild Cat Canyon and Three Bears.

After the bears it was nice easy fast ride into Pinole and back to Hercules. This was a very rewarding ride with great camaraderie. Thanks to everyone that came and made it fun!!

This weekend have another great ride lined up in the Napa/Sonoma hills. So get those ride visa’s sorted out!! Until this weekend rubber side down HCC!!

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