Ride Recap: HCC Saturday Ride – 11/07/2015 – Antioch – Los Vacqueros Dam Loop


What’s up HCC!

It was a great time exploring the Antioch to Los Vacqueros Dam Loop! Thanks To Chris Atienza for taking us around his favorite route in his neck of the woods! Happy Birthday to Chris B! Hope you enjoyed your birthday ride!


The morning started out cold with clear skies as 9 of us rolled out of the Starbucks parking lot off Somersville rd in Antioch. The pace was mild headed to Black Diamond Mines gate. The gate was still closed to the park as we got there. So need less to say, most of us started to put our bikes over the gates and started to climb over.  But in the middle of getting up and over the gate, the park ranger pulls up in his truck and opens up the gates for us. He told us that the gate is closed for a reason and should we be caught inside the park during curfew, it is a $300 fine for each person.  He opened that gates and got us on our way.   The climb up Black Diamond mines was shaded and cold till we reached the trail head where we regrouped before descending back down, fast and freezing proceeding with the route.


We then came on to Empire Rd, a road that is closed off to cars which quickly became one of our favorite segments of the route.


The group still well intact the entire time proceeding on to the “mini bears” as they called it towards Marsh Creek, headed for Los Vacqueros Dam.  Riding around the area reminded me of riding on Alhambra Valley / Pinole Valley rd, as Kenny would put it, “it’s like riding in the middle of nowehere”.


As we reached Los Vacqueros Dam, the group took a short break refueling on some nutrition, refilling water bottles, and using the restrooms.  It felt a good sense of accomplishment to have ridden to the Dam that I would have never have done otherwise by myself.

On the way back, we hit Vasco rd which definitely put a hit on a couple of our tires.  Along the shoulder of Vasco Rd are the “wake me up bumps” for cars that sends a jolt if you were driving and swerved into the shoulder.  A nice feature as it is for cars, not so much for bikes.  Jonah got the first flat of the day, but with Kenny’s help, we had that tire changed like Nascar! 3 minutes and we were rolling! But after not even a mile, “the wake me up bumps” took its second victim, Chris B got a flat tire.

After we got Chris’s flat fixed, the group was back rolling headed back through mostly flat and rolling hills.  On mile 46 tho, we took a short Bagel break at Bagel Street Cafe.  A time spent eating some food, drinking coffee or soda, and catching up on some good conversation.

With 12 miles to go and at about around 12:00 pm, it was still pretty cold even with the sun being out.  The group went on a moderate pace getting separated at times due to the stop lights we encounter.

But I’m happy to report  that everyone got back to the cars safely!  Thanks again to everyone who came out to ride!   Thanks again Chris Atienza for a great route!   Next week, we have a ride out of the Peninsula, Kings Mountain / Alpine Rd led by James Tolosa.  Hope y’all can make it!


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