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Livermore: Mines Rd to Junction Out-n-Back - California, United States

by woods63  
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Story:
One of my favorite local rides.  Don't be fooled by this one though.  One might think of it as 30 miles of riding up a canyon, turning around, and coasting back home.  So not true.  You'll have to work both ways on this one.  The wind traditionally blows up the canyon.  On the return trip, you will be battling headwinds that counteract most of the gravity you might be planning to enjoy.

The ride climbs up a beautiful and rugged canyon.  The road is home to rural families and ranchers.  It's not uncommon to encounter a cattle drive depending on the time of year you visit.  Ranch vehicles and motor cycles are common on this route.

The ride is fairly remote.  At about 10 miles out, cell phone coverage drops off to nothing.  Also, there are no services until you reach the junction of Mines Rd. and Del Puerto Canyon -- about 30 miles.

At the junction is a little oasis called....The Junction. :-)
You can refuel with Gatorade, sodas, bottled water, beer, burgers, sandwich, etc.
The Junction is sort of a hangout for all travelers -- including road bike riders and motor cyclist who enjoy racing or tour the twisty roads.  I believe there is a working pay phone at the junction.

In the past, I've used the California Department of Forestry station located approximately 1/4 mile north of the junction to fill water bottles.  During my most recent visit, it appeared that the station was closed -- gates were locked, and the sign was missing.  Budget victim?

Trip includes road section used in past Tour of California stages.  This trip:
Mines Rd. from downtown Livermore to Junction.

Search tag "Tour of California" for additional TOC stage sections.




Tips:
Be careful if you head out this route.  Be prepared -- bring food, water, tools, money, etc.  The road narrows at many locations, sometimes to one lane, often no shoulder, and blind turns.  Be aware and stay to the right to avoid a head-on collision with on-coming traffic. 


The hearty can choose to continue up the road (Mines Rd. becomes hwy 130 past the junction) another 20 miles to the top of Mt. Hamilton and the Lick Observatory.  This will give you 50 miles, the last 5 of which are the toughest.  Turning around and back-tracking from this point will yield 100 miles round trip.  You may be lucky enough to see the herd of elk that live in the area.
As an alternative to the out-n-back, you can make the ride a 100 mile loop by continuing down the west side of Mt. Hamilton (hwy 130), turning north at the base (Piedmont Ave.) and returning to Livermore via Calaveras Rd, Sunol, Pleasanton, etc.
Tags:
Livermore, Mines Rd., Del Puerto Canyon, The Junction, Mt. Hamilton, Tour of California
Photos: See all pictures and videos from Livermore: Mines Rd to Junction Out-n-Back
Trip Info
by woods63
May 02, 2010
Trip Location: Livermore, California, United States
Length: 60 miles
Duration: 4 hours
Activity: Road biking
Trip viewed 1,512 times
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