Wildflower Training

View from the top of Palomares
At the top of Palomares

A month away from Chico Wildflower Century, I realized I should probably get some miles in! I had to go to the East Bay to pick up my race packet for ORF so decided to do a bike ride over there. I wanted to check out Palomares, but also add more mileage so it started off with a mellow ride down Iron Horse Trail from Pleasant Hill BART. On the weekends there are a lot of people on the trail but it was perfect for warming up.

There are plenty of places to stop and grab snacks or lunch or whatever close to the trail. After it ends, you can pick up a gravel trail for a little bit to Foothill Rd. It is doable on a road bike. Rode to the very end and stopped for water at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park at the Foothill staging area. This is a new park that I have never been to and look forward to coming back and checking out the trails! After that there is a gnarly connector at Niles Blvd. This is very traficky with little shoulder at times, but just for a few miles, then get ready for the climb on Palomares. It comes quickly just after you see the intersection sign and go under a bridge, so get ready to get in gear. This is a much quieter road with the occasional speed demons testing out their racing skills. Unfortunately I flatted out twice on this road due to some broken glass working its way through my tire, so I didn't get the full steady climbing experience. We'll have to return! There is a nice descent and then the ride finished at Castro Valley BART. The nice thing about this ride is it follows the creeks across several watersheds. The iron horse trail is car free, except for all the stops you have to make for the roads intersecting through it. It has been raining quite a bit so you can hear the peaceful sounds of creeks trickling and gushing at times. Spring is here and everything is green, thanks to the much needed rain!

Here is the descent:

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