This is a point-to-point ride made possible by the Bay Area's awesome mix of parks and rapid transit. Provides access for riding down Lafayette Ridge Trail
and out over Acalanes Ridge at the end on this ride. Also dropping a few hundred feet more than gained.
This ride starts from the Lafayette BART station with a pleasant mile and half spin up Happy Valley Road (kid you not). The first part even has a sort of bike path to the side of the road so you don't have to worry about getting slammed from behind. You have to ride the road without a shoulder for the last part though. A chance to spin it up and get through it quickly to complete the warmup.
Turn right on Panorama Drive. You'll know it by the school crosswalks. This is a steep grunt on pavement. The ride goes left onto Mariposa Trail
just before the end of the pavement and doubles back on Russell Peak Trail
to mellow out the climb a bit.
From here, it follows the ridgetop about 270 degrees around Briones. Briones Crest Trail
for the most part with a short section on Table Top Trail
because Briones Crest oddly does not stay on the crest.
The final bit of ridgecrest is a steep singletrack drop to the valley. After passing through the staging area on Old Briones Road Trail
, take the first right onto Seaborg Trail
dropping across the main creek and climbing back up to the valley floor on the other side. From here, a pleasant roll up the valley gradually steepening until a short steep to regain the crest.
Turning right here backtracks a short distance to the entry to the Lafayette Ridge Trail
coaster. This is followed by a short connection over to Acalanes Ridge. After a short, stiff climb, expect a long roll gradually transitioning from steep dirt to gentle paved path leading to the Contra Costa Canal Trail
. From there a flat roll, including under 680 and through some other tunnels, to the Iron Horse Regional Trail. A short distance left, including a trail bridge over Ygnacio Valley Road, leads to Pleasant Hill BART.
The hillside lagoons at the northeastern limit of this ride are really uncommon for the area. Fun to check out. The one just downhill of the ride is even larger and more vegetated. In just the right week of the springtime, balls of newts doing their thing to make next year's newts are thick in the shallow water all the way around.