Welcome! The VeloRaptors are a social group of cyclists based out of Montclair, Oakland. We offer regular rides on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday open to many experience levels and make sure to include a coffee/snack stop along the way. The majority of our rides are 30 miles or less, but we also have a group that enjoys planning longer, more challenging rides.
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Wednesday Outlier: Dublin Grade-Calaveras Rd.-Palomares

One very nice local rides is the Dublin Grade-Foothill-Sunol-Calaveras-Sunol-Palomares route. This ride is especially good in Spring when the hills are green and wild flowers are blooming.  Susan T. – one of our members – had not done this ride, and as she is leaving us at the end of the month, it seemed quite appropriate.  It evidently was a good choice, as we had 17 riders at the start!

The weather was quite cooperative with temperatures in the low 50’s at the start.  This route begins with a climb over the Dublin Grade from Eden Canyon Rd. and the mild temperature made the climb quite comfortable, and we enjoyed cruising the rollers as we headed south along Foothill Rd, enjoying views of Pleasanton Ridge.

Further south we passed the lush golf courses on our left and the posh homes in the hills on our right. Rolling into Sunol we noticed the contrast in cultural and affluence.

From Sunol we headed south on Calaveras Rd toward Sunol Regional Park and the Calaveras Reservior and just before the side road to the park we stopped for a minute at the bridge over what must be part of Calaveras Creek. 

Just beyond the bridge is where Calaveras road begins a long winding climb through the trees and grassy hillside until you reach an overlook to the reservoir. 

After 25 miles we stopped for a pic and turned around to head back to Sunol.

We stopped at the local general (liquor) store for a snack break.  While most of us were scarfing down chips and packaged cookies, Susan and Manali were approached by a guy passing out 20oz bottle of beer. Not just any beer, but Buxom Blonde Ale!

A few of us shared the contents, momentarily disregarding our Corona Virus hygiene training.

Our trip down Niles Canyon Rd (Hwy 84) to Palomares Rd was somewhat less terrifying than expected, as the Wednesday mid-day traffic was light.  Our rides on this route have often been on weekend days, and with heavier traffic, this road is terrifying on a bike – as it is two lane with stretches of no shoulder, and steep drop offs into Alameda Creek.

The last leg of this route is Palomares Road which climbs through a steep canyon for 5 miles before descending for another 5 miles to the start.  The guard rail at the top provided a pleasant respite before the descent.