Alex's Second Saturday Ride (ASSR)
Date: Second Saturday, every month except May
Time: meet and sign-in at 9:00 am, introductions at 9:15, then roll
Place: usually Orinda BART parking lot
This month's details: See current ride listings.
Rain or 30% chance thereof the morning of the ride cancels. (This is a standard GPC ride guideline.) If weather is questionable the morning of the ride, phone the ASSR ride coordinator at the number in the current ride listings.
In 2002 Alex Zuckermann, inspired by the Santa Rosa Cycling Club, originated the Second Saturday Ride for the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. Sometimes referred to as an "All-Club" ride, the ASSR relies to a large extent on repetition, familiarity and reliability. In September 2003, the club unanimously voted to rename it in his honor as Alex's Second Saturday Ride. Much of the description below is taken from Alex's initial proposal.
You'll seldom have to consult the newsletter, and never have figure out how to get to the start: on the second Saturday of each month (with few exceptions) you simply roll out of bed, eat a hearty breakfast, head to the Orinda BART station, sign in for your choice of routes, and get a map should you need one.
Orinda BART is our usual starting point. That's where you'll meet old friends and make new ones. And best of all, you don't have to worry about ride pace: "Will I be able to keep up?" or "Will they drop me?" From a large mix of different paced riders you are sure to find the ones that match your pace. In addition, you'll see and connect with riders who may be faster or slower than you and who you might have an opportunity to ride with side by side, even if it's just a short distance. We might call this the intermingling of pace groups.
There will usually be five different riding groups as follows. All rides are a bit hilly. For an explanation of the paces, see our ride ratings.
|Pace||Mileage||Ride Name - Map/Cue Link|
|M||77-87 mi||Presto (see links below)|
Route sheets and maps showing all of the routes will be distributed at the start. All groups start with San Pablo Dam Road (SPDR) and Castro Ranch Road. All riders are urged to intermingle and stay together on SPDR until they get to Castro Ranch Road, where there is a general regrouping. Also encouraged is the wearing of club clothing.
- Crockett. Departs the Allegretto route at Alhambra Valley Rd, follows the GPC Century route north to Pinole, Crockett, McEwen, Franklin Canyon, then rejoins the Allegretto Route at Reliez Valley Rd. Total from Orinda is approximately 78 miles and 5500 feet climbing. Occasionally, instead of McEwen, we may take Carquinez Scenic Dr to Martinez and then on to Reliez.
- Morgan Territory. Departs the Allegretto route midway through Reliez Valley Rd, travels through Pleasant Hill and on to Clayton and Morgan Territory Road. Returns via Blackhawk, Danville, and Lafayette. Total from Orinda is approximately 84 miles and 5700 feet climbing.
- Mt Diablo Junction. Departs the Allegretto route midway through Reliez Valley Rd, travels through Pleasant Hill, climbs Mt Diablo Northgate to the junction, descends Southgate, then Blackhawk and Crow Canyon Rds to San Ramon where it rejoins the Allegretto route. Total from Orinda is approximately 77 miles and 6500 feet climbing.
- Sunol. Departs the Allegretto route at San Ramon, continues south to Sunol, west through Niles Canyon, north on Palomares, and rejoins tthe Allegretto route in Castro Valley. Total from Orinda is approximately 87 miles and 5800 feet climbing.
- Rockville. Departs the Allegretto route at Alhambra Valley Rd, follows the GPC Century route north to Crockett, crosses the Zampa bridge, and quickly traverses Vallejo. Then Lake Herman and Lopes Rds and out to Rockville for lunch. Return via the Benicia bridge, Martinez, Pig Farm, and the Bears. Total from Orinda is approximately 85 miles and 5200 feet climbing.
The Prestos cycle through the routes on this schedule:
|Jan – Rockville||Apr – Morgan||Jul – Sunol||Oct – Diablo|
|Feb – Diablo||May – (no ASSR)||Aug – Morgan||Nov – Crockett|
|Mar – Sunol||Jun – Diablo||Sep – Rockville||Dec – Crockett|
ASSR Frequently Asked Questions
- I'm not sure what pace I'm riding. Which group should I sign up with?
- That's what the ASSR is all about. Just being in the company of so many differently-paced riders will give you plenty of choices of hooking up with others of similar riding pace and ability. Sign up with the group you think you'll be riding with, but feel free to switch to another group during the ride.
- I am worried that I won't be able to keep up on San Pablo Dam Road (SPDR) with all the groups riding together. Will I be dropped?
- No. All of the groups will regroup at the corner of SPDR and Castro Ranch Rd.
- I've heard the term peloton used. Is that what we're gonna do on SPDR?
- We are not planning to imitate racers, but we will ride together "all-club" style to show the GPC club spirit. The idea is that, on SPDR, we all ride at a relaxed pace, hang together, and take the opportunity to socialize on bike.
- I am not used to riding with other cyclists so close to me. Is that going to be a problem on SPDR?
- Just keep a comfortable distance from other riders. If you have the slightest doubt, the safest option is to ride in the rear of the group. They are sure to wait for you at Castro Ranch Road.
- Where are the lunch stops for the different rides?
- The Larghetto lunch stop will be at the end of their 23-mile ride and will be somewhere in the business district of Orinda. The Allegretto and Presto lunch stop will be at Diablo Deli in San Ramon, first driveway past Crow Canyon Blvd. It will occur at mile 37 for the Allegrettos and, assuming they follow the Crockett route, at mile 51 for the Prestos. Depending on the Presto route, there is sometimes an overlap between the two groups at lunch.
- Where are the regroup stops going to be?
- There is going to be an initial one for everybody at the corner of SPDR and Castro Ranch Road to let everyone catch up. Later, for the Allegrettos, there will be one at Pleasant Hill and Olympic. Other regroup stops will be at the discretion of the ride leaders.
- Where do these crazy ride names come from and what exactly do they mean?
- They are all musical tempo markings. To get the full flavor you must pronounce them in true Italian singsong. Larghetto is a derivative of Largo (which is the slowest tempo) but is a bit faster, reflecting the fact that the Larghettos definitely go faster than slow. Allegretto is a derivative of Allegro (which means lively and 'con moto') but is a bit slower, definitely more moderate. Presto, well, we all know what it means, it's veloce, rapid, quick and fast.
- I don't own a GPC jersey. Can I still come on this ride?
- So get one — only kidding, of course. Come as you are. But for those of you who own one, we encourage you to wear it!
- I am not a GPC member. Am I welcome?
- Very much so, please join us. We'll treat you like royalty. And listen up all GPCers, invite non-club cyclists to come on out.
- The ride starts at a BART station. Can my bike and I get there on BART?
- You bet! It's easy to take a bike on BART. See the BART web site for info.
- How many riders typically show up?
- Turnout varies by time of year and by weather, but most months there are about 50 riders, with the Allegrettos being the largest group.
- What about the month of May?
- The second Saturday of May (the Saturday after our Century) is traditionally the GPC Worker's Century. This preempts the ASSR.
- In November and December, when sunset is earliest, it's best to ride the shortest route – Crockett.
- CalTrans has a habit of closing Niles Canyon Rd for maintenance the second Saturday of October so we cannot ride the Sunol route that month.