Route: MapMyRide — Strava. Described well at BayAreaRides. There are four main segments of the ride:
- 5.0 miles along Foothill Road (4.7 miles) → left on Castlewood Drive (0.3 miles). Thie section is fairly serene, with many trees and large sized homes lining the road. There is a golf course on either side of Castlewood Drive.
- 3.5 miles along Pleasanton Sunol Road. This is also a quiet road with CA-680 on the east and grasslands on the west.
- 4.5 miles along Niles Canyon Road. This is a busy road with many vehicles. Bike lane is missing or narrow along several segments.
- 9.7 miles along Palomares Road. Bike lane is very narrow at many points but there is almost no traffic along this road.
- 0.4 miles along Palo Verde Road, a short road that connects Palomares Road to Dublin Canyon Road.
- 5.2 miles along Dublin Canyon Road, which parallels CA-680. Wide bike lanes and little traffic.
Traffic: Almost no traffic along Palomares Road. We saw about ten cars on a weekend in April. Mild traffic along Foothill Road, Pleasanton Sunol Road and Dublin Canyon Road. Heavy traffic along Niles Canyon Road (CA-84).
Climbing: Steep climb along Palomares Road (1050 ft in 4.7 miles). A second climb is along Dublin Canyon Road. This climb is gently graded, quite easy. Gentle descent along Foothill Road, Pleasanton Sunol Road and Niles Canyon Road.
Bike Trails: None. The entire route is along regular roads with vehicular traffic. Bike lanes along Foothill Road, Pleasanton Sunol Road and Niles Canyon Road are narrow or missing along some sections. This is a problem only along Niles Canyon Road, which has heavy traffic. Ride carefully here.
Views: The best part of the ride is along Palomares Road. Green hills are visible at many locations. Good views of CA-680 and hills adjoining the highway along Dublin Canyon Road. Great views of Alameda Creek along Niles Canyon Road, especially when it crosses the creek, a few hundred yards before Palomares Road. Views along Calaveras Road, which is nearby in Sunol, are far more scenic.
Water stops and restrooms: None throughout the ride. However, there is Sunol Corners Little Market, a tiny grocery store at the intersection of Niles Canyon Road (CA-84) and Pleasanton Sunol Road.
Good time to visit? Any time of the year. In spring, the hills visible along Palomares Road will be lush green.
Clockwise or anti-clockwise? I prefer to do this ride clockwise because Foothill Road, Pleasanton Sunol Road, Niles Canyon Road and half of Dublin Canyon Road are downhill in clockwise direction. If the steep ascent along Palomares Road is not your cup of tea, you may do the loop in anti-clockwise direction.
Alternate starting points: There is a parking lot near the Intersection of Bond St and Main St, Sunol, CA 94586.
Extensions: Yet to write.