Cycling Tunnel Road to Grizzly Peak, California
Ride 7.1 miles gaining 1,202’ at 2.5% average grade.
This is a three segment ride -- the first 2.9 miles to Grizzly Peak Boulevard average 4.7%, followed by rollers along Grizzly Peak for 2.5 miles of a net -1%, finishing with 1.7 miles of mild uphill (~5%) but for a brief descent down to Grizzly Peak and our finish.
Start at the small but colorful Oakland Hills Fire Memorial Park.
Brief view of the Caldecott Tunnel and some spectacular views of the bay along the climb.
The Caldecott Tunnel, which connects Oakland and Orinda, opened in 1937 and is named after former Berkeley mayor Thomas Caldecott. This tunnel is cursed by fire: the 1982 Tunnel Fire killed seven people, and the Oakland Hills fire which began atop the tunnel killed 25.
Begin climb at the Memorial to the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire.
The fire began at the west entry to the Caldecott Tunnel, one mile from climb start.
Tunnel Road becomes Skyline Blvd at mile 1.5, as we pass over the Caldecott Tunnel.
We pass a handsome grove of Australian Eucalyptus trees at mile 5.7.
In the early 1900’s capitalist and Berkeley resident Frank Colton Havens’ Mahogany Eucalyptus and Land Company began a eucalyptus farm and planted trees along 14 miles of the Berkeley-Oakland ridgeline (estimated at over 1,000,000 trees). The trees were planted in expectation of a lumber shortage, but, two problems: (1) the shortage never materialized and (2) it turned out eucalyptus is not suitable as a building material -- you’d think he would have figured that out a bit shy of 1m trees...??
Tilden South Gate and Pacific Railway is a 15” gauge 1¼ mile railway using 5” scale equipment with rides lasting roughly 12 minutes. As of 2018 ticket prices were $3 (children under 2 ride for free).
Photos: Steve Hadley, Walnut Creek
Trifecta at Grizzly Peak.