I can personally remember when the pig farm was still in
operation, and boy did it stink! I think I passed by there about 2 or 3 times,
and I dreaded it more than just for the climb. That must have been over 10
Description: Pig Farm is a moderately long ride with some pretty hard
climbs in it. Its namesake is Pig Farm Hill on Alhambra Valley Road, and yes
there is a pig farm at the top (thankfully it's no longer in use, but do this
ride with Paul and you may wonder). The ride starts up Tunnel and descends
Pinehurst into Moraga.
Then, the ride continues on St. Mary's Road into Lafayette and towards Walnut Creek. This is a common route East on
longer rides. Reliez
Valley features a warmup
climb followed by some rollers. Pig Farm hill itself is just a short steep
pitch, often exposed to the sun, after a long gradual runup. The return leg of
this ride circumvents the usual climb over the hills back to Berkeley by going around to the North. We
like to call this way home Flats. Like Joaquin Miller, only attempt
Flats with someone who knows where they're going. There are many turns and
little tricks to the route.
Distance: 46.71 miles
Climbing: 3641 ft.
Mile 0.0 - Sproul
Plaza to Tunnel Road.
Mile 6.34 - Skyline and Grizzly
Peak. Continue straight
on Skyline past Grizzly Peak.
Mile 8.03 - Skyline and Pinehurst. Turn left on Pinehurst and descend
the windy road.
Mile 12.02 - Turn left on Canyon
Rd. The walking man sprint is just on the other
side of the hill.
Mile 14.17 - Turn right on St. Mary's Rd. This is a nice, fast road,
but as with many roads in this area, it is heavily trafficed.
Mile 17.35 - Turn right at a stop sign on Woodview Rd., then left at the Y ahead
onto Glenside Rd.
There is a steep descent on this road that ends in a stop signs. Be on the
Mile 18.41 - STOP at the stop sign, then turn right onto Olympic
Mile 18.66 - Turn left on Pleasant
Hill Rd. It isn't really all that pleasant, but
it's on the way.
Mile 20.41 - Turn left at the light onto Reliez Vallet Rd. Here the fun starts.
This is a nice climb through a quiet, wooded residential street. It gets steep
near the top, then the descent is a real screamer punctuated by some poorly
placed stop signs.
Mile 24-25 - There's a park off to the right somewhere in here but
it's not on the map. We stop there for water.
Mile 29.10 - Summit of Pig Farm hill. There is a long gradual climb
puntuated by a steep pitch to the top.
Mile 30.54 - Go straight on Alhambra Valley Rd. past Bear Creek Rd.
An alternative, hillier route home is to go over the Bears and Wildcat.
Mile 33.26 - Turn left on Castro Ranch.
Mile 35.32 - Turn right on Olinda Road. At the end of the road, turn
Mile 36.12 - Turn right on San
Pablo Dam Rd. The route from here on out is called
Flats. There are many variations, tricks, and shortcuts. This is just the
main route home.
Mile 39.22 - Somewhat illegal left turn onto Amador Ave. Just before the turn, cross
the road and ride on the left shoulder. There's no way to actually make the
left turn at the intersection.
Mile 40.22 - Just before it looks like you're going up a wall, turn
right on Clinton,
following signs for the I-80 bikeway.
Mile 40.50 - Turn left onto Key
Blvd., once again following signs for the I-80
Mile 41.65 - Key Blvd. becomes Elm.
Mile 41.85 - Jog left and continue on Richmond.
Mile 42.65 - Turn left on Moeser.
Mile 42.75 - Turn right on Ashbury.
Mile 43.65 - Turn left on Fairmount.
Mile 43.85 - Just before the cemetery, bear right onto Colusa.
Mile 44.98 - Turn left on Solano.
Mile 45.15 - Turn right on The Alameda. This soon becomes MLK in Berkeley from which you
can find your way home.