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 originated the Alex's Second Saturday Ride for the Grizzly Peak Cyclists.
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 for our "All-Club" ride and sign in for your choice of routes.
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. You are encouraged to wear our club clothing.
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.
|LT||18-24 mi||1000-2100 ft||Casual with frequent stops, great for beginners, no drop|
|T||46-50 mi||3000-4100 ft||Touring: steady pace, fewer stops, for experienced riders|
|TM (short)||33-36 mi||2600-3300 ft||Shorter ride for intermediate pace between Touring and Moderately Fast|
|TM (long)||57-64 mi||4400-4900 ft||Longer ride for intermediate pace between Touring and Moderately Fast|
|M||77-87 mi||5200-6500 ft||Moderately Fast pace for strong experienced riders|
Route Rotation. We are incorporating more routes for all pace groups! Check the current ride listings to see which one is featured this month. See the routes below:
- Lamorinda Clockwise (19 mi, 1000 ft elev)
- Lamorinda Counter-Clockwise with Happy Valley Road (18 mi, 1100 ft elev)
- Pinehurst Hairpin and Back (19 mi, 1100 ft elev)
- Classic Larghetto (Three Bears, 24 mi, 2100 ft elev)
- Norris Canyon and Redwood (46 mi, 3000 ft elev)
- Martinez and Three Bears (49 mi, 3700 ft elev)
- Bears and Pinehurst and Grizzly (49 mi, 4100 ft elev)
- Classic Adagio (Danville, 50 mi, 3200 ft elev)
TM (short) pace:
- Pinehurst and Grizzly Loop, Clockwise (34 mi, 2900 ft elev)
- Grizzly and Donald Drive, Counter-Clockwise (36 mi, 3300 ft elev)
- Classic Andante (34 mi, 2600 ft elev)
TM (long) pace:
- Two Bridges (61 mi, 4900 ft elev)
- Diablo Junction (62 mi, 4500 ft elev)
- Figure 8 (57 mi, 4700 ft elev)
- Classic Allegretto (64 mi, 4500 ft elev)
- 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 M-paced group 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|
Changes since 2022. Due to concern about safety of a peloton on San Pablo Dam Road, each group is now leaving the Orinda BART parking lot separately, starting with the fastest group. Arrive at 9am so you can socialize across groups! Consult with ride leaders and ASSR coordinator if you have any questions. We also emphasize safe and defensive riding, following traffic laws, and not running red lights.
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 before departure. Ask the ASSR coordinator and ride leaders if you have questions!
- I am not used to riding with other cyclists so close to me. Is that going to be a problem?
- 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. Also you may try the LT-paced group first!
- Where are the lunch stops for the different rides?
- There usually are lunch stops for the longer T, TM (long) and M rides. Consult the ride leaders, and check the RidewithGPS links which may have markings on them.
- Where are the regroup stops going to be?
- The LT and T rides have more regroup/restroom/water stops, usually after every climb. Other regroup stops will be at the discretion of the ride leaders. Let them know immediately if you need one!
- I am worried that I cannot finish. Can I bail out somewhere?
- The LT and T rides are close to urban areas and BART stations. If you are struggling, let your ride leaders know early and they will direct you to the nearest BART station if possible.
- 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. Just sign in with the ride leader of each group.
- 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 spread over different groups.
- What about the month of May?
- There is no ASSR in May if the GPC Workers’ Century is scheduled on the same day. The Workers’ Century is for those who volunteered to support our Century on the first Sunday of May. Check the current ride listings to confirm.
- 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.