Popular Mid-Central Valley Bicycle Routes

The bicycle routes below are popular amongst road cyclists in the central San Joaquin valley area. You'll find a wide range of distances, total climbing, terrain and scenery. Generally recommended for experienced and fit riders only. Click on the thumbnail for a full size image or the link for a .pdf file of the topo map with a cue sheet.

Please Note: This web page is a work in progress and will be updated regularly as new ride information becomes available. Please feel free to send your comments to the webmaster, especially with regard to the ride descriptions and cue sheets (corrections, additions, helpful tips, faulty links...whatever) and any new routes you would like to suggest. The goal is to make this directory helpful to first-timers on any of these rides.

Disclaimer: The information found on this web page and links therefrom is provided for personal use and for reference purposes only. No warranty is either expressed or implied as to the accuracy of this information. Users of this information assume all liability with regard to its use. And by all means: Ride safely, wear a helmet, be alert, and stay upright!


Sierra Foothills  (see also Western Foothills, Road Races)    
Ahwahnee Loop

Starts in Bridgeport, Mariposa County, near Catheys Valley and loops through the small towns of Ahwahnee and Raymond. Good climbs and descents as well as rollers through oaks and pine.

Source: Doug Fluetsch

  Start: Bridgeport, CA
Distance: 62 miles
Climbing: 5500 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

 

Bagby Loop

A popular route amongst local riders. Gorgeous views of the valley and Lake McClure below. The last ~10 miles you'll enjoy a gradual rolling descent great for fast pacelining, often with a good tailwind.

Source: Del Puerto Canyon Bike Club

  Start: Merced Falls, CA
Distance: 56 miles
Climbing: 5400 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

 

Bear Valley - Penon Blanco Loop

Similar to the Bagby Loop except continues past Coulterville to take in a few extra feet of STEEP climbing on Penon Blanco Rd. Make sure your bottles and uppers are secure because the descent is quite bone-jarring!

Source: Greg Galuppo

  Start: Merced Falls, CA
Distance: 58 miles
Climbing: 5600 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Cherry Lake Loop

This is an epic ride through gorgeous Sierra scenary with breathtaking views and over 10K feet of climbing. Come prepared with plenty of water and nutrition because there are very long stretches between conveniences and amenities.

Source: Del Puerto Canyon Bike Club

  Start: Groveland, CA
Distance: 84 miles
Climbing: 10K feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Greely Hill Loop

Begins with a long steep climb and then settles into a long stretch of scenic hills. Long and fast descent into Moccasin before a final slog back up to the start.

Source: Doug Fluetsch

  Start: Coulterville, CA
Distance: 40 miles
Climbing: 4K feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Jamestown to Long Barn

This ride is an out-n-back through the historic town of Columbia and undulating neighborhoods of Twain Harte. Long steady climbs with a few short but steep sections. Technical descent back into Columbia and finish with some nice pacelining.

Source: Greg Galuppo

  Start: Jamestown, CA
Distance: 57 miles
Climbing: 5500 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Knights Ferry - Tuoloumne Loop

Some long and steep climbs up to Tuolumne but long and fast descents on the return. Optional starting point in Chinese Camp for fewer miles.

Source: Greg Galuppo

  Start: Knights Ferry, CA
Distance: 76 miles
Climbing: 5K feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Long Barn Loop

Similar to the Jamestown-Long Barn out-n-back except the return is a little easier and takes you through historic Tuolumne.

Source: Greg Galuppo

  Start: Jamestown, CA
Distance: 50 miles
Climbing: 4800 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Merced - Catheys Valley Loop

Long but gradual climb up to Catheys Valley, then a long and easy descent with a few rollers, short climbs and plenty of placelining.

Source: Doug Fluetsch

  Start: Merced, CA
Distance: 67 miles
Climbing: 4800 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Milton-Copperopolis Loop

Starts with easy rollers for a good warm-up and then climbs along a scenic section of the Copperopolis Road Race route. Fast pacelining into Copperopolis and descent around Tullock Lake. Towards the end of the ride a short 15% grade will greet you and your cramping quads.

Source: Greg Galuppo

  Start: Oakdale, CA
Distance: 76 miles
Climbing: 3200 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Old Toll Loop

Starts the same as the popular Bagby Loop with the long climb and screeming fast descent into Bear Valley. Then continues south for an easier return with mostly rollers and a few short climbs.

Source: Doug Fluetsch

  Start: Merced Falls, CA
Distance: 43 miles
Climbing: 4800 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Wards Ferry Loop

Another popular route amongst local riders with plenty of scenic landscape, long and gradual slogs, short and steep quad-busters, and hair-raising technical descents (one false move and you're in the drink a thousand feet down!).

Source: Greg Galuppo

  Start: Chinese Camp, CA
Distance: 42 miles
Climbing: 5K feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Wards Ferry - Priest Coulterville Loop

This route includes several long yet scenic climbs with a few short and steep sections. Be sure your breaks are in good working order for the first descent which drops 800 feet in 1 mile. Other descents are either equally dangerous with steep sloping sides or bone-jarring with potholes and patchwork. For some real punishment, do this ride in reverse!

Source: Del Puerto Canyon Bike Club

  Start: Don Pedro Market
Distance: 58 miles
Climbing: 6K feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

 

Western Foothills

     
Corral Hollow Loop

Ride this route in the clockwise direction for two steep climbs and fast descents or CCW for some technical descending and a long and gradual downhill finisher, usually with a nice tailwind.

Source: Mark Holmes

  Start: Tracy, CA
Distance: 35 miles
Climbing: 2500 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Del Puerto Canyon

A perrenial favorite amongst all the local riders and clubs. Offers a long and gradual grade for casual riders and a steep 1.5-mile, 10-15% grade (the "wall") to the county line for an extra workout. Optional 2.5-mile extension to the junction. This route is the same as the Early Bird Road Race.

Source: Del Puerto Canyon Bike Club

  Start: Patterson, CA
Distance: 49 miles
Climbing: 2600 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

 

Road Races

     
Copperopolis Road Race

CCW loop famous for its rough roads, steep clmbs and gorgeous views.

Source: Velo Promo

  Start: Milton, CA
Distance: 19 miles
Climbing: 1500

Topo and Cue Sheet

McLane Pacific Road Race

CCW loop with mostly easy rollers and a few steep but short climbs.

Source: Doug Fluetsch

  Start: Snelling, CA
Distance: 23 miles
Climbing: 600 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Patterson Pass Road Race

CW loop starts right off with two punishing climbs but then settles into a long descent, usually with a tailwind.

Source: Velo Promo

  Start: Tracy, CA
Distance: 22 miles
Climbing: 2K feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

Snelling Road Race

CW loop with mostly easy rollers and a few steep but short climbs.

Source: Velo Promo

  Start: Snelling, CA
Distance: 12 miles
Climbing: 300 feet

Topo and Cue Sheet

 

2006 John F Gerling, All rights reserved. Any commercial use whatsoever is strictly prohibited.