Map Navigation Training, Oakland Hills and Piedmont, Thursday 6/4/2009

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Update - 6/1/2009

Put 7 controls at multiple levels and ends of a 200 foot deep canyon. Few off-trail routes are available, but it can be an advantage to use one. Will it benefit you to use the streambed as a route? The majority of the trail running is actually dirt, not as much pavement. From the gently landscaped Dimond Park to the redwood forest in the upper reaches of the canyon, the Maze-O offers a variety of habitats. I'm putting out real control bags. I've done this course in about 31 minutes, but I haven't decided what is the best route to all 7 controls. More data is needed.

If you might go an "off trail" route in the Maze-O, pants are recommended. Even if staying on the trails, some of them are rimmed by overgrown grasses and plants (though they are still distinct.) I would probably prefer running shoes or trail shoes myself, even with taking an off trail route.

I will also have many of the street courses from years past available. They have plenty of route choices in the picturesque Oakland and Piedmont hills, and they have no trails thick with grass. More cars though, and watch out for them. Be especially careful crossing Park Blvd. Do these solo, with a partner, or with a bike if you like.

I'm also happy to design a course with you that suits your fancy or interest - I know these hills like the back of my hand. Just roll up to the window and say something like, "Give me two long legs, 10 staircases, 3 town parks, 8 kilometers, and 200 meters of climb." I will do my best to fill your order. However, if you're looking for checkpoints with clues, one of the older courses will have them.

And don't forget the party - you're welcome to bring any goodies you like to the social. My plan is to order some pizza... if you'd like some, I'll take your order before you go on your course, and if timed well, it'll be ready when you get back. So, it might be nice to bring drinks if you were thinking of bringing something.

Course Statistics

Maze-O - 7 controls, 3.9 km, 150 m climb
Others - 5 km to 12 km, 100 to 300 m climb

Original Announcement

Although I've been celebrating summer already, I'm still teaching school until the day after this event... so, this will double as an "end of the school year" party at my place. I'll provide some goodies, and feel free to bring yours as well, and we'll all enjoy good company, food, and drink after getting our workout on the maps.

BAOC's Oakland Hills / Piedmont street map is a curvy, hilly gem sprinkled with secret staircases, shortcut pathways, and delightful gardens. There are also some significant wooded parks!

For those looking to avoid the pavement, I'll set up the infamous "Maze O" - a 3.9 km, 150 m climb, 7 control score course rimming and dropping into Sausal Canyon, stretching from the Montclair Golf Course to Dimond Park. Most of it is on the trails rather than streets. A few checkpoints are off the trail a bit, but not too much. It's possible to run the edge of the creek as a trail, and the viability of this route choice depends on the flow of the water - check the coming event update for more info on that. I imagine there could be some fun competition on this course. I'll have punchcards, put out real control bags, and record the results.

There will be other options: I will design another course visiting a different portion of the map;  I will have maps available from previous street events - urban goats and such; and you can design your own courses as well.  Practice your route choice skills, and possibly your course design skills too. Partnering and experimentation are encouraged.

Doors and courses ($5 to participate) open at 6:00 from my porch. Stay for food and drink, and you're welcome to contribute to the mix. Maybe we'll get some cool videos like Ben's Swiss O-week feature again - got any to bring? Party's over at 10:00!


From Highway 580 coming from the West (San Francisco), take the Park Blvd. exit. If you're coming from the East (San Leandro/Hayward) on 580, take the 14th Ave. exit, turn right, and head up the hill to Park Blvd., where you turn right. Travel about a mile until you see a Union 76 gas station. The second street corner after the gas station is Dolores, and 4648 Park Blvd is at the corner.

From Highway 13 take the Park Blvd. exit. If you are coming from the East (San Leandro/Hayward) you need to make 2 immediate lefts to get onto Park Blvd. If coming from the West on Highway 13, simply bear right and merge onto Park Blvd — do not go straight or turn left! Coming down Park Blvd. from 13, after you pass the light at Leimert, the next left turn you can make onto a street (not a median U-turn) is Dolores, and 4648 Park Blvd is on the corner.

Park along Park Blvd. or the alley that parralels it.

Public Transit:

AC Transit V from San Francisco or the AC Transit 18 from Oakland (picks up near the 19th St., 12th St., and Lake Merritt BART stations.) Both buses go up Park Blvd. Stop just past the Union 76 gas station on Park Blvd. above Interstate 580.

Event Contact: Rex, 5 1 0 - 6 8 1 - 6 1 8 1,