Valley Ford to Duncans Mills-Birthday Ride

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Today’s club ride is led by Margie Kirk and Debbie Miskell to celebrate all June birthdays, including their own. We all meet at the parking lot of Dinucci’s Restaurant in Valley Ford. There are porta-potties available for public use at the rear of the Valley Ford Market.

We head north on Hwy 1 and immediately take a right onto Freestone Valley Ford Rd. We’re on this stretch of rough road with a few small rollers for a little over 2 miles. We then make a right on Bodega Hwy and go for about 1.3 flat miles and pass a Rhododendron Nursery on the way. We ride through the small town of Freestone that is home to Wild Flour Bread. They offer organic breads and other pastry items baked in a wood fired brick oven. They are closed on Wednesdays.


We continue on Bohemian Hwy for 4 miles to the town of Occidental. The scenery is gorgeous; you have farms and green pasture on both sides of the road. The road starts off relatively flat and the climbing starts gradually under a canopy of trees. It’s nothing too steep and continues on for a little over a mile. The gradient fluctuates from 3-5%. There is a regroup on Main St.

We stay on Bohemian and get a fun 5 mile descent to the next town of Monte Rio. This is a very popular spot for people to come and enjoy the beaches, do some fishing, kayaking and other fun stuff along the Russian River. It’s a  beautiful area with the ever presence of the redwood forests. The Bohemian
Hwy joins Hwy 116 as we head towards Duncans Mills. While riding on Hwy 116,
Pat spots a Osprey’s nest atop of a tree. We all stop to take a look and can hear the baby Ospreys crying out
.

The run along Hwy 116 to Austin Creek Rd is completely flat. This is an optional 8 mile loop that takes you along the creek and under groves of redwoods. It’s cool and shady and I always feel a sense of calm riding through this area. We ride in silence and it’s very quiet and peaceful. I like to call it active meditation. The road is narrow, traffic free and relatively flat with a few gentle rollers in between. We turn around on Cazadero Hwy and head back towards Hwy 116. The ride on Cazadero is slightly busier with the increase of cars. It’s a flat 3.5 miles back to Hwy 116. I tell Wyatt how this felt like a vacation ride, like I’ve gone somewhere far away and just enjoying the day and scenery.

The lunch stop is at the Gold Coast Bakery at Duncans Mills. There’s birthday treats of Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate Chip cookies for everyone. There is a patio area with plenty of picnic tables and seating in the back of the bakery.

After lunch, we get back on Hwy 116 heading west and ride along the Russian River towards the coast to Hwy 1. There is a moderate climb up towards Goat Rock with the max gradient hitting 8%.

After that, it’s nothing but a bunch of fun rollers all along the Sonoma coast into Bodega Bay. The ocean views are spectacular! It’s wonderful to be able to get out and ride on a weekday. Traffic is a bit heavy due to the start of the summer season.

We continue on Hwy 1 and stop at the Nicholas Green Memorial/Children’s Bell Tower at Bodega Bay. I leave half of an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie at the site along with the toys and flowers already there. We then head inland back to Valley Ford. The last 7 miles include a series of climbs and then it’s a fast descent back to the parking lot at Dinucci’s.

TO ALL THE JUNE BABIES: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thanks to Margie and Debbie for leading the ride!

What a fantastic day to ride and exchange laughter with fellow members!

38 people in attendance

48 miles with 2184′ of elevation gain

Weather: Sunny skies with the temps ranging from the high 60’s to the high 70’s in Duncans Mills. Headwinds heading towards Hwy 1 and a fabulous tailwind heading south on Hwy 1. Strong crosswinds heading inland back to Valley Ford.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>STAY ACTIVE-STAY STRONG!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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