Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Today’s club ride meets at the corner of Ramal Rd and Hwy 12/121 in Sonoma County. There is a large dirt parking area around a single tall eucalyptus tree. You can see horses and sheep in the neighboring area. No water or restrooms are available at this start point.
We head south on Ramal Rd which turns into Duhig Rd. The road condition here is pretty much shot up; you have to choose your line carefully. The ride around the vineyards is flat and you do get a few short climbs in between before the turn onto Sonoma Hwy.
The next turn is on Dealy that takes us to the short climb on Henry Rd. There is nothing but vineyards galore in this whole area. I noticed grapes on the vines and some vineyards had netting draped over them. The descent on Henry takes us on Buhman Rd for the next few miles. We ride pass the residential areas along Browns Valley Rd before making the turn on Redwood Rd.
There’s not much traffic as we head along Redwood Rd. The Hendry Winery is tucked away here. There are a few old farm houses with horses and alpacas in the fields. It’s very quiet and peaceful riding along Redwood Creek.
We continue on Mt Veeder Rd for the major climb of the day. For a majority of the way, we’re riding under a canopy of trees. Again, there are a few wineries along the way; Hess Collection Vineyard and Mt Veeder Winery. The gradient on this road starts off fairly easy and slowly increases as we make our way up to the first false summit. The road then levels off a bit before the climb to the second false summit. The last half mile is the final climb to the top. This section is fully exposed and the gradient maxes out at 12%. You reach the summit at mile post 4.25.
There is a regroup at the top of Mt Veeder Rd. Bob is sitting in front of the beautifully crafted gate to the Wing Canyon Vineyard.
The descent down Mt Veeder Rd is not all completely downhill, there are a few little climbs in between before we get to Dry Creek Rd. The 10 mile run down Dry Creek Rd is fabulous! There is one short climb before we drop down to the valley.
The lunch stop is at Brown’s Valley. Baked goods can be purchased at the coffee and frozen yogurt shop or you order sandwiches at the market. Water and restrooms are available. There is ample outdoor seating. Today is also Bob Hallet’s birthday. Lots of folks broke into a chorus to wish him a “happy birthday”!
After lunch we take Thompson Ave to Congress Valley Rd. We catch up with Mark S. on Old Sonoma Rd.
We’re on Hwy 12/121 for a short section before we make the turn onto Los Carneros Ave. What a relief it is to get off the Hwy. We continue on South Ave to Cuttings Wharf Rd and Las Amigas back to Duhig and Ramal Rd. There are a few short climbs along the way but it’s mostly flat all the way back to the start. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous! There are more vineyards, horse ranches and old farm houses. We even spot a egret or crane flying above us.
We all get back to the cars after a fine day of riding!
Thanks to Debbie Miskell for leading today’s ride! Today is the last day of summer and we had a fun day basking in the warmth of the sun while enjoying the beauty of the land.
Here’s another shout out to Bob, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
18+ people in attendance with 1 tandem
50 miles with 2765′ of elevation gain
Weather: Sunny, breezy and warm, temps in the 70’s