Cotati to Tomales

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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For today’s ride, the group meets up at the Helen Putnam Park aka “Dog Park” on Myrtle Ave in Cotati. No water or restrooms are available at this park. Restrooms are open at the La Plaza Park in the center of town off W Sierra Ave.

The group heads out on Myrtle Ave to Valparaisso and W Sierra. From there, we turn on Stony Point to Roblar, Petersen, Blank and Canfield Rds. We’re riding mostly on flat and rolling terrain and it’s nothing too steep. The landscape offers plenty of open fields with old farm houses and ranches. Canfield Rd is very treacherous; there’s barely enough space on the road to maneuver your way around all the potholes.

We continue on Bloomfield for the next 4 miles. The climb to the top is very gentle and it’s a quick downhill to Valley Ford Rd.

The next turn on Gericke Rd takes us through a cow ranch. You know you’re in the country when you get a whiff of the pungent sweet smells of the farm. The Sonoma County side of the road is in very poor condition. The climb to the top of the hill reaches 8-9%. The descent on the backside is on nice smooth pavement; we’re in Marin County!

We continue on Fallon Two Rock Rd and cross Hwy 1 to Whitaker Bluff Rd. The terrain on this road is pretty flat. There’s sheep and cows everywhere!

The route continues on Middle Rd for the next 3 miles. This road is flattish with the gradient gradually increasing from 2-5% and hitting a max of 9% as you make the climb up to Dillon Beach Rd.

It’s another mile to the lunch stop at the Tomales deli & cafe. They serve a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads. Hot and cold beverages are available. There is plenty of seating indoors and outdoors. The key to the restroom is at the front counter. The restroom is located at the end of the building next to the bakery.

After lunch, we head out on Hwy 1 to Tomales-Petaluma Rd for the next few miles. The sun is shining and it feels great!

The next turn is on Twin Bridge Rd which takes us back to Fallon Two Rock. We then continue on Carmody Rd for the next 2.5 miles. Once again, we’re on flat rolling terrain. The climb to the top of Carmody is short and reaches an 8-9% grade. The descent takes us to Valley Ford Rd.

We turn off on Walker Rd from Valley Ford Rd. The pavement on this road is fairly bumpy and we’re on this for a little over 3 miles. The group has to stop briefly on the downhill for work being done by a construction road crew. They let us pass and we continue on to the intersection of Pepper Rd.

Traffic is a bit heavy on Pepper Rd. The last few miles of this road was recently chip sealed and it made for a very shaky ride.

The next turn is on Jewitt Rd. I see a white rooster on the side of the road and it’s HUGE! The next few miles has us on Stony Point Rd to W Railroad and Old Redwood Hwy. Then it’s back to the park on Myrtle Ave.

Thanks to Beverlee for leading the ride! The route was exactly as advertised; “rolling hills on many bucolic back roads of Sonoma and Marin counties”. I have never ridden on many of these roads until today! Thanks again Bev!

20+ people in attendance with 1 tandem

41 miles with 2565′ of elevation gain

Weather: Overcast cloudy skies in the AM giving way to brilliant sunshine in the PM. Starting temp of 52 reaching a high of 68

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RIDE, RIDE, RIDE!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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