Nicasio to Tomales

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Click here to watch a short Video of the sights and sounds of the winds

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The group meets up at Nicasio today for a ride out to Tomales. The area has plenty of parking along with two public use porta-potties.

We take Nicasio Valley Rd to Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd. The winds are really blowing; you can see white caps on the water in the reservoir.

Due to the winds, the one plus mile climb up to the Cheese Factory seems longer than usual. The average gradient is around 6%. The views are fabulous; the hill sides and fields are all green! The descent takes you through more open green fields and farms on Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd.

The turn on Hicks Valley takes us on a quiet and secluded back road along a few farms and vineyards.

The climb up Wilson Hill is under a mile long with an average grade of about 7% with several sections maxing out at 11%. The views from the top of the ridge are amazing! The descent is usually very fast; but with today’s strong gusty winds, the downhill is slower and taken with more caution.

We head west on Chileno Valley Rd for the next 9.5 miles. The strong head wind is making this ride quite a work out! The flat rolling terrain on this road takes us pass Laguna Lake and many farms and ranches. It’s just miles and miles of green grasslands.

We continue on Tomales-Petaluma Rd for the next 5+ miles. Every turn on this beautifully paved road has us into the wind. You can hear the swooshing sound of the wind as it blows through the eucalyptus trees. There are several climbs on this road before we reach Tomales.

The lunch stop is at the Tomales Deli & Cafe. They serve a variety of sandwiches, soups and other deli items along with hot and cold beverages. Restrooms are located at the end of the building next to the bakery. The key to the restroom is available at the front counter of the cafe.

After lunch, we continue south on Hwy 1 towards Marshall. It’s 7 miles of flat and rolling terrain with a few climbs thrown in; the scenery is gorgeous as we ride along the edge of Tomales Bay. Everyone is dreading heading along the lagoon aka “wind tunnel”. It didn’t seem so bad at first, but then you would get hit with a strong burst of wind at the slightest turn and that would really get your attention.

From Marshall, we continue along the flats and rollers on Hwy 1 for another 9.5 miles to our next stop at Point Reyes Station. The wind is still keeping us company; and yet it’s another great day to be out riding, the scenery alone is making this worthwhile.

We arrive at Point Reyes Station for a snack/coffee stop at the Bovine Bakery. There are a few public art displays in the common picnic area.

We return to Nicasio via Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd. There is another art display at the top of the hill that looks like 3 huge plastic bottles filled with small plastic bottles. It’s a nice run all the way to the colored bridge. We continue on Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd and ride along the reservoir.

The next 3 miles on Nicasio Valley Rd takes us back to the parking lot.

Wyatt and I return on Lucas Valley Rd to our start on Miller Creek Rd. We did get a fabulous tail wind after descending Lucas Valley Rd.

Thanks to Carla and Virginia for leading today’s ride! The winds blows wherever it pleases and it made us all work a little harder and we’re glad we did it!

~30 people in attendance with 2 tandems

Original route: 56 miles with 3501 of elevation gain

Extended route: 75 miles with 4463′ of elevation gain

Weather: WINDY! Sunny and cool with strong gusty winds. Temps ranged from the low to mid 50’s.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>PUSH ON-KEEP MOVING!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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