Wednesday, April 13, 2011
It seems counter intuitive to load my bike and gear in the car while it’s raining, but I do. It’s pouring hard and heavy on the drive along Hwy 4 and continues to rain all the way to the start of the ride.
I arrive at the meeting point on Rivera Rd in Vacaville and am pleasantly surprised that there are other people who made the drive out here too! The rain has stopped and it looks like it’s clearing up.
The ride is a go! We take Rivera Rd and continue on the rolling flat terrain on Pleasants Valley Rd for the next 12.5 miles. The scenery is beautiful; there’s green everywhere! There’s plenty to see along this stretch of road; horse ranches, old farm houses, orchards, grazing cows, ponies, chickens, turkeys and plant nurseries.
There is a brief regroup at Solano County Park. Water and restrooms are available.
We turn onto Hwy 128 and encounter very strong winds as we head north for the next 7+ miles towards Markley Cove. The first 4.5 miles is relatively flat.
The climb up to Monticello Dam is less than one mile and starts after you cross the bridge at the end of Canyon Creek Resort. The gradient ranges from 6-8%.
There is not enough water at the dam for the Glory Hole spillway to drain from the reservoir.
It’s still very windy! We continue on 128 to our lunch stop at Markley Cove. Food choices are very limited; packaged burritos and sandwiches along with hot/cold beverages and your average snacks. Water and restrooms are available. There is a nice picnic area in the back with plenty of seating.
For the return, we reverse the route back on Hwy 128 towards Pleasants Valley Rd. At the intersection with Pleasants Valley Rd, half of the group opt to do an additional 9 miles loop while the other half stay on Pleasants Valley back to the start.
We continue on 128 for the next 4 miles. It’s completely flat all the way into Winters. Hwy 128 eventually becomes Grant Ave.
We turn on Railroad Ave to Putah Creek Rd. The winds are still keeping us company along these flat roads.
Putah Creek takes us back to Pleasants Valley Rd. It’s another 12 miles back to the start.
Thanks to Bob for leading today’s ride!
11 people in attendance
Original route: 42 miles with 1275′ of elevation gain
Extended route: 51 miles with 1849′ of elevation gain
Weather: Partial sun with overcast cloudy skies and strong winds. Starting temp of 53 with a high of 67.