Cheese Factory Loop

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

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For today, the Wed group meets up on Miller Creek Rd in San Rafael for a short loop out to the Cheese Factory. There is ample street parking with water and restrooms available across the street at the Marinwood Community Center and Park.

We head north on Miller Creek Rd  and hop onto the bike path that parallels Hwy 101 at the corner of Marinwood Ave. The path takes us out to Alameda del Prado in Novato.

The ride along Ignacio Blvd takes us through the residential neighborhoods on Sunset Parkway, Cambridge and Arthur St. We continue on Indian Valley Rd to Wilson Ave and Mill Rd. This surrounding area is quite beautiful with minimal traffic; there are a few small orchards and horse ranchettes with white picket fences lining the streets.

The turns on Vineyard Rd and Sutro Ave takes us through more residential neighborhoods before we reach Novato Blvd. The first few miles on Novato Blvd is pretty much flat with one short climb that takes you up and over to Stafford Lake. The bike path along the left side of the road will lead you directly into the park.

There is a brief regroup here; water and restrooms are available. Take a moment to look around and admire the lake views. There are plenty of lawn areas with picnic tables and a children’s playground.

We exit the park and continue on Novato Blvd for the next 4 miles. There are several climbs to get up and over to Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd. The rolling hillsides are a magnificent green; there are a few farms houses, old barns, ranches and certainly no shortage of grazing cows out here!

The descent drops you right through Hick’s Valley; the views are incredibly awesome! The vastness of the land and rolling hills are beautiful!

We take Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd to our lunch stop at the Cheese Factory. Sandwiches, drinks and other deli type foods can be purchased at the store. There are plenty of outdoor picnic tables located next to the pond. Water and restrooms are available.

After lunch, we continue to head south on Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd. The climb on the back side of Rocky Hill is so much shorter and easier! The blasting descent takes us to our next turn on Nicasio Valley Rd; it’s a flat 3+ miles to the regroup in Nicasio.

We stay on Nicasio Valley Rd to Lucas Valley Rd; the ride through the redwoods is always my favorite part of this route. The gentle climb up to the summit at Big Rock less than 5 miles long; the sweet smooth descent takes us on the flats back to Miller Creek Rd.

Thanks to Mark S for leading! With cooler temps and breezy conditions-the mileage was perfect! Another fun winter ride with a wonderful bunch of cycling friends!

~25 people in attendance with 1 tandem

36 miles with 1973′ of elevation gain

Weather: Great! Sunny and breezy with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the low to high 50’s

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

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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