Nicasio to Tomales

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Today calls for another ride out in Marin County-Wyatt and I are starting from Miller Creek to meet up with the group in Nicasio. Our destination lunch stop and turnaround point is Tomales.

The flat’ish 3+ miles on Nicasio Valley Rd takes us along the reservoir with views of the gentle rolling hills of west Marin.

We continue on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the short climb up Rocky Hill; the average grade is at around 6%.

The descent on the back side takes us towards the Marin Cheese Factory. Several riders pull into the Cheese Factory-ourselves included. Water and restrooms are available here.

We stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd-the road appears to go on and on as it cuts through the valley. The open fields, farms and vineyards along Hicks Valley Rd are visually appealing.

The stair step climb up Wilson Hill is under a mile long with an average grade of about 7%-the first section is the steepest part with gradient ranges of 10-13%! The road eases up before the climb up to the summit. The views along this ridge are spectacular-you can see Petaluma Valley and beyond, it’s absolutely beautiful!

The blasting descent down north Wilson Hill takes us to the turn onto Chileno Valley Rd. Chileno Valley Rd is one of the most popular cycling roads in Marin County. I love this stretch of road for its rolling terrain, beautiful open grasslands and sprawling pastures with grazing cattle, old farms and ranches, decent pavement and most of all-minimal traffic. The golden hues of the rolling hills will turn a vibrant green when winter and spring rolls around-that’s the best time to ride out here!

On another note-watch out for an old man driving a white pickup truck along this road, he lives on one of the larger estates here and he hates cyclists on HIS road. He confronted some members of GPC on a club ride last month and they reported him to the police. Ride safe!

We turn and stay on Tomales Petaluma Rd for the next 5+ miles on very smooth pavement with more gorgeous views of the open grasslands and meadows. This is dairy country! You’re near Tomales when you approach the eucalyptus windbreaks.

The turn on Hwy 1 takes us into Tomales for our lunch stop at the Tomales Deli. The weather is perfect here; sunny and warm with no winds!

We head south on Hwy 1 for the next 15+ rolling miles along the shores of Tomales Bay; the views of the bay are fabulous, the water is calm and very blue as is the sky above us.

We roll pass Marshall and continue onto Pt Reyes Station.

You can’t go by Pt Reyes Station without stopping at the Bovine Bakery for a cup of coffee, cookie or other dessert items.

We return to Nicasio on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd to Nicasio Valley Rd. The water level at the reservoir is looking pretty low.

We have another 10 easy tandem miles back to our start at Miller Creek Rd from Lucas Valley Rd. It’s a gentle climb up to Big Rock summit followed by a fast descent-it’s always a great way to finish a ride!

Thanks to Carla & Virginia for leading today’s ride! The weather couldn’t have been any better!

~30+ people in attendance with 2 tandems

VDO Stats:
Original route: 56 miles with 3501′ of elevation gain
Extended route: 76 miles with 4463′ of elevation gain

Weather: PERFECT! Sunny and warm with clear blue skies and minimal winds. temps ranged from the high 60’s to the high 70’s
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If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder.
~Ray Bradbury

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Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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