Novato to Cazadero 200k

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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Today’s 200k follows SRCC’s route that starts in Novato, goes over Wilson Hill out to Chileno Valley into Tomales. It continues north to Occidental, up to Cazadero and back.

The ride begins at the Rowland Park & Ride lot off Hwy 101. We take Rowland Blvd and head NW on Novato Blvd for the next 4 miles through the residential neighborhoods, commercial centers and shopping plazas of Novato. Once you cross Sutro Ave, Novato Blvd continues west along Ohair Park to the short climb up towards Stafford Lake.

The road leads you pass the ranches, farms and vineyards in and along the valley. The rolling green hills are dotted with grazing cows and old wooden barns. The descent down to Hicks Valley is absolutely gorgeous; the road opens up to the sight of brilliant yellow flowers growing all along the valley floor-WOW!

The route continues on Hicks Valley Rd to the steep climb up Wilson Hill Rd; it’s about 8/10th of a mile up to the summit with gradient ranges of 8-11%. You get fabulous views of Petaluma valley and the surrounding hills. The fast descent down Wilson Hill drops down to the flats out to Chileno Valley.

The flat rolling 9.7 miles on Chileno Valley Rd goes through the beautiful Chileno Valley with views of the mountains, Laguna Lake, ranches, farms and vast pastoral lands.

We continue west on Tomales Petaluma Rd into the town of Tomales and head north for 5 miles up and down on CA 1 to Valley Ford Rd. Enjoy the open vistas along the ridge of the surrounding valley and green rolling hills with grazing sheep, cattle and deer.

We ride through the town of Valley Ford and take Freestone Valley Ford Rd to Bodega Hwy and Bohemian Hwy. You’ll pass through the quaint little towns of Freestone and Occidental.

The fun descent on Bohemian Hwy takes you through the woods to Main St into the town of Monte Rio. We cross the Monte Rio Bridge over the Russian River to Hwy 116. This road goes through the redwoods and follows the Russian River west to Cazdero Hwy. See if you can spot the large Osprey nest atop of the branchless tree next to the river.

The run up north on Cazadero Hwy is 6.2 miles long on flat gentle rolling terrain along Austin Creek; it’s a beautiful stretch of road that goes through the redwoods! We stop at the Cazadero General Store for lunch-the turnaround point for this 200k route. The restrooms are located at the city park with the tennis and basketball courts. It’s located about 500 feet away from the store up a long driveway.

From this point, the return is just a reverse of the outgoing route. We head south on Cazadero Hwy back to Hwy 116 into Monte Rio. The gentle rolling climb up Bohemian Hwy takes us back into the town of Occidental for a short stop at Connella’s Country Mart.

We climb up along CA 1 south back to Tomales and continue on Tomales Petaluma Rd to Chileno Valley Rd. A wonderful tailwind blows us along for the long stretch through Chileno Valley out to Wilson Hill.

The two mile climb up north Wilson Hill begins with a gentle grade and steadily increases to gradient ranges of 8-11% as you near the top! The reward for the climb is the spectacular viewpoints of Petaluma valley and the surrounding hillsides!

We descend down to Hicks valley back out to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd. Once again, the valley offers the most awesome landscape for this time of season; it’s flooded with fields of yellow flowers-it’s really a gorgeous sight!

Novato Blvd takes us back through Stafford Lake and into the city of Novato.

It was a fantastic day to be out along the beautiful country roads of Marin and Sonoma Counties!

VDO Stats:
126.41 Miles with 6362′ of elevation gain
Avg grade: 3%
Max grade: 13%

Weather: Wonderful! Sunny with clear blue skies. Cold morning temps in the low 30’s and reaching the high 50’s in the afternoon.

Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint on it you can.
~ Danny Kaye

Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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