Winters Out & Back-Flat Hundred

Saturday, February 23, 2013

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Today’s out & back century crosses the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and heads north through Fairfield, Vacaville into Winters for lunch; the turn round point for this route.

We exit Martinez and cross the Bike/Ped path over the bridge onto Park Rd to Industrial Way. You get some fabulous views of the Mothball Fleet in Suisun Bay and the marshes around Goodyear Slough.

The flat 4.7 miles along Goodyear Rd runs parallel to I-680 great viewpoints of Grizzly Bay and its’ surrounding ponds and waterways. This area provides a wonderful habitat for many species of migratory birds. You even get see Mt Diablo in the background!

We crossover on Marshview Rd to continue north on Lopes Rd for a quick stop at the Tower Market off Gold Hill Rd. We stay on Lopes Rd to Cordelis Rd and Pittman Rd. You enter fast food alley on Pittman before crossing over I-80 to Business Center Dr and Suisun Pkwy. The pavement on this 2.5 mile stretch of road is super smooth with a good shoulder area. It looks like plans for some sort of development was under way around the outskirt of Solano Community College and stopped abruptly.

We continue north through the vineyards, orchards and open farmlands of Rockland along Abernathy Rd. We turn on Mankas Corner Rd and ride pass the many residential neighborhoods of Fairfield along Waterman and Hilldborn Rd.

Lyon exits the neighborhoods and heads north on a road that runs parallel to I-80 into Vacaville. We turn on Cherry Glen Rd and continue on Pleasants Valley Rd for the next 11.6 flat rolling miles through the gorgeous Vaca Valley. You can still enjoy the scenes and landscape of the surrounding Vaca Mountains, orchards, vineyards, nurseries and organic farms. Yellow wildflowers are springing up everywhere-it’s visually stimulating! The road continues through the vast open pastoral fields with grazing cattle and horse paddocks. Cherry blossoms are also in bloom everywhere, they’re gorgeous!

The next turn onto Putah Creek Rd has great views of Lake Solano and winds through  the flatlands surrounding the many orchards and other ranchlands in the area. We arrive in Winters for the lunch stop at Steady Eddy’s. The Rotary Park located across the street has a nice gazebo with water and restrooms nearby.

Winters is the turnaround point for this route. After riding 50 miles through headwinds early on, we’re really looking forward to some tailwinds on the return leg of this ride!

We reverse the route and head back on Putah Creek Rd to Pleasants Valley Rd. We hear the sounds of emergency vehicles behind us and pull off to the side of the road as two fire trucks, an ambulance and police vehicles pass us by. We ride on and come upon the scene of a motorcycle accident. All the emergency vehicle are stopped here to attend to the crash victim. It’s not a pretty sight to see.

The tailwinds have us rolling pretty good through the valley and before we know it, we’re back at Cherry Glen Rd to Lyon Rd. We return through the residential neighborhoods and make a stop at a Subway for some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Great fuel for the remaining miles to go!

The tailwinds continue to propel us quickly along Abernathy back to Suisun Valley Rd and Cordelia. It’s a quick run back along the flats on Lopes Rd and Goodyear Rd into Benicia. We return on Park Rd up to the Bike/Ped path and cross the bridge into Martinez.

This is a flat century that anyone can do-the rolling terrain and short climbs along this route do not exceed 9% grades. The winds can be a factor, but you just put your head down and spin it out. You can always tuck behind someone bigger and stronger than you; fortunately I have Michael to do that for me!

VDO Stats:
100.05 Miles with 3014′ of elevation gain
Avg grade: 2%
Max grade: 9%

BLANK
Weather: Sunny with clear blue skies. Breezy with NW winds all day! Temps ranged from the morning low in the 40’s to the afternoon highs in the 60’s

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O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Click here for the interactive route map & profile

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2 Comments

  1. Nancy and Michael: thank you for shaking the lovely ride post photos. Rinaldi

    Rinaldi, You’re welcome! Have you started prepping for the DR yet? Nancy

    Like

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