Saturday, November 2, 2013

View the entire Google Web Album

Today we’re riding out to west Marin County to the town of Inverness; it’s located on the western shore of Tomales Bay and surrounded by Pt Reyes National Seashore.

We head west on Lucas Valley Rd for the ascent to the summit at Big Rock; the first few flat miles goes along Gallinas Valley through the residential neighborhoods of Lucas Valley-Marinwood. The climb up to the top is less than a mile long with gradient ranges of 7-9%.

The descent on Lucas Valley winds through the ranch houses and residential homes tucked away within the beautiful towering redwoods. The shaded valley leads us out to the open pasturelands along Nicasio Valley.

The flats on Nicasio Valley Rd run 3.2 miles through the town of Nicasio and continues along the east shores of Nicasio Reservoir. The surrounding hillsides of the expansive Nicasio Valley are dotted with grazing cattle and ranch houses.

The turn on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd takes us around the north and west sides of the reservoir; the water level of this storage basin is extremely low as it brings to light the exposed shallow under layers. The stillness of the water creates the gorgeous mirrored images of the surrounding hills. The road descends along the base of Black Mountain through the cool shaded canyon to the colored bridge.

We continue on Platform Bridge Rd; this quiet back road follows the curvatures of Lagunitas Creek out to Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

We cross the Old Platform Bridge from the Cross Marin Trail for the climb up Olema Hill; it’s 7/10th of a mile long with gradient ranges of 7-9%. You’re at the top when you see the Bolinas Ridge trailhead.

The fast descent takes us down into the town of Olema to Bear Valley Rd; this quiet road takes us through Olema Valley along Pt Reyes National Seashore. The short climb from the Bear Valley Visitor Center takes us up and around the flats to the intersection with Sir Frances Drake Blvd.

The flat to gentle rolling terrain on Sir Francis Drake Blvd takes us 3.1 miles along Tomales Bay to our destination stop-Inverness. This small town sits below the dense pine forests along Inverness Ridge with stunning views of Tomales Bay! The downtown area of this small residential community has a post office, a gift shop and a couple of restaurants-Saltwater & Vladimir’s, a coffee shop-Blackbird and a general store-Inverness Store.

Take a short walk behind the Inverness Store to enjoy the scenic beauty that surrounds this little hamlet. There’s a small picnic area with phenomenal views of Tomales Bay and Bolinas Ridge!

We return on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to CA-1 N for a quick stop at the Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes Station. There’s a new public art exhibit at West Marin Commons-a huge feather nest!

The short climb up CA-1 N takes us to the turn onto Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd; the road winds up and down along the base of Black Mountain to the colored bridge.

We stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the spillway climb up to Nicasio Reservoir.

Nicasio Valley Rd takes us back through Nicasio Valley with views of grazing deer on the slightly green muddy flats of the reservoir.

The short rolling climb leads us back into the town of Nicasio.

We return through the redwoods on Lucas Valley Rd for the climb back up Big Rock.

The descent on Lucas Valley can be fast, be careful-there are a couple of very tight left turns! It’s always great to be able to finish a ride with a fun downhill and an easy roll along the valley back to the car.

It’s been a few months since we’ve ridden in Marin County and this route is a nice way to reintroduce ourselves to the back roads of this area!

Garmin Stats:
50.3 Miles with 2362′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 531′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Super! Sunny & cool with temps ranging from the mid 40’s to the mid 60’s. Breezy NW winds with 100% humidity

Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F Kennedy


Click here to view the interactive route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s