Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Today’s moderately hilly club ride begins in the town of Fairfax and heads west out to Pt Reyes National Seashore to the town of Olema. The route continues south along CA-1 for lunch in Bolinas. The return includes a challenging 4.4 miles climb on Fairfax Bolinas Rd up to Ridgecrest Blvd followed by a descent to Alpine Dam and a final climb up to Pine Mountain.
We meet up with the group on Park Rd in Fairfax.
Taking the bike route through town on Scenic, Manor and Olema Rd is a great way to avoid the heavier traffic along the section of Sir Francis Drake Blvd that leads to White Hill.
The climb up White Hill on Sir Francis Drake Blvd is 0.8 mile with an average grade of 8.2%.
The descent from the summit drops us down into the valley along the flats through the small towns of Woodacre, San Geronimo, Forest Knolls and Lagunitas.
We stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd through the redwoods out towards SP Taylor Park.
The entire length of Sir Francis Drake Blvd from Lagunitas out to Platfornm Bridge Rd has been repaved, so Michael and I opt to stay on the main road to check it out. The flat gentle terrain takes us onto a very smooth road with not much of a shoulder area. On a weekday, traffic is very light; I would think twice about riding it on a weekend and during the summer. The scenic-no traffic option would be to ride along the Cross Marin Trail through SP Taylor Park.
The climb up Olema Hill to the top at Bolinas Ridge begins at the intersection with Platform Bridge Rd; it’s 0.8 mile with an average grade of 7.4%-enjoy the ridge top views!
The descent drops us down into the small town of Olema off CA-1/Shoreline Hwy. There are public porta-potties in the parking lot area across from the Olema Liquor & Deli.
We continue south on CA-1 for the next 8.7 miles; the flat terrain and rolling climbs takes us through the wide open spaces, horse ranches and meadows surrounding the Golden Gate Nat’l Rec Area and Pt Reyes Nat’l Seashore.
Occasionally, you will see a scattering of old ranches and farm houses with grazing cattle dotting the hillsides.
The rolling climbs takes us on the descent through the eucalyptus groves for the short climb up and over to Dogtown. It’s very easy to miss the turn on Horseshoe Hill as you’re descending CA-1; slow down and watch for the sign.
Horseshoe Hill is a quiet back road that brings us through Paradise Valley.
The road becomes Olema Bolinas Rd as we head further south along the valley into the town of Bolinas.
The short climb on Olema Bolinas Rd drops us down to Bolinas.
I like to ride to the very end of Wharf Rd to see the beautiful blue waters around Bolinas Bay and the sandy shores along Bolinas Beach.
The group meets up at the small wharf area for lunch. Food and beverages can be purchased at the Bolinas Market with water and restrooms available at the Community Park or at the Community Center.
We exit Bolinas and stay on Olema Bolinas Rd; this road takes us along the shoreline with fantastic views of Bolinas Lagoon.
We cross CA-1 onto Fairfax Bolinas Rd; this is a challenging 4.4 miles ascent to the summit at Ridgecrest Blvd.
The average grade for this climb is 6.5%; it increases to grades of 9-12% at the first left hairpin turn.
The road continues to wind its way up to the ridge with great views of Bolinas Bay! You’re near the top when you enter through the deep shade of the redwoods.
The descent to Alpine Dam on Fairfax Bolinas Rd is very bumpy and twisty with many tight hairpin turns-be cautious!
From Alpine Lake, Fairfax Bolinas Rd gradually snakes its way up towards Oat Hill before descending through the redwoods.
The climb up to Pine Mountain is 1.0 mile with an average grade of 6%; afterwards, it’s a fun 3.5 mile descent all the way back to Fairfax. Watch for cars pulling out of the hidden driveways as you make your way down through the neighborhoods!
Thanks to Phil for leading-it was another gorgeous sunny day to be out riding!
43.58 Miles with 4005′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1353′
Max grade: 12%
Terrain: Moderately hilly
Weather: Sunny and cool with temps ranging from the high 40’s to the mid 60’s. Breezy NW winds with 63% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: