Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Today’s out & back ride takes us across the Benicia-Martinez Bridge to the less traveled roads along I-680 to the Jelly Belly Candy Factory in Fairfield.
We head north on Fig Tree Ln and make our way through the city streets towards the Shell refinery to the south end of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge Bike/Ped path.
The Bike/Ped path across the bridge is 2.1 miles with a short half mile 4% pitch up to the center of the span.
At the north end of the path, we continue on Park Rd towards the refineries to the industrial business parks along Industrial Way. This stretch of road provides great views of the remaining Mothball Fleet around Suisun Bay and the wetlands and marshes around Goodyear Slough.
We continue north on Goodyear Rd for the next flat 4.7 miles; this is a less traveled frontage road that runs along the east side of I-680. Look around-the hills are gorgeously green and the open meadows offer a great display of colors from the vibrant yellow mustard flowers to the bright orange poppies-WOW!
White herons and ducks can be seen enjoying the wetlands and marshes along Goodyear Slough and Suisun Bay.
We cross Marshview Rd to Lopes Rd; Lopes is the another quiet frontage road that runs along the west side of I-680. The scenery is amazing; to the west, the soft rolling green hills are dotted with grazing cattle. To the east, you can see views of the wetlands and sloughs around Suisun and Grizzly Bays.
Lopes Rd takes us along the residential subdivisions of Cordelia Hills near Green Valley and American Canyon in Fairfield. I quietly smile to myself when I see the wide blast of yellow mustard flowers blooming out in the open green fields-beautiful!
We make a brief stop at the Tower Market before crossing I-680 on Gold Hill Rd to Ramsey Rd. Ramsey Rd is another quiet side road with minimal to no traffic. It runs along the east side of I-680 towards the I-80 junction in Cordelia. The wide open space is occupied with a few cattle ranches with long horns.
We cross the RR tracks at Old Cordelia and continue east on Cordelia Rd to the short climb up and over to the south edge of Green Valley.
Cordelia Rd leads us out to the open valley floor with nut orchards and rich agricultural farmlands.
We make a half loop around the Anheuser Busch Brewery on Hale Ranch and Busch Dr to Chadbourne Rd.
The turn on Courage Dr takes us through the industrial business park area around Suisun City and Fairfield. We take Jelly Bean Ln to our destination stop at the Jelly Belly Candy Factory. At the factory, you can load up with a variety of jelly beans and other chocolate delights and even take a free tour of the facility.
The post lunch route includes a little short loop around the business park area along Watney Way.
We return on Courage Dr to Chadbourne and simply reverse our route back to Cordelia Rd. I like out & back routes-things always look different going in the opposite direction!
The climb up the other side of the hill on Cordelia Rd seems easier with great views of the valley below!
The return on Lopes Rd:
The return on Goodyear Rd:
The return on Industrial to Park Rd:
The climb up Park Rd from the refinery has gradient ranges of 5-7%.
We cross the bridge back over to Martinez.
The Shell refinery scene:
We return to Holiday Highlands Park on Morello Ave to Midhill and Fig Tree.
This wonderful scenic flat ride is an easy way to get some miles in without too much effort. The Jelly Belly Candy Factory stop is a fun destination too! You always get some winds blowing out there-but then again, it’s just all part of being outdoors. Get out and try it!
Garmin Sta ts:
49.12 Miles with 1424′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 168′
Max grade: 7%
Terrain: Flat with a couple of low hills
Weather: Overcast cloudy skies with temps ranging from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s. SW winds with 77% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: