Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Today’s loop will head north on Pleasants Valley Rd through Vaca Valley into Yolo County for a run along Putah Creek and cross into Napa County at the south end of Lake Berryessa at Montincello Dam. The route continues on CA-128 W towards Moskowite Corner to CA-121 S and drops down through the wineries and vineyards on Wooden Valley and Suisun Valley into Solano County.
We begin the ride in Benicia on Industrial Rd and head north on Goodyear Rd; this frontage road runs parallel to I-680 for 4.7 flat miles through the open wetlands and sloughs along Suisun and Grizzly Bays. Enjoy the views of the Mothball Fleet and Mt Diablo!
Marshview Rd crosses over to the west side of I-680 onto Lopes Rd; this frontage road sits above the freeway with glorious views of the green hills and colorful marshlands around Cordelia Slough. Lopes leads us through the newer subdivisions in Cordelia to Gold Hill Rd.
We cross over I-680 once again and continue north on Ramsey Rd through cattle ranches and open meadows into an older neighborhood of Cordelia.
The turn on Pittman Rd leads us to Cordelia Junction; an area filled with the standard fast food chains, gas stations and hotels. The cross over I-80 takes us onto Suisun Valley Rd.
We stay on Suisun Valley Rd for a short distance to Rockville and head east on Rockville Rd for the flat 1.7 miles to Abernathy Circle. Rockville Rd takes us through the expansive agricultural farmlands and vineyards around Solano County. If you have time, stop and check out 99 Cherry Orchards for their homemade pies, jams and ice cream-closed Mon/Tues.
Abernathy Rd goes along the valley for 1.8 miles through the rich farmlands and vineyards to Mankas Corner.
Mankas Corner takes us from the vineyards to the outer NW edge of Fairfield through the residential neighborhoods and shopping areas on Waterman Blvd and Hilborn Rd.
We exit Fairfield on Lyon Rd; the rolling terrain on this road runs parallel to I-80 towards Lagoon Valley to Cherry Glen Rd in Vacaville.
Pleasants Valley Rd runs 12.4 miles from the south end at Cherry Glen Rd to the north end at CA-128. The flat to rolling terrain goes through the gorgeous Vaca Valley farmlands, orchards and pastoral meadows.
Pleasants Valley continues north with beautiful views of the Vaca Mountains to the west and the rolling green English Hills to the east. Horses and cattle can be seen grazing the open green pastures around this ranching community.
At the intersection of Putah Creek Rd, Pleasants Valley tilts up for a short distance to the top at Lake Solano County Park and drops down onto CA-128.
We head west on CA-128; this road follows the curvatures of Putah Creek along the edge of Yolo County for 4.6 gentle miles towards Cold Canyon with fabulous views of the colorful spring wildflowers below the Vaca Mountains.
From Canyon Creek Resort, we cross into Napa County for the climb up to Monticello Dam; it’s 0.9 mile with an average grade of 5.3%.
CA-128 continues on rolling terrain along Markley Canyon with splendid views of Lake Berryessa and its surrounding mountains!
We drop into the canyon to our lunch stop at Markley Cove; the store has the standard snack foods and cold beverages along with microwavable frozen food items and ice cream. They have rear patio area with plenty of outdoor seating and clean restrooms.
We exit Markely Cove and begin the climb up Cardiac Hill through Markely Canyon; it’s 1.5 miles with an average grade of 7.4%. The road winds its way up to the gap and tops off around the bend when you see the trailer house with the American flag.
CA-128 drops down towards Wragg Canyon and continues on rolling terrain through the woodlands and rolling green hills around the Vaca Mountains.
The road opens up along the valley floor towards Moskowite Corner with views of Rancy Rock and the beautiful display of orange poppies lining the edge of the yellow-green meadows.
The rolling terrain on CA-121 S takes us 3.2 miles through the woodlands along Capell Creek with gentle grades up to Munson Ranch.
The road continues up to the summit at the cattle ranch near Waters Rd; it’s 0.6 mile with an average grade of 6%.
At the junction, we continue south on Wooden Valley Rd through the gorgeous vineyards along the valley floor.
Wooden Valley steadily winds along the valley through the ranch lands and vineyards with beautiful hillside views.
We cross the Napa County line back to Solano County and continue on Suisun Valley Rd through the wineries and vineyards along Suisun Valley.
Along Suisun Valley after Larry’s Produce Stand, there is a section of road with decorative artsy mailbox sculptures; they’re easy to miss as you roll through the flat valley.
Suisun Valley Rd continues through the vineyards pass the Rockville Cemetery and other older country buildings to the center of Rockville.
At Rockville, we make a short stop at Rockville Bike; I’ve never noticed it on previous rides out this way but it’s a great find-they’re located right next to the Tower Market. This local shop is pretty well stocked with a great variety of items to fit your every cycling need. If you’re ever riding in this area and find yourself in need of some help; I’m sure Serg can get you back out on the road in no time-so check it out!
Suisun Valley Rd takes us back over I-80 to Cordelia Junction and Pittman Rd.
From Pittman, we reverse our way back on Bridgeport to Ramsey Rd and Lopes.
We return on Goodyear Rd back to Industrial Rd in Benicia.
This is a scenic loop that takes you around the country back roads of three North Bay counties; Solano, Yolo and Napa. Thanks to Wyatt for a great tandem ride!
85.57 Miles with 3417′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1139′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Rolling with some hills
Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the low 50’s to the high 70’s. Brisk NW winds with 54% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: