Sunday, June 8, 2014
Today’s route heads west from Pena Adobe Park in Vacaville to the outskirts of Fairfield for the beautiful gentle climb up Gordon Valley and Wooden Valley Cross Rds. It continues along Wooden Valley to CA-121 for the climb up Mt George for the drop down into Napa. Return on CA-121 N for the climb up the west side of Mt George and descend Wooden Valley Rd to Suisun Valley and Mankas Corner Rd. Reverse the route back through the residential neighborhoods on Waterman, Hilborn and Lyon Rd to Lagoon Valley.
We begin with a leisurely jaunt along Lagoon Valley Park; this is a very popular park with a lagoon, hiking and bike trails, a fenced in dog area, multi-purpose fields and plenty of picnic areas. There’s a mountain bike event going on this morning and one area of the park is full of bikers and vendors.
We exit the park on Lagoon Valley Rd and head south on Nelson Rd; this frontage road runs parallel to I-80 onto a multi-use path through Paradise Valley.
Manuel Campos Pkwy takes us across I-80 to the residential neighborhoods along the NW edge of Fairfield on Hilborn Rd and Waterman Blvd.
Mankas Corner Rd leads us out-of-town along the flat open valley with views of the expansive acreage vineyards and olive groves.
We head north on Gordon Valley Rd through the rich agricultural farmlands and valley vineyards.
The road gently climbs under a canopy of trees and spills out to the other end of the valley with hillside vines and community ranches.
We continue on Wooden Valley Cross Rd; this road cuts through the valley under a shade of trees to Wooden Valley Rd.
Wooden Valley Rd winds up through the canyon with gentle 2.5-5% grades. The road follows the curvatures of Wooden Valley Creek pass a scattering of remote ranches.
The road levels out as you round the bend towards Altamura Winery & Vineyards; it continues along the valley floor through the small community of Wooden Valley.
The flat terrain leads us out to the heart of the valley with acres and acres of vineyards set below the foothills of Mt George.
The valley views are simply amazing!
At the junction, we head SW on CA-121; the climb up Mt George to the summit at Kenzo Estate is 1.9 miles with an average grade of 5.5% and steeper pitches hitting 9-11%.
The sweeping descent on CA-121 drops us into Napa Valley onto Monticello Rd and Trancas St.
We stop for lunch at Nob Hill Foods at the Silverado Plaza.
We exit the shopping center and retrace our way on Trancas to Monticello Rd. Watch for the outdoor sculptures at Gordon Huether Studio and the water tower painted in the colors of the American flag in support of our troop-WOW!
The climb up the SW side of Mt George is 3.3 miles with an average grade of 6.7% and steeper pitches of 9-10%.
The twisty descent on CA-121 drops us down to the junction at Wooden Valley Rd. We descend through the vineyards and wineries along Wooden Valley to Suisun Valley.
The flat terrain leads us onto the valley floor through open agricultural lands and vineyards.
Ledgewood Rd cuts across the valley to Mankas Corner Rd.
We reverse our way through the Fairfield residential neighborhoods on Waterman Blvd and Hilborn Rd.
Lyon Rd leads us out of town and drops down along I-80 for a climb back over into Vacaville.
We cross over I-80 on Lagoon Valley Rd and take Rivera Rd back to Pena Adobe Park.
This scenic route through the gorgeous valleys with the climb up Mt George is a great way to get up and over into Napa. The super-hot weather for today made the Mt George ascent that much more challenging! On a weekend, there are more trucks on the road pulling boats out to Lake Berryessa-ride with caution! If necessary, stop and pull over to let them pass!
57.04 Miles with 3642′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1256′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately hilly
Weather: Sunny and HOT! Temps ranged from 66F to an afternoon high of 105F! NW winds with 21% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: