Wednesday, July 9, 2014
This ride heads out to west Marin via Lucas Valley and Nicasio Valley Rd to Sir Francis Drake Blvd. It continues through SP Taylor Park on the Cross Marin Trail and exits back onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The climb up Olema Hill leads into Olema for the flat stretch on Bear Valley Rd to CA-1 and Pt Reyes Station. The route returns on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd to Nicasio Valley and Lucas Valley.
We begin with a nice 3.5 miles warm-up on Lucas Valley Rd.
The road gradually leads to the climb up to the summit at Big Rock; it’s one mile long with an average grade of 7.2%.
Lucas Valley descends into the valley through the redwoods out to the ranches and grasslands of central Marin.
We head south on Nicasio Valley Rd through a horse ranching community with open training arenas, paddocks and stables.
The flat rolling terrain goes underneath the dense woodlands and leads back out to the valley ranches for a short climb up to the summit at Dixon Ridge; it’s 0.4 mile with an average grade of 8%.
The descent on Nicasio Valley Rd drops down under the shade of the woodlands surrounding Roy’s Redwoods to the golfing greens at San Geronimo.
The road continues on fabulous smooth pavement though the towering redwoods to Camp Taylor at SP Taylor State Park.
We enter the park and pass through the campgrounds to continue on the Cross Marin Trail for three beautiful miles under the gorgeous shaded woodlands.
The trail exits onto Old Sir Francis Drake Blvd which joins up to Sir Francis Drake Blvd for the climb up Olema Hill to the top at Bolinas Ridge; it’s 0.6 mile with an average grade of 8.9%.
The road swiftly descends into the town of Olema with dramatic views of the soft golden hills and dense forest.
Bear Valley Rd from CA-1 N leads us towards the Pt Reyes National Seashore Bear Valley Visitor Center and out along the Olema marshes back onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd at Inverness.
We head east on Sir Francis Drake Blvd and cross the bridge over Lagunitas creek on CA-1 N to Pt Reyes Station.
Scenes around Pt Reyes Station:
Lunch stop at Pt Reyes Town Commons:
Sitting too long at lunch stop makes the climb up CA-1 N to Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd much harder than it really is; 0.3 mile with an average grade of 4.6%.
Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd winds along the north edge of Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area and the south base of Black Mountain; it gently follows the curvatures of Lagunitas Creek. The terrain is mostly flat with one short pitch up to Black Mountain Ranch.
At the colored bridge, we continue NE on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd to the Spillway climb up to Nicasio Dam; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 5%.
The road continues on flat terrain around the Nicasio Reservoir with fabulous views of the calm waters and golden valley hills.
Nicasio Valley Rd continues around the reservoir to the little hump up along the stand of eucalyptus trees.
Signs from ranchers in support of fencing in the explosion of elks around Pt Reyes National Seashore:
Nicasio Valley Rd leads us in and out Nicasio to Lucas Valley Rd.
The rolling terrain on Lucas Valley Rd takes us back through the redwoods.
The climb up to Big Rock summit is one mile with an average grade of 3.7%.
The descent from Big Rock on Lucas Valley Rd is fairly technical with several very sharp left hand turns with decreasing radius-use caution! The ride finishes off with a fun flat stretch through the valley to Miller Creek Rd.
This is a wonderful ride with just about the right amount of climbing! Come on out and enjoy the scenic roads from central Marin to west Marin.
47.19 Miles with 2431′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 653′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Rolling with some hills
Weather: Sunshine with partly covered skies, temps ranging from 57F in the morning to an afternoon high of 84F. Brisk SW winds with 77% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: