Saturday, October 25, 2014
We’re here in Paso Robles for a 5 day cycling tour. Day 1 heads south along the rolling hills on S River Rd to Neal Springs Rd and El Pomar Dr. It meanders west through the gorgeous valley vineyards and country ranches to the town of Templeton. The return includes a beautiful jaunt along the wineries and vineyards on Vineyard Rd and Winery Rd to Las Tablas and S Bethel Rd.
This ride starts at Barney Schwartz Park on Union Rd.
We head west on Union Rd towards N River Rd; due to current road work, Union Rd is closed. So a slight detour is in order-we head south on Golden Hill to Creston Rd, it’ll connect us back onto River Rd. Golden Hill Rd goes up along the outskirt of the residential subdivisions and drops down onto Creston Rd. Creston cuts across the business district before descending into the Capitol Hill district of town.
We hop onto the River Walk Trail off N River Rd for a short 3/10th of a mile; this path runs parallel along the dry river bed of the Salinas River. The only reason to not stay on the trail is in part due to a stretch of path that is completely filled with sand-I’d rather deal with a little traffic on the main road. S River Rd takes us out to the commercial shopping plazas with the big box stores along Niblick Rd.
S River Rd exits out of town as you pass Charolais Rd; it quickly enters a rural ranching community with open farmlands and pastoral fields.
The gentle rolling hills leads up to the Historic Santa Ysabel Ranch which is now an upscale gated residential community. Enjoy the valley views from the top of the hill!
The rolling terrain continues on through the open scattered ranches before dropping down into “horse country” on Neal Springs Rd.
We continue south on Neal Springs Rd for the next 1.2 scenic miles; this quiet back road goes along the vast open oak studded golden meadows and ranchlands to El Pomar Dr.
The 3.4 gentle rolling hills east of the Salinas River on El Pomar Dr takes us through the beautiful Paso Robles countryside with its valley vineyards and horse ranches.
The scenic back road continues out around the gorgeous wine country to Pomar Junction.
At Pomar Junction, we take SW on S El Pomar Rd; this road leads us along the picturesque vine-lined hills and olive farms. The landscape reflects the autumn season perfectly with its vibrant change of colors!
S El Pomar Rd leads up to a short climb to the top of the hill at Summit Rd; the road descends into the valley with dynamic views of the surrounding mountains!
At the junction, we continue east on Templeton Rd; this road goes through an incredibly beautiful back country with cattle and horse ranches and green pastoral lands.
Templeton Rd crosses over the Salinas River into Templeton.
Main St leads us through the town’s business district with its traditional Old West architecture.
Our lunch stop is at the Templeton Market & Deli-they serve fresh made sandwiches to order, tasty fried chicken, mojo potatoes and other deli items.
We take 3rd St up to First Presbyterian Church off Old County Rd; they even have a “pull-along” church sitting on a trailer with a bell inside.
At Templeton Park, the Farmers Market is winding down for the morning. Who can resist all the fresh produce and fruit? The huge dog bones actually look pretty good! I buy a couple of mandarins, persimmons and pluots and stuff them in my front bag along with a chicken tamale.
We exit town on Old County Rd and cross over US-101 on Vineyard Dr. Vineyard runs east along the rural ranches and country homes towards Hidden Valley.
The road descends into the valley under a canopy of trees to the turn at Winery Rd.
Winery Rd goes along the vineyards at Turley Wine Cellars to the vines at Venteux Vineyards and estate homes on Las Tablas Rd.
We head north on S Bethel Rd through the country ranches and vineyards around Kenneth Volk vineyards to Castoro Cellars at CA-46.
CA-46 E takes us to S Vine St; this frontage road along US-101 has a red colored designated bike lane that leads us to 1st St/Niblick Rd. We return to the park on Golden Hill and Union Rd.
This is a wonderful ride around the gorgeous wine country from Paso Robles to Templeton. For a Saturday, traffic was minimal and the scenic value was at a high! Autumn is a great time to be here-fewer tourists equals fewer cars on the road!
36.33 Miles with 2021′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1007′
Max grade: 7.5%
Terrain: Rolling hills
Weather: Sunny and warm with partly cloudy skies. Temps ranged from the mid 50’s to the low 70’s. SW Winds with 68% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: