Sunday, July 31, 2016
This ride meanders along the city streets of Novato through Indian Valley out to Novato Blvd and Stafford Lake. It continues westward through Hicks Valley and Marshall Petaluma Rd for the climb up Marshall Wall to Bolinas Ridge. For the return, roll along the beautiful Tomales Bay on Hwy 1 and through the towering redwoods on Lucas Valley.
Start from Marinwood Community Center on Miller Creek Rd in San Rafael; head north on Miller Creek Rd to the multi-use path off Marinwood Ave.
The multi-use path runs parallel to US-101 and exits out onto Alameda Del Prado towards Del Prado Shopping Center.
The flat terrain on Ignacio Blvd goes westward pass the newer suburban neighborhoods to the short climb up Sunset Pkwy.
The descent on Sunset Pkwy drops down through the older neighborhood with many single story ranch style homes along Cambridge and Arthur St.
Indian Valley Rd is a quiet 2 mile stretch of road through a semi-rural area with many horse ranches and boarding facilities.
Continue meandering around the different neighborhoods on Wilson Ave and Mill Rd to Vineyard and Sutro Ave.
Head west on Novato Blvd; it’s a nicely paved two lane road with no shoulder area.
The road climbs up along the north edge of Stafford Lake with gorgeous lake views.
Continue NW on Novato Blvd for the stair step climbs towards Hicks Valley. The second section is the steepest with gradient ranges of 7-10% grades.
Enjoy the gorgeous bucolic country scene with its rolling hills, vineyards, ranches and open pastoral lands.
The road drops down into Hicks Valley onto Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.
Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd continues through Hicks Valley with wonderful views of the open meadows and Hicks Mountain.
Head west on Hicks Valley Rd for the short climb up and over Hammock Hill to Marshall Petaluma Rd.
Continue heading west on Marshall Petaluma Rd for the next 6.5 scenic rolling miles. This quiet back road takes you through the valley with scattered ranches and farm houses.
Cross Walker Creek to the red barn at Walker Creek Ranch Retreat and continue on rolling terrain through Verde Canyon to S/2 Ranch.
The ascent up “Marshall Wall” begins at the old white farm-house at S/2 Ranch; the first section of this stair-step climb is 0.6 mile with steep grades of 9-12%.
The climb eases up for a short bit with lesser grades before continuing along Bolinas Ridge for another 0.6 mile to the summit with grades of 7-8%.
Look around and enjoy the spectacular views of Tomales Bay and the surrounding ridge top landscape!
The descent on Marshall Petaluma Rd can get very fast; it drops down to the large wooden barn and cattle ranch. It continues along the back side for a short climb before dropping to Hwy 1.
Turn left and head south along Tomales Bay on Hwy 1 S to Marshall.
Stay on Hwy 1 S for the next 7.6 gorgeous rolling miles along Tomales Bay towards Pt Reyes Station.
There is one short climb from Pt Reyes Vineyards to the Tomales Bay Trailhead.
Mesa Rd goes around a residential neighborhood to the stop at Pt Reyes Station.
Climb up CA-1 N to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd; the road drops down along Nicasio Creek followed by a short climb up to Black Mountain Ranch. It continues on gentle rolling flat terrain to the junction at the colored bridge.
Stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the climb up the spillway to the top at Nicasio Reservoir. The road continues on flat terrain around the reservoir for the next few miles to Nicasio Valley Rd.
The flats on Nicasio Valley Rd takes you back along the SE edge of the reservoir to Nicasio.
Return under the beautiful redwoods on Lucas Valley Rd.
The mile long climb winds around the hill to Big Rock summit.
The descent from Big Rock on Lucas Valley Rd requires much caution; there are several very sharp left hand turns with decreasing radius! The run down Lucas Valley Rd finishes off with a fun flat stretch back to Miller Creek Rd.
This is a wonderful ride along the quiet beautiful back roads around West Marin from the redwoods to the open valleys out to the coastal bay! The challenging gorgeous climb up and over Bolinas Ridge offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay!
61.75 Miles with 3481′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 661′
Max grade: 12%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with steep climbs
Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the low 60’s to the mid 80’s with SW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: