Sunday, July 9, 2017
This ride travels along the back roads of Novato on Indian Valley Rd and Novato Blvd past horse ranches to Stafford Lake. Climb out of the lake area to Hicks Valley and continue along Nicasio Reservoir on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for a lunch stop at Pt Reyes Station. Return through Nicasio Valley and Lucas Valley Rd to Miller Creek.
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 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 multi-use path off Novato Blvd goes up and over into Stafford Lake; it gets you off the main road with beautiful views of the dam and lake.
The multi-use path leads directly to the parking lot at Stafford Lake Park.
Exit the park and 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 green hills, vineyards, ranches and open pastoral lands dotted with grazing cattle.
The descent on Novato Blvd drops down into Hicks Valley towards the Marin Cheese Factory on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.
Stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the short climb up and over to Nicasio Valley.
Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd rolls along the flats with fabulous views of Nicasio Reservoir and the rolling hills around the valley.
The road descends towards the dam through Laurel Canyon to the colored bridge.
Turn right to stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd; the rolling terrain weaves its way along Lagunitas Creek out to CA-1.
The short climb out of Pt Reyes Station on CA-1 N takes you onto Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd; the descending terrain has one short climb up towards Black Mountain Ranch and gently flattens out all the way towards the stop sign at the colored bridge.
Check out the Farm Stand!
Turn left and stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the short spillway climb up to the reservoir.
Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd continues on flat terrain along the western edge of Nicasio Reservoir to Nicasio Valley Rd. Turn right on Nicasio Valley Rd; the road goes along the reservoir through the gorgeous valley for the small bump up and over to the Nicasio Cheese Factory and Nicasio Valley Farm.
Nicasio town square:
Stay on Nicasio Valley Rd past Nicasio square to Lucas Valley Rd.
The flat rolling terrain on Lucas Valley Rd returns through the gorgeous redwood forest into the valley.
The terrain kicks up slightly for the gentle climbs up to Big Rock summit.
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 back to Miller Creek Rd.
This is a wonderful ride through Novato out to Stafford Lake, the Cheese Factory, and Pt Reyes Station. You’ll enjoy the beautiful stretch under the redwoods and the quiet country back roads with fabulous views of the rolling hills around Marin!
48.58 Miles with 3160′ of elevation gain
Max Elevation: 644′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately hilly
Weather: Sunny and warm! Temps ranged from the high 60’s to the high 80’s with NW > SW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: