Saturday, March 8, 2014
Today’s route will take us south on the quiet country back roads along the edges of Templeton and Atascadero to Santa Margarita. The return north includes a climb up CA-229 to Creston followed by rolling climbs on Geneseo Rd to CA-46.
We head west on CA-46 to Union Rd; Union runs through the residential subdivisions towards the River Walk Trail off N River Rd. The trail leads us under the overpass to the other side onto S River Rd.
S River Rd takes us through the commercial shopping district around Niblick Rd.
We stay on River Rd for the next 4.3 miles; the rolling climbs leads us out-of-town to the quiet back country with beautiful open spaces, acreage ranch homes and horse ranches.
The short stretch on Neal Springs Rd brings us to scenic oak studded hills with expansive green meadows and pastoral ranches.
We continue SW on El Pomar Dr; this road gently rolls for 2.8 miles along the wineries and vineyards out towards Templeton.
The flat rolling terrain on Templeton Rd runs 4.7 miles through the expansive open pastoral fields of the surrounding horse ranches.
Gorgeous oaks line the road along the estate wineries and vineyards.
Templeton Rd continues further east through horse and sheep ranches, the road ends at the intersection with CA-41.
We cross CA-41 to Rocky Canyon Rd; the 3.8 miles along this road passes through more horse ranches, a granary and a salvage yard with some recycled outdoor art pieces.
The gentle rolling climbs take us up and over to the other side of the canyon with a scattering of ranch homes and wide open meadows, cattle & horse ranches and hill-side vineyards.
Halcon Rd has a very short section with loose gravel at the dry river crossing; it continues over the RR tracks towards the south end of Atascadero.
Viejo Camino goes through a rural neighborhood to El Camino Real.
We head south on El Camino Real; this main thoroughfare from Atascadero to Santa Margarita has a wide shoulder area and scenic views of the surrounding open fields and rolling hills.
The last 2 miles of El Camino Real follows the Union Pacific RR tracks into Santa Margarita.
We stop at the Margarita Mercantile & Co to pick up a cold drink and a bag of salty chips for our picnic lunch at the Santa Margarita Community Park off CA-58/Estrada Ave.
The post lunch route continues on CA-58 E/Estrada Ave with gorgeous views of Chalk Hill and the open meadows around Miller Flat.
The road slightly heads north with fabulous views of the distant forests and mountains along the Santa Lucia Range.
The climb on CA-58 E snakes up Calf Canyon at Park Hill Rd for half a mile with 7-9% grades.
The gentle drop down Calf Canyon takes us to the turn onto CA-229.
The ascent on CA-229 N to the top at Granite Ridge is 1.3 miles on great pavement with gradient ranges of 6-9%.
The gentle rolling descent on CA-229 N leads us out of the canyon to the valley floor.
The flats along the valley take us through cattle & ranches, open agricultural fields and acres of new growth vines. Did you know that one of the horse farms in Creston is owned by Alex Trebeck-the host of the TV game show Jeopardy?
We make a brief stop at the Creston Country Market for a cold drink and salty chips. The store is under new ownership with new and improved deli foods and other food items.
Take a minute to check out the local surroundings; the Longbranch Saloon is just down the street along with several old wooden buildings and structures from a bygone era.
We continue along the flats on CA-229 N to CA-41 E.
We head north on Creston Rd for the next 2.9 miles; this road has fantastic views of the open valley below.
The area surrounding Creston Rd is “horse country”, there are many equine farms with large boarding and training facilities.
A few cattle ranches dot the pasture lands along with neatly lined rolling hillside vineyards.
We continue north on Geneseo Rd; this is a repeat of the same road we were on yesterday. Geneseo goes up and over to the other side of the valley towards Cass Winery.
We stay on Geneseo Rd for the climb up towards Dry Canyon; it’s 1.3 miles with an average grade of 3.5% with some steeper pitches of 7-9%.
The views of the vineyards are gorgeous!
Geneseo drops us down through a rural ranch neighborhood with old barns and backyard vines.
We stay on Geneseo Rd to CA-46; the rolling climbs through the wine country are absolutely stunning-this quiet back road has minimal to no traffic!
CA-46 is perfectly safe to ride on, it has a wide shoulder area with minimal debris. The flat terrain on this road provides awesome views of the surrounding wineries and vineyards.
The turn on Airport Rd brings us back to the Wine Country RV Park.
This ride out to Santa Margarita and Creston is a fantastic way to waste away the joyful hours of the day! Having a great riding partner is another plus-“Thanks” to Michael for always being willing to take on any ride I map out! We get to share the many detours and side roads that sometimes lead to nowhere or somewhere!
58.10 Miles with 3396′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1591′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Rolling with a few hills
Weather: Sunny skies with temps ranging from the high 50’s to the low 80’s. SE Winds with 76% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: