Saturday, July 11, 2015
Road trip! We’re cycling our way up the North Coast from Valley Ford in Sonoma County to Mendocino in Mendocino County. The routes are mostly short and hilly with steep climbs heading inland followed by a scenic run along Hwy 1 southbound.
Day 1-Ride out from Valley Ford along Hwy 1 for a challenging climb up Coleman Valley Rd to Occidental. Roll along Bohemian Hwy into Monte Rio and travel underneath the redwoods along the Russian River into Duncans Mills for lunch. Return south along the Sonoma Coast on Hwy 1 for a climb up Bay Hill Rd before dropping down into Bodega. Head inland along Bodega Hwy and Freestone Valley Ford Rd back to Valley Ford.
Begin this ride at the American Valley School on School St in Valley Ford.
Turn left onto Hwy 1 and head west; the road takes you through Valley Ford for the long rolling climbs to the high point at Bay Hill Rd. You’re near the top when you enter through the stands of pines and eucalyptus.
The road descends through Cheney Gulch into Bodega Bay.
Hwy 1 curves to the right as it rolls pass Doran Regional Park along Bodega Harbor to the north end of town.
CA-1 N continues on rolling terrain along the Sonoma Coast to Coleman Valley Rd. This short stretch on CA-1 has gorgeous ocean views to the west and open grasslands and hills to the east.
Coleman Valley Rd begins with a 1.5 mile climb up to the top of Irish Hill; it has an average grade of 10% and steeper pitches of 12-16%!
Take a moment and enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the ridge!
The road levels off and continues along the ridge line for the next 3.2 miles on gentle rolling terrain with views of the gorgeous green hilltop meadows and forested hills and valleys. The road tops out at Sugarloaf at 1100′ with an elevation gain of 345 feet.
Coleman Valley Rd descends with a few twists through the woods and drops down onto the valley floor for a flat run along Coleman Valley Creek.
You’ll ride through a very small ranching community with weathered old barns and farm houses. Stop and check the historic old white one-room Coleman Valley School from 1864.
Just pass the schoolhouse, the road tilts up for a steep 0.4 mile climb through the woods with an average grade of 9.3%.
At the junction, turn left to stay on Coleman Valley Rd; the short 0.3 mile climb up through the woods to the top of the ridge has an average grade of 6%. The road quickly drops down for the next 1.5 miles into the quaint town of Occidental.
From Occidental, continue NW on Bohemian Hwy for the fun winding 5.1 miles descent through the woods; this road runs along Dutch Bill Creek towards Camp Meeker and Monte Rio. At the Y intersection, continue on Main St for a pit stop at Creekside Park in the town of Monte Rio.
At Monte Rio, head NW on Moscow Rd; this gorgeous road follows the curvatures of the Russian River under a dense canopy of redwoods through the small riverside community. Moscow Rd leads you out-of-town to the open meadows and campground along the Russian River. The river crossing takes you into the town of Duncans Mills.
Lunch stop at the Gold Coast Bakery; they have a sunny outdoor patio with plenty of tables and seating areas.
CA-116 W runs along the Russian River through a small ranching community to the short climb up and over to CA-1.
The river crossing leads to the climb up to Goat Rock; it’s 0.6 mile with an average grade of 5.5%.
CA-1 S continues on a series of fun rollers for the next 7.8 miles along the spectacular Sonoma Coastline with stunning ocean and beach views!
Up next is Bay Hill Rd; this road goes up to the top of the ridge with magnificent views of Bodega Bay and the surrounding inland valleys. Bay Hill begins with a 1.1 mile climb with an average grade of 8% and steep pitches of 9-10%.
Bay Hill levels out for a short section along the top of the ridge-enjoy the views! The road gently tilts up for the next 0.3 mile with an average grade of 4.9%.
Bay Hill Rd quickly drops down through the eucalyptus groves onto CA-1.
Head south on Hwy 1 and turn left onto Bodega Hwy to the town of Bodega. Bodega Hwy travels east through the open grasslands and pastoral lands along Salmon Creek.
The right turn on Freestone Valley Ford Rd takes you back into Valley Ford along Ebabias Creek.
Post ride stop at Sonoma Coast State Beach-Rock Point en route to Duncans Mills on CA-1 N.
This is a gorgeous ride along the Sonoma Coast with challenging climbs up Coleman Valley Rd and Bay Hill Rd. The bakery stop at Duncans Mills is a great place to relax and refuel. You’ll enjoy the quiet back roads and fabulous ridge top views!
55.58 Miles with 4426′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1100′
Max grade: 16%
Terrain: Extremely hilly with steep climbs
Weather: Overcast morning skies > sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the low 60’s to the mid 80’s with NW winds
Follow this route for today’s ride: