Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chileno Valley Loop...

Yesterday was spectacular. About 55 degrees, clear skies and no wind until the last 14 miles or so and then it was a really nice tail wind. I had initially planned to ride out to the lighthouse and back after reading aboug JimG's 200k brevet, but upon checking the weather at the lighthouse and finding 25mph wind out of the NW and knowing that I would have to fight that wind for 10 miles, I decided on another loop. The Chileno Valley Road loop won. As it turned out this couldn't have been a better choice. Mild weather. No headwind and a spectacular tailwind coming back down along Tomales Bay on Shoreline Highway.

I still don't get the guys who ride in weather like this in shorts and short sleeves without arm or knee warmers. There were a couple out there riding. I had both along with a s/s wool base layer and Swobo wool s/s jersey. With the high-vis vest, it was perfect. The high-vis vest has become a must have article of clothing out here. There are simply too many sections of road that have poor sight-lines or are buried in the shadows. Cyclists are difficult to pick out in the shadows when wearing dark clothes by drivers wearing sunglasses.

Here's the counter-clockwise loop leaving Point Reyes.
Right on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road - continue left at the junction of Platform Bridge Rd and Point Reyes Petaluma Road.
Left on Hicks Valley Road.
Right on Wilson Hill Road.
Left on Chileno Valley Road.
Left on Tomales-Petaluma Road.
Left on Shorline Highway / Highway 1 and back to Point Reyes.


View Larger Map

From Ride Photos


Elevation profile - it's about 3200 feet of climbing.
From Ride Photos


The view of Nicasio Reservoir from Point Reyes-Petaluma Road. It's way low for this time of the year.
From Ride Photos

The climb up Wilson Hill Road - a pretty consitent 8-10% grade.
From Ride Photos

The view of a Hicks Valley Road farm from Wilson Hill Rd.
From Ride Photos

Looking back down Wilson Hill Rd. It's amazing how fast a steep climb like this passes when you're goofing around taking pictures.
From Ride Photos

The view east towards Petaluma.
From Ride Photos

There were a bunch of these funky looking cows that I learned were Highland cows. Cool hippie hair.
From Ride Photos

Where Walker Creek dumps out into Tomales Bay.
From Ride Photos

This isn't supposed to be in bloom like this in January.
From Ride Photos


The scenery was spectacular. The hills are all green. There's no glass on the roads. And on a weekday morning, there's not much traffic. And the tailwind pushing me back down Shoreline Hwy to town was very welcome as I was able to keep it pegged at about 22mph down to town.

(What's playing: The Knitters Poor Little Critter on the Road)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

those rides look too sunny!