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SPINNING YARNS (Ride Reports)

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  • Sunday, March 19, 2017 8:40 AM | Dennis Prior

    We had 18 folks show up for this ride on roads that is not very often ridden especially 128 out of Cloverdale and Mountain House rd.  When we left Geyserville and headed up to Cloverdale there was a stiff head wind and everyone seemed at peace with just taking their time  and chatting their way up to Cloverdale so the whole group stayed together and then we broke into 4 groups of 4-5 cylclists in each group  riding up 128 so the cars could get safely pass us thereby making it safe for us.  We all regrouped at Mountain House Rd. and then headed down he hills to Hopland at a very relaxed pace as the road is a bit chewed up from the rough winter with one small section completely gravel at this point but if you hit that going down hill at a good clip it would have ended badly for someone.  So being most of us are of a certain age where we no longer bounce when we hit the pavement we decided to go with caution.  Mountain House Road is a beautiful road to ride this time of year.  With all the hills green and creeks running and the lovely oaks its a tough scenic road to beat.  Also we noticed there were no grape vines on this road as well which made it unique to this area.  We all made it to Hopland safe and sound with only one flat had a break at the pizzarea there in town and then headed back the way we came and regrouped at the intersection again and split into groups of 4-5 and headed on down 128 to Cloverdale and regrouped at Plank for a potty break and then pedaled on back into Geyserville and this time with the wind at our backs the pace picked up considerably as no one wanted to waste that cheap speed!  

  • Saturday, March 18, 2017 7:23 PM | Anonymous

    The weather was just about perfect for this annual springtime century ride, and a relatively large group of 16 riders showed up at the start of the event. In addition to several of the usual suspects, there were some new faces in the group, including a carload of visitors from Pleasanton. Although everyone climbed and descended the big hills at their own pace, the group was quite well matched and moved along nicely -- that's important on such a long, hard day!

    Spring Mountain was the first hill, approached from the west on bumpy St Helena Road. Howell Mountain was the second climb, which was very peaceful as it is currently (and perhaps for the long term) closed to traffic due to weather damage. Then came a long section of rollers out to Lake Beryessa, beautiful right now with the water level reaching green grass along the shores. After a smooth ride along Hwy 128, we returned to the Napa Valley and had a lunch stop in Yountville. Finally, we approached the third climb up the eastern slope of Trinity Mountain.

    The last leg of the journey brought us back to Santa Rosa via Warm Springs Road and Oakmont, where we checked out the newly constructed trail which connects Stonebridge Road to Channel Drive, bypassing private property in order to reach the narrow bridge past the old water treatment plant. Note that this trail is not yet open for use as the crushed rock surface still needs to cure.

    Route is here: Three Hill Ride on RWGPS

  • Sunday, March 05, 2017 9:58 PM | Anonymous

    Sunday's weather kept many cyclists at home, warm and dry and with clean bikes. But half a dozen hardy souls weren't deterred by the forecast and showed up for the Two Hill Ride at Howarth Park. This was the second in a series of three rides of increasing difficulty, geared to improving fitness early in the year. The route was 66 miles with about 4700 feet of climbing. MAP

    It was 45 degrees at 9am, not too cold, but rain started to fall as we set off, so rain jackets were unpacked immediately. That early shower stopped after about 30 minutes, by which time we were riding up St Helena Road. As the road climbed into the narrowing canyon, the temperature dropped into the low 30s, and no one stopped to take off layers. The sun came out intermittently, and we saw some warmer temperatures in the Napa Valley as we rode south along Silverado Trail, but repeated rain showers kept the jackets on. After a lunch stop in Yountville, we continued south to the outskirts of Napa before looping back to the north on Dry Creek Road. Here we were briefly pelted by hail, which collected along the edges of the road. The temperature began to fall again as we climbed up wet and slippery pavement to reach the summit of Trinity Road. On the western slope of the ridge, the sun shone through the clouds and raised steam from the road. Now the wind was picking up, and the flags warned of a strong headwind for the final stretch into Santa Rosa. After passing through Glen Ellen, half of the group split from the route and headed home to Petaluma over Sonoma Mountain Road, exchanging windy flats for an extra hill, while the Santa Rosa contingent battled their way north-west to Howarth Park.

    All in all, a dramatic weather day but still enjoyed by those with the right gear and mindset.
  • Friday, March 03, 2017 9:30 PM | Dennis Prior

    We had 20 riders show up for our first trip over King Ridge for 2017 and the road was in pretty good shape except for a few places where there were some slide outs, but everyone seemed to navigate them safely.  We had three folks make their maiden voyage over King Ridge and a group of 4 added some miles and hills by going out tin barn to Skaggs and then going down Hwy 1 to Ft. Ross and then taking that back into Cazadero and a group of 2 others added even more miles once they got to Skaggs and decided to turn right and head down the Rancheria Wall and then climb back up it and then continue on Skaggs to the coast and  after climbing Ft. Ross from the coast were they began to  work their way back to Monte Rio where they started in order to get some more miles.  David Livinger is building up steam for the Terrible Two and is trying to get Karl Burkhauser to join him!  Either way they are off to a good start.

    It's nice to see everything green and the creeks full of water.

  • Sunday, January 29, 2017 7:46 PM | Anonymous
    After weeks of heavy rain and grey skies, we've all been enjoying the current series of clear, calm days. At last, a chance to ride your bike without having to hose it down afterwards! It was with this sentiment that eight riders set off from Howarth Park on Sunday morning on the first in a series of winter/spring rides. This route is the shortest and easiest of the series, and is known as the One Hill Ride.


    After differences of opinion regarding the number of hills on the 2016 version of this ride (which went over Sonoma Mountain Road to reach Cavedale, the "real" hill), I decided to revert to the traditional route for the event this year. This route takes riders over Spring Mountain from west to east, then cruises (or hammers) north along Silverado Trail and Hwy 128 to Chalk Hill Road before turning south again toward Santa Rosa. If one looks at the elevation profile for this route, it's easy to see the "one hill" that the route is named for. There were no complaints filed during or after the ride this time :)


    In short, we enjoyed the great weather, the sound of rushing water in the creeks and the views of green hills and vineyards turning yellow with early mustard. Thanks to the group of friendly, competent riders who turned out for this ride. Let's hope for similar weather for next month's Two Hill Ride!
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016 8:31 PM | Dennis Prior

    We had a beautiful day for a ride up Pine Mountain last Friday on Veterans day.  We had 21 folks show up for this great ride with about 6-7 of them doing this for the first time.  Everyone mad it to the start of the dirt on the road and then we all met up at Plank coffee for treats and refreshements.  We cruised back over Dutcher Creek and Canyon back into Geyserville where some of the folks went to Diavola for lunch.  I had to go to work!  :-(. Next time.  Here is a picture of the group less Charlie Williams the photographer.


    Enjoy the day,

    Dennis

  • Sunday, November 13, 2016 6:12 PM | Anonymous

    Cotati lay under a heavy blanket of fog on Sunday morning, and it was still cool at 9:30am when half a dozen riders assembled for a trip to Wildflour Bakery. However, the roads were dry, and after about 45 minutes of riding in a westerly direction we emerged from the fog into brilliant sunshine. The gently rolling pastures on Fallon Road were dressed in new green, and the wind seemed to be taking a day off. The first miles of quiet country scenery passed quickly, and except for a brief stretch along Highway One, we had the roads to ourselves.

    The climbing started in the second half of the ride. In order to work up a suitable appetite, we were taking the long route to Wildflour Bakery – all the way to the coast, bumping over Bay Hill Road to avoid the town of Bodega Bay then taking Coleman Valley Road to Occidental before reaching Freestone. The fog was thick once again on the coast, and kept us cool as we climbed the steep pitch on Coleman Valley Road. Once we reached the crest of the ridge, we looked back at the white mass of moisture reaching its fingers into the coastal hills.

    After enjoying well-earned pastries at Wildflour Bakery, we dodged potholes on Barnett Valley, Burnside and Bloomfield Roads (and we can add Canfield Road to that list). We finished up on smoother pavement along Roblar and West Sierra Roads, arriving in Cotati with roughly four hours of riding behind us.

    The calm winds, warm sunshine and green hills created a spring-like atmosphere, despite the mid-November date of this ride. There may not be another Sunday like this one for many months to come!

    Bakery Run Route

  • Thursday, October 20, 2016 3:31 PM | Dennis Prior

    Hello All,

    We had a great ride yesterday.  I think it might be the first annual Lorenzo and Jerry A bday ride!  What a beautiful day!  We started of with 15 and then 3 others caught up with us after we started.  We had Jerry A, Karl, Robin, Chuck, Frankie, Karen, Steve G., Lorenzo, Steve A.,Dave M.,Steve P, Charlie, Mark, Guest Phil, David L, Joyce Chang, Christine, and myself


    I'm not sure how far out front most of the riders were or who was riding with who as Dave M, Dave L, and Lorenzo and I were at the back solving the world problems as we rode up to Tin Barn....I only hope you appreciate all of our extremely hard efforts to improve the world we live in!  We all descended safely down Hauser with some of us stopping at the water stop at Ratna Ling with most of the group riding on with a group of about 7 of us at the back which was Frankie, Lorenzo, David M, Steve A, Robin, Karen, and myself.  There was a mix up after the rest stop at King Ridge and Tin Barn. I asked for a regroup at Timber Cove Rd. and some thought it was going to be at Ft. Ross Store so the back group became the front group with the now back group waiting for the now front group back at the store!  :-)  I'm going to have to clarify the stops a little more on the next adventure.  In the past we have stopped at the Ft. Ross Store but a different route and on a colder day at the coast.  We had quite a wait at the top of Ft. Ross Rd. from the coast for the rest of the group and especially David L as he was waiting a bit longer at the store for us to come by as he didn't want to leave us behind.  What a good guy!  We returned the favor at the top of Ft. Ross Rd.  


    After most of the group showed up at the top of Ft. Ross Rd. I sent the ones who had to get back to get on their way and the rest of us who were going to lunch at Northwood lodge after the ride hung around waiting for Phil and David to get up the hill.  Karl went back down to make sure they were coming and David M also went down the hill a ways to join them.   We then made it back down into Cazadero where 11 of us went to a late lunch at Northwood and planned out some more adventures as Karl also has a Bday coming up.  I think we had 4 or so who have never climbed up Ft. Ross Rd. from the coast and they did a great job.  I think it was Bday boy Jerry A, Robin, Karen, and Chuck...oh yeah and Phil!   


    It was a great day for all and thanks of all of those that could make the ride and make it so enjoyable and I'm sorry so many couldn't make this beautiful ride  I've attached some pics just in case some of you missed them earlier.


    Here are some pics from the ride.

    Enjoy the day,

    Dennis





  • Sunday, October 16, 2016 6:08 PM | Anonymous

    We had an intimate group of three for this morning's ride from Petaluma to Cavedale via Sonoma Mountain. The roads were almost completely dry, and surprisingly free of debris after two days of rain and wind. Still, we took extra care on the downhills, anticipating slippery surfaces. We were hit with a few raindrops at the top of Cavedale and Sonoma Mountain on our return, but despite this the weather was very pleasant, and the colors of turning leaves and mossy tree trunks were intensified by the overcast conditions. All in all, a great fall ride!

  • Sunday, October 02, 2016 8:01 PM | Len Hirschi

    The route  (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16887128) called for about 36 miles with a little hill action. 11 riders. Molly and John Mazzella (San Jose area folks now living in Penngrove), Nancy Levin (Jerry's friend from SF), Donna Scornavacca, Jerry Applegate, Don Billings, Dan Gould, Tom Schwartz, Patrick Scott, Johnnie Selhorst and yours truly. Great group of people, many of which had not met previously. 

    4 miles into the ride, Brother Dan missed seeing 1/8" long thorn on the creek path and suffered a flat. Jerry was instrumental in getting Dan back on the road.  Shortly thereafter we started a getting few raindrops but the vast majority of the congregation enthusiastically decided to forge ahead. The rain then came down a little harder but still bearable. On Riblei Road  Donna suffered a mechanical malfunction that resulted in a severely warped derailleur. Patrick was behind, saw her go down, called out and stopped to help. She was okay. Patrick assessed the damage and realized that not only was the derailleur toast but the juncture of the seat stay and chain stay was cracked. A guy in a Honda pickup stopped and  gave Donna a ride back to Franklin Park. During this time the rain intensified and we decided to cut short the ride and get some hot coffee and whatever at Oliver's in Rincon Valley.  While we huddled outside the market Donna drove by in her car,letting us know she made it back to her car. 

    After Oliver's  6 of the remaining decided to return to Franklin, Johnnie and Tom took my route slip and decided to do the rest of the ride. The rain was easing. Tom rode from Sebastopol to begin with and route was on the way home. Dan had enough and called Lorna for a ride back home. Don parted before coffee. 
    The ride back to Franklin was uneventful.  Praise the Road and thanks to Patrick for coming up with a shorter return route instead of back-tracking. 

    Wet, short and cold but  fun.

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