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SPINNING YARNS (Ride Reports)

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  • 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.

  • Sunday, September 04, 2016 10:07 PM | Len Hirschi

    The congregation met at our place on Hessel Road this morning and rolled out a few minutes after 0900. 22 faithful in all. The ride was uneventful in a good sense aside from the fact that I had two flats 4 miles into the ride! It is thorn season! But a leaking tube out of the box is really bad news! Thanks to Margo Addison for the 2nd tube and Jay Tomas for his help in changing the tube out twice.

    We had several new people and one couple (Jay and Miriam Monahan) that just moved here from Vermont. This was their first ride in Sonoma County and they were duly impressed. Going through " Cow Pie Alley" (Gericke Road) and then the thriving  metropolis of Fallon was a new experience for about a half a dozen riders.

    As usual Tomales Bakery provided some outstanding pastries including a peach-raspberry pie.

    Great tailwind for the better part of the ride home. Weather was stellar overall!

    35.6 Miles/2,411' of climb

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/16233912


  • Saturday, August 13, 2016 4:17 AM | Dennis Prior


    We had 9 people out on the "Susan Noble 40/7" Mountain Goat ride yesterday leaving from Warm Springs Dam at 7am to beat the heat on the way back in from 20 miles out Skaggs Springs Road.  There was a group of 4 that went off the front and the rest of us went at our usual social pace solving the world problems as we climbed up the hills.  It started out foggy out the damn but once we started climbing Skaggs Springs the fog dissipated.  The temperature on the 20 miles out was very nice with some gorgeous views of the valley below covered in fog.  This road has some of the best views in the county with also some of the toughest climbing in the county to go along with the views......you got to climb to the top to get the views!  The first 30 miles had 6200' of elevation.  The ride back in got a little toasty up on the climbs to get back up to the ridge and our Garmins were reading anywhere from 96 to 100 but once on the descents back to the damn it cooled down nicely.  Charlie Williams brought some cold beer for after the ride and we enjoyed that with some story telling of when we were all younger.  Needless to say lots of smiling and laughter and how did we live to survive our youth, but just like the Skaggs Ride...what a ride it has been!


  • Saturday, July 30, 2016 9:01 PM | Anonymous

    The prospect of a challenging ride on quiet roads through the forested hills of western Sonoma County brought fourteen riders to Monte Rio on Saturday morning. There were many of the usual suspects as well as a few new faces, including a visitor from Sacramento whose son was competing in the Vineman Triathalon not far from the start of our ride.

    The early fog cleared just as we arrived and the sun began to warm the day quickly. We started the journey with plenty of tree cover through Cazadero and up Fort Ross Road, then broke out into warm sunshine again on Seaview Road. We had lost two riders by this time, one a victim of the strong pace set by the leaders and another who turned back to search for his friend.

    After riding along the ridge for a few miles, we turned west and flew down smooth pavement on Timber Cove Road to the cool and foggy coast. A brief jaunt along Highway One, then the climbing began again on Fort Ross Road, this time heading east.

    Once we regained the top of the ridge, we turned south toward Meyers Grade where we were met once again by coastal fog. This was disappointing, as I had primed our Sacramento visitor for the stunning views on the way down. He’ll just have to come back another day.

    We stopped for refreshments in Jenner – always interesting to see what form of “nutrition” people will choose from the shelves of a gas station convenience store. As we left Jenner, three riders (including our friend from Sacramento) broke off from the group and turned east on River Road, heading for home. The remaining nine riders continued on to Willow Creek Road.

    Months of dry weather have almost completely dried out the potholes in the first few miles of Willow Creek, and the surface has some slippery spots. Still, the climb through the redwoods is as beautiful as ever, and our efforts were rewarded with views of forested hills and that persistent wall of fog to the west.

    The final stretch from Occidental to Monte Rio could have been an easy ride, a chance to cool down and enjoy the smooth, shady pavement of Bohemian Highway. However, it seemed that the ride hadn’t been tough enough for some members of our group, as they mounted a series of attacks and counter-attacks down the hill. The ride leader brought up the rear. Next time I’ll add more hills.

    View routehere

  • Saturday, April 30, 2016 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Clear Lake Double Metric has been an April classic for many years.  Unfortunately, a recently applied layer of gravel on Western Mine Road has rendered that route too hazardous for a club ride.  In an attempt to equal the challenge and adventure of the CLDM, I mapped the Three County Mixed Terrain Ride.  With more than 10,000 feet of elevation gain over 120 miles of less traveled roads in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, riders agreed that this route is a worthy substitute for the CLDM.

    We started at 8am in Healdsburg with half a dozen riders and two spare tires.  Riders included "Marshall" Marc, "SRCC" Carl, "24 Hour" Paul, "Stanford" Jeff, and "Competitive Cyclist" Sam (and of course, "Never Forget" Ride Leader Sarah). Even at that early hour, the wind was already blowing hard from the north, but our route tacked to the east along Anderson Valley Road and we were soon protected from the weather as we started up Geysers Road.  At the summit, the wind seemed to come from all directions and threatened to catch our wheels on the descents.  Sheltered once again in the trees along Big Sulphur Creek Canyon, we dodged potholes and startled a group of young pigs foraging on the side of the road.

    Two more riders joined the group at the north end of Geysers Road, “cherry pickers” Darrin and Richard in proper SRCC attire, just in time for an eight mile stretch along Highway 101.  Here we put our strongest riders out in front to battle with the headwind.  This was the site of the only flat of the entire ride – the ride leader picked up a huge shard of glass in the debris fields on the shoulder of the highway.

    With relief, we turned off the highway toward Hopland and stopped to fill bottles and stomachs at the Sanel Valley Market at Mile 50 – this store proved to be an oasis of junk food and more to keep the endurance cyclist going.  After refueling, we continued east on CA 175 for a short distance, then turned off onto Old Toll Road, where the “adventure” segment of the route began.

    At first, Old Toll Road is badly paved, but it soon turns to gravel and climbs for about nine miles at a gentle grade to the summit of the ridge.  With heavy tree cover and few opportunities for a view, the traveler loses perspective of time and distance as the road curves endlessly upwards.  Once over the summit, the vista opens to reveal scrub-covered hills and occasional glimpses of Clear Lake and beyond.  The descent is much shorter than the climb, with less elevation lost than gained, and asphalt reappears at the bottom.

    A ninth rider joined the group briefly on Old Toll Road and Hopland Grade – a club member named Alan Neal, who lives in Lakeport and was very pleased to have a club ride pass through his territory.

    Back on solid ground, we negotiated a few turns to reach CA 175 once again, this time traveling westward up to the top of the ridge we had just crossed on the gravel road.  This effort was rewarded with silk smooth pavement down toward Hopland – as gratifying as this descent was, we interrupted the trip in order to gaze at a wildfire burning on a hillside to the north of the road.

    In Hopland once again, we stopped at the Sanel Valley Market for a second time before tackling the last 35 miles of the journey.  Most of the climbing was behind us, but legs were tired and temperatures were pushing 80 degrees.  We’d figured that we’d have a tailwind on the way home, but the winds were actually from the east as we started up Mountain House Road.  The beautiful scenery took our minds off our fatigue, and soon we reached 128 and the final leg of the journey through Cloverdale and back to Healdsburg.

    As a final gift of “wild” adventure, we spotted a Western Diamondback slithering along Dutcher Creek Road – the snake eyed us warily as we slowed to take a look.  After that encounter, it was downhill and tailwinds all the way home!

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