Sunday, August 19 in Tomales, California:
Catherine & I left at 3:45am (yikes!) to meet some of her fellow Sacramento Bike Hikers. After we all had congregated and loaded up our bikes, we headed out from Sacramento towards the ride start in Tomales at 4:30. There were 6 of us total, so 4 went in one car, and Catherine & I followed in mine. 120 miles and 2 hours later, we pulled into the ride start at Tomales High School.
After checking in and getting my Tshirt, we rolled out at around 7:00. The route headed south on Highway 1 along Tomales Bay. This stretch had lovely rolling hills, with great views of the bay. Alan & I rode together at a pretty good clip, and got to the first rest stop (16mi) in short order. From there we went east along Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd., past the beautiful Nicasio Reservoir then turned north to the Cheese Factory rest stop (27mi). We were making great time. What hills there were were not at all steep or long, so I motored up most of them. I should have figured out that since this early stretch was so non-hilly, and the ride was said to have 7,000-8,000′ of climbing, that there’d be much more climbing ahead, but I wasn’t thinking about that 🙂
From the Cheese Factory, we headed north, along Wilson Hill Rd., and up Marshall-Petaluma/Chileno Rd. This was the first real climb of the day, but it wasn’t too bad, and I set a quick tempo up it, passing tons of people. At the top, I stopped to enjoy the view, and waited for Catherine to catch up. There was a great downhill from the top of this hill, then we went along Chileno Valley and turned eastward on Tomales Petaluma to the lunch stop at Two Rock (46mi). We were still making great time here at roughly the halfway point in the ride, and I (foolishly) was thinking that this would be one of the fastest centuries I’d ever ridden.
After lunch, we headed north, and things turned sharply upward. There weren’t really any long hills, but there were aton of steep rollers. After riding at a fast clip in the first half of the ride, my legs weren’t particularly happy with these short, steep hills. After a while, we pulled in to the Twin Hills rest stop (63mi). From there we headed west along Barnett Valley Rd and more rollers. This was lovely countryside, with dense forests all around us. We headed north on Jonive Rd. to Occidental Rd., enjoyed a lovely 2 mile descent, then turned on the Bohemian Highway (I love that road name 🙂 and went through the small town of Occidental. From Occidental, we turned on Bittner for a mile or so, then continued west on Joy Rd. This too was a beautiful road, but had quite a lot of climbing on it, which was starting to really rather hurt after nearly 80 miles! It didn’t take too terribly long, however, to reach Bodega Highway and a short ride to the last rest stop in Bodega (79mi).
The last leg of the ride went south along Highway 1, beautiful as always, to Valley Ford, then headed further west and continued south towards Dillon Beach on Franklin School Rd. This road was quite steep in places. The fog had descended on us by this point, and it was rather surreal climbing these coastal hills in such dense fog. From Dillon Beach (which we couldn’t see due to the fog), we went inland back to Tomales, then made a 10mi loop to get the full 100 miles. There were some more rolling hills as we headed north on Highway 1, but they weren’t too bad, and I had the usual energy boost from knowing that the end was in sight. We finally pulled into Tomales High school and met up with the Bike Hikers who had done the 100km route. The food at the ride end was very good, served up by the beneficiaries of the ride, the West Marin Senior Services. After chowing down and chatting for a bit, Catherine & I headed back.
This was overall a very good ride. We saw thousands and thousands of Holstein cows (hence the ride’s name), an the countryside was lovely (though the hilliness of the second half caught me off-guard!).
|Total Time:||9h 14m|
|On-bike Time:||7h 23m|
|Total Climbing:||~7000 ft|
|Overall:||4 – great ride!|