Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grizzly Peak Sonoma Tandem Rally

This Saturday Jenny and I went on the Sonoma Tandem Rally, a ride organized by the Grizzly Peak club, who are located in Berkeley. As it was a couple of hours drive from Palo Alto, and Jenny had the weekend off work, we decided to make a long weekend of it and went up on Friday and did a hike to the beach at Point Reyes National Seashore. Very cloudy at the coast.

The ride started at Valley Ford, on a side street with lots of head in parking. Most people had driven up on the day including the tandem couple I had met on my Peninsula Death ride the previous week. I think there were a about a dozen tandems and a few singles, most all from Grizzly Peak. I recognized one couple that I had met on the Solvang double and I knew the organizers, Nancy Wu and Mark Abrahams by reputation, and remembered seeing them on the hot, hot, Davis double.

This was a really wonderful ride, with a wide variety of scenery and just enough climbing to make it interesting. There was some traffic at times, and the roads generally did not have bike lanes, but most drivers were well behaved. The ride started off inland heading for the village of Occidental, and then along the Bohemian Highway to Monte Rio. This was familiar territory for me as last part of the Terrible Two comes in the other direction.

Lunch was in Cazadero at Raymonds Bakery in the redwoods. We were advised to order ahead, which we did, to minimize the wait when we all arrived simultaneously. It's a great spot for lunch, well off the beaten track, with plenty of inside and outside seating.

After lunch we headed back to 116 and off to the coast. Pretty strong headwind on the way down. Not quite so foggy at the coast as Friday but still pretty grey. Tough climb up to Goat Rock State Beach and then nice rollers and bends into Bodega Bay, where we regrouped for the final segment. Really big rollers on the way back inland to Valley Ford, and got into the 60-11 gear pedalling down the last hill without spinning out. Unfortunately I had forgotten the bike computer, so I have no idea how fast we were going, or how much climbing we did overall, but I estimate 2000'. The distance was 52 miles and the total ride time including stops was about 5 hours. Quite a step up from our previous ride and getting close to the magic 75 mile number we need for the Waves to Wine ride. We are both really stiff today, not from the cycling, but from the hike!

The photo of us at the top is at Valley Ford store at the end of the ride.

A very well organized ride and hats off to the organizers, Nancy and Mark, who also did a good job of making sure the stragglers (usually us!) didn't get left behind.

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