Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ride the West Day 12 - Cloverdale to Petaluma

Daily Statistics
Mileage:  70.36
Vertical Gain:  3173
Calories Burned:  4969 (2112)

Link to Garmin Route Data

Today was a very nice day and a very fun day to ride.  The route was good, and the weather was just about perfect.  We left the motel, and were quickly out on back roads in wine country.  We were on Dry Creek Road and Westside road for most of 30 miles, going past vineyard after vineyard, and winery after winery.  We were generally before tasting hours, which was probably for the best.  Here is a sample of what we saw.

Vineyard along Dry Creek Road
The grapes are ready for harvest
About 30 miles in, we entered River Road, which runs along the Russian River.  It is a good road to just work out the legs.  We had our first SAG stop at 34 miles, and were delighted that Margo Addison (a 2010 cross country rider) had given Barbara Munk brownies and strawberries to augment the usual SAG fare.  From the SAG, it was another 5 miles along River Road until we left to take the Bohemian Highway.  This was a nice wooded road taking over some hills to the town of Occidental.  I spent the whole day riding with Gary Weinstein, and here he is leading me up the Bohemian Highway.

Gary Weinstein heads up the Bohemian Highway
We stopped at a market and deli for lunch in Occidental.  In Jim Downey's honor, I had the Italian Special sub, which I am sure enhanced my performance on the way in.  About 50 miles in, we entered the Bodega Highway briefly, before some miles on Valley Ford road and highway 1.  Just over 60 miles in, we turned on to the innocuous looking Walker Road, which turned into a very nasty stretch getting over the top.  Here is Gary at the end of Walker Road, as we are getting ready to enter Pepper Road for the final stretch to Petaluma.

Gary after conquering Walker Road
The final miles to the motel were uneventful.  I was fortunate to have dinner with my second cousin Larry Olafson, but was too stupid to get a picture.  His dad is a terrific gentleman in Mountain, ND.

Tomorrow is my last day on the ride, as we make our way into San Francisco.  I will try to get a timely blog entry, but may fail, as I have some interesting logistics to handle.

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