Ride Report #38: Marin & Sonoma

Valentines Day 2014 – Shruti was in between jobs, happy to change her dreadful job with FireEye to a new place called Fanatics. She took a couple weeks off in between the jobs and decided to fly to New York with the kids for a few days. I was alone in Fremont for President’s Day weekend so I organized a group ride on BARF to the North Bay. I had really never ridden up there much – expect that one time with Jay when it rained a lot.

We met up at the Golden Gate Bridge vista point. There were about 9000 tourists there all circling to find parking, taking selfies, staring into their phones, etc. A lot of chaos for 10AM on a Sunday. I found the two BARFers – zixaq, Scubafish and we were on our way. We rode over 101, took the exit for Hwy 1 and followed it past Stinson Beach and then turned right on to Fairfax Bolinas Rd. This is a great little road connecting Hwy 1 and Fairfax. The road is pretty goaty, single lane for the most part and the pavement is rough. I was leading the ride and sprinted through the first part very quickly. The two other riders caught up with me at the intersection of Bolinas Ridge Road. We climbed down the ridge then eventually got to this lake (Alpine Lake I believe). We rode across the dam that forms the lake and from there on traffic picked up. It was an easy ride to Fairfax, from where we took Francis Drake Blvd west. We turned right on to Nicasio Valley Rd and rode through the small town of Nicasio. This was a fun country road with smooth tarmac and wide sweeping turns.

We then came back over to the coast and rode Hwy 1 north on the back side of Point Reyes. There was surprisingly less traffic there (most people stay/visit south of Point Reyes I believe). We entered the town of Tomales where the smell of fried sea food welcomed us. It was almost noon and we were getting hungry. We turned towards Petaluma and finally got on to Chileno Valley Road. I will always remember this road – one of the best I have every ridden. The curves are not too tight, not too wide. The tarmac is good. The views are 10/10. In winter or spring the grass is all green and the valley is very picturesque. Riding 50 miles away from home to get to the fun part is usually not worth it. But Chileno Valley really made it worth it that day.


We then rode over to Lagunitas Brweing Co in Petaluma where the ride ended. It was a hot day and there were a ton of people there. Luckily we got a table after a short wait and had a few beers. I slabbed it back home on 101 & 80, fighting the eternal traffic near the Bay Bridge. I enjoyed this BARF ride very much and hope to organize a ride every now and then.

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