Fantastic Coleman Valley Road loop yesterday! (Saturday – January 18, 2014)

Here’s the ride listing:

Sat Jan 18   4/TM/50   Sebastopol – Coleman Valley – Freestone Bakery Loop
Aka, the long loop and steep climb to the most wonderful bakery ever. We’ll start at Ragle Ranch Park (500 Ragle Rd.) in Sebastopol, work our way over to Occidental, roll through the redwoods to Duncan Mills and Monte Rio before heading south along the coast to tackle the justly-famous Coleman Valley climb. Then it’s rollers to Freestone and the bakery for a late-ride snack before the short distance back to the cars. Meet at Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol at 10:00 for a 10:15 a.m. roll-out. Bring water and snacks to see you through until we reach the bakery, and rain gear and clothing appropriate for the weather. 20% or greater chance of rain cancels. Carpools encouraged, contact leader for help in arranging. Leader: Stephanie C. Co-leader TBA.

7 of us showed up at Ragle Ranch Park yesterday to brave the chilly redwoods, arduous climb(s) on Coleman Valley Road and bone-rattling pavement of Barnett Valley-Burnside Road on the return back to the park. All-gal review, except for Greg. Upper temps in the sunshine were around 71, lows (in the icy redwoods) around the mid-40s.  I was happy to have my GPC-thermal jersey as a (removable) top layer for the cool stretches, sleeveless GPC-jersey over net-short-sleeve GSK base-layer for the climbs.  About 50 miles total, with yoyo temperatures and terrain throughout. Glorious!

Stephanie proved as always to be a conscientious and warm-hearted ride leader, circling back at major turns to make sure everyone was on track. I love a group size of 6-7, small enough to be social and keep track of where everyone is…..

Something had prompted me late in the night /early a.m. (likely my hankerin’ for and anticipation of the gargantuan-sized, gooey, stupendously delicious cinnamon bun – remember, Ben sez i’m the most food-motivated person he knows, and i don’t dispute that!) to check out distance from Wild Flour Bread back to the car, and i discovered on their website the bakery is temporarily on winter shutdown (Jan.7 – Jan.23), so we had this information prior to setting out on the ride.  Our newly-relocated Sonoma/Sebastopol cyclist-in-residence (Holly, from afar) recommended Howard’s Cafe in Occidental as an alternative, and that proved to be an excellent lead.  The quinoa/white bean soup certainly hit the spot after the big climb followed by more icy-chill in the redwoods along Joy/ Bittner Roads before our lunch break. Dark chocolate brownie beckoned from the pastry case, but i stayed strong and resisted the temptation…. inconceivable, but true!

The coastline and hills were spectacular…. too busy riding to stop and take pics.  I recommend you all just go out there and check it out yourselves.

Many thanks again to Stephanie for listing/leading this favorite!

Ciao and ride happy!


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