Sunday, October 31, 2004

Graton, Forestville, Occidental 21miles (sometimes very challenging!!!)

What a great day!!! It was beautiful; autumn's in the air, it's still warm, the smell of the changing season......we are so lucky!!!
Today we rode the first leg of our ride with our friend Barbara. She just bought a new bike and is just getting "broken in". We rode from Graton to Forestville on the Joe Rodota ride; no traffic to worry about and flat all the way (well, Barbara might not totally agree).
When we returned to Graton, Robin and I decided we'd ride down Graton Road a while. We've always been reluctant to ride Graton Road for a number of reasons; one, I worried about the drop into town on a narrow road with only a ravine as an emergency "exit" AND the climb out again! The ride was great!!! Although I worried about the steep drop into town it was the climb before the drop that got us. All said we found it relatively easy and were very proud of ourselves. We toodled around Occidental and had lunch at the Naked Lady Cafe. Lovely little cafe with an interesting menu. Many people were eating brunch type food, we both had the eggplant, mozzarella, olive tapena(??) sandwich ..yumm, yumm, yumm!!! At the cafe Robin spoke with the waitress to get her opinion on the best way to return to Graton. She was concerned about the traffic on Graton Road and suggested an alternate route. We headed north out of town, turned right on Morelli (?) road which is a very narrow road that goes STRAIGHT UP!! We did it though I must admit that we did walk our bikes for a portion of the climb............kicked our as___! We agree that it was well worth the work.........beautiful, beautiful and no cars to speak of. Little farms, vineyards(of course) redwood trees, what a wonderful little road. From Morelli we turned DOWN Harrison Grade Road..........ahhhh we were at the top of the grade and coasted down at 31MPH!! yipeeeee!!!!! From Harrison Grade Road we turned onto Green Valley Road; a few loop-d-loops and back to Graton
We both agreed that the fact that we didn't plan on riding to Occidental made it that much more fun. Great Ride!!....short but a good workout.....we'll do it again.

Three cyclists in can see us a mile away!!!! Posted by Hello

The Naked Lady Cafe in Occidental..see Rob?? Posted by Hello

art...... Posted by Hello

Beautiful valley...Green Valley?? Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Short but not too sweet!! 25miles Roblar Road to Petaluma and back

We took a short ride on Friday. It was a foggy morning and I met Robin at her house for coffee and bagels. We enjoyed our breakfast in Robin and Barry's sunroom/dining room. Everything was lovely........Robin doesn't just put out a pot of coffee, she serves in her blue and white china coffee server with cups AND saucers to match, cloth napkins etc...very nice way to start a ride.
Our plan was to go to Petaluma and return via Penngrove and Cotati........well, I wanted to get back to Bradley (recovering from hernia surgery) so we cut the ride short and headed back to Robin's from "town".
Robin commented that this was one of our most "odoriferous" rides. The farmers must have been spreading manure cuzz that's what it smelled like. There were no hills to speak of.........oh maybe one or two "grunts" but no groans.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

West Dry Creek country fall colors in the mist Posted by Hello

Healdsburg - Cloverdale and back --38.86miles

Another great ride. We started our ride in Healdsburg with a cup of coffee on the square then headed north on West Dry Creek Road. It was overcast and cool.....perfect for a bike ride. We got an early start and were ahead of the wine tasters who we usually share West Dry Creek with. We stopped at Ferrari- Carano Winery before doubling back on Dry Creek Road to Dutcher Creek Rd. If you haven't been to Ferrari-Carano, it's worth a stop. There is a beautiful, manicured garden and the tasting room and grounds are all, well ..........almost Disneyland-like; out of character with most of the other wineries in the Dry Creek Valley. It's its own thing and beautiful. Guess I'm trying to say it looks more like something that would be in Napa Valley.
We arrived in Cloverdale where there was a scare crow festival going on; very cute and small town. We crossed the Russian River on Crocker Road and headed south to Geyserville where we hoped to find a little luck. We continued south to Healdsburg and found our Mexican food there. We ate at El Sombrero Taqueria, probably the only place within sight of the square where you can get a meal for two for under $15 and have leftovers to take home. It was delicious!!! We were starved!!!
A common measurement of our rides are hills.........this ride had a few but all fairly easy. There was only one "grunt and groan" hill and it wasn't as bad as the hills near Tomales. I "wimped" out on the way back and asked to avoid Lytton Springs Road & good ole Chiquita Road (and her hill!!!) . We went straight into Healdsburg via Healdsburg Avenue, avoiding our "friend" Chiquita.
-go to ,"cycling, clip & go maps" for a complete ride description, directions and map. note: we discovered that in Cloverdale, First Street becomes Crocker......"Third Street, right on Main Street," left on First Street (not Crocker). You will be on Crocker after you cross the river, then right on River Road....

Winery GatePosted by Hello

Fairy under a sunflower in the garden Posted by Hello

Robin's a boar... oops Robin with a boar Posted by Hello

Monday, October 11, 2004

World's Smallest Pumpkin Patch

following is a post I made to my PlayDATE blog about our ride to Valley Ford........little different angle

World's Smallest Pumpkin Patch
Last weekend I went on a great bicycle ride with my friend Robin. We left from her house in Petaluma, rode to Valley Ford, then to Tomales and then back to her house. Aside from the fact that there were a few too many hills, it was a fun ride.When Robin and I go for our weekend rides we're always on the lookout for a fun diversion. One ride we found ourselves on West Dry Creek Road during the barrel tasting weekend; lot's of wine, food, live music. Another time we were in Duncan Mills when there happen to be an opening at one of the art galleries....another opportunity for food, wine, live music and art! We've discovered bakeries, botanical gardens, forgotten road side attractions and one of two (or is that three) Hand Fan Museums in the's in Healdsburg. You get the idea, we're always falling into some wonderful little discovery. Last weekend was no exception. We stopped at pumpkin patch that is billing it's self as "The World's Smallest".The Tatanka Farm is in Valley Ford, right on Valley Ford Road, east of "town". "The World's Smallest Pumpkin Farm" as they call themselves is very charming indeed. The "farm" is a 4H project for the three children, Brittany, Taylor and Alex. The kids have set up booths with craft projects for kids to do, refreshments for sale, fresh baked banana bread to take home, Mason jars lined up to fill with sunflower bouquets and games. There are Llamas and they will have their goats out to visit with and their uncle will be playing live music every weekend between now and Halloween.We arrived just as they were setting up so it wasn't in full swing yet but it looks like just the kind of thing I would have liked to take my kids to............not too big and commercial, fun, simple stuff put on by three kids and their mom.If you're looking for a fun and simple thing to do this weekend check out the Tatanka Pumpkin Farm 14270 Valley Ford Road, Valley Ford.In case you don't know where Valley Ford is, it is south-west of Sebastopol, probably less than a half hour from Santa Rosa........hwy 12 west through Sebastopol (becomes Bodega Hwy) just past the town of Freestone (great bakery there), left (or south) to Valley Ford. Drive through Valley Ford (cafe and market on the left) look for Tatanka Farms on the left..........Tatanka is a native American word (Lakota I think) for buffalo.
posted by Gail @ 3:16 PM 0 comments

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Getting ready to leave from Robin's house...note the lovely red ear muffs I'm wearing......ooooh la la Posted by Hello

Rolling hills outside of Valley Ford Posted by Hello

Pumpkin Farm, Valley Ford

"World's Smallest Pumpkin Farm" Posted by Hello

Sunflowers on the farm...see the llamas? Posted by Hello

Tatanka Farm....Alex & Tayor Posted by Hello

near the estero Posted by Hello

Foggy morning just outside Valley Ford Posted by Hello

Tomales crossroads.......great bakery Posted by Hello

Rob in front of the Tomales Bakery....see the skinny tire riders in the back ground...nice folks from Marin County Posted by Hello

Diekmann's Store Tomales Posted by Hello

Tomales.......bikers Posted by Hello

outside Tomales.....where are the cows?? Posted by Hello

Ahhh flat road....heading home Posted by Hello

Two Rock (looks like three rocks to me).....I always thought Two Rock was on the coast; I guess because the Coast Guard Station is there. Well, according to a road side plaque we read the native Indians traveled between Bodega Bay and the inland valleys on a trail that ran between the two rocks...there you go........I didn't know that! Posted by Hello

Speedometers & Hills

We had a great ride last Saturday..............we always say we had a "great ride" but I must admit it doesn't seem so great when we're struggling up a hill at 3 miles per hour!! Since Robin and I put odometer/speedometers on our bikes we can monitor our speed and distance. It's fun to look down and see we're going 18 miles an hour or making a posted 25MPH turn at 27MPH. The agony of the 3MPH climb (yes agony) is sometimes too much. I've "vowed" that I won't walk my bike up a hill. However, I will stop and start again. Last weekend there were a couple hills where I stopped two, maybe three times.......eeeek! or is that ugh!! I usually let Robin go ahead on the hills; I say she pulls me up. If she can keep going I keep going too. Last weekend I think I stopped a few times when Rob kept plugging along. I struggle, struggle up, my head mostly down putting everything I've got into pushing and pulling the pedals. Then peek up ahead; how much farther to the top? Is that the top or a turn continuing up........? Ahhh when we reach the top then the reward.........often a short rest, a drink of water and then the fun!!!! DOWN HILL!!! Another fun part of having a speedometer is looking down to see how fast we're going downhill. Last weekend I glanced down to see we were going 32MPH!!!! What a thrill! For all the struggling to get to the top the ride down is a blast. Don't get me wrong, it's thrilling but a little scary too. As much as I want to enjoy the "free ride" down and take advantage of the momentum,my hands are always hovering over my brakes and often sqeezing for dear life. Last weekend's ride was 41.6 miles ranging in speed from 3MPH to 33MPH.....we averaged approximately10MPH for the entire ride.