Northern California - Nicasio / Lucas Valley route input
Bikeforums.net is a forum about nothing but bikes. Our community can help you find information about hard-to-find and localized information like bicycle tours, specialties like where in your area to have your recumbent bike serviced, or what are the best bicycle tires and seats for the activities you use your bike for.
03-05-09, 01:48 PM
This being the last training weekend before Solvang century, I am planning to do a sizeable ride on Saturday, and I was thinking of riding from SF up to Nicasio and taking in Lucas Valley while I'm at it. I was thinking my route would be something like this:
My question to you sages of NorCal is this: would it better/nicer to ride to Nicasio first, then head east through Lucas Valley, or head up through Terra Linda first and head west through Lucas Valley to Nicasio?
Also - there's a section at about mile 48 on that route where it looks like it's possible to take an unmarked road from Manuel Frietas Parkway to Fox Ln. in order to get back onto Sir Francis Drake. Is that actually do-able? Any different suggestion for ways to get from Terra Linda to San Anselmo?
I usually go to San Rafael, around China Camp then out Las Galinas to Lucas Valley Rd. to Nicasio. If you wanted to add more miles, you can go north around the Nicasio Res. and perhaps back through Sam P. Taylor park and back to Fairfax and home.
If you wanted to add some climbs, instead of Sam P. Taylor, you can go to Olema and take Shoreline 1 and perhaps climb Panoramic or the Muir beach way to Mill Valley and home.
I've never gone the opposite way to San Rafael.
I haven't ridden Lucas Valley- is it good for biking? My old neighbor (not a cyclist) used to drive up there for work a lot and told me never to ride a bike on that road because it's too dangerous. He though that cars went too fast and couldn't see bikes due to the shadows. I don't know if that's true or not, but it spooked me a bit.
One alternative would be to go from Nicasio to Pt. Reyes Station and then back from Pt. Reyes Station on Sir Francis Drake (there is a nice bike path for part of that section). I think that ride would be about 75-80 miles as well without too much climbing.
03-05-09, 03:17 PM
Ahhh, that's good to hear Roja! I've never ridden the road before, I'd only heard it mentioned in passing by other riders.
I think I'll do one of the Pt. Reyes routes instead - I like to avoid high-traffic, low-visibility roads :)
03-05-09, 03:46 PM
I've been on Lucas Valley road a few times and never had any trouble with it. I will again appeal to the fact that if the Marin Century uses this route (even for their 50k ride) it can't be that dangerous :)
Don't take my friend's advice as Gospel. He might have said that about any of the small local roads. I defer to the wisdom of others who have ridden it many times.
An authority on all those routes in detail would be a one Constantrider.
03-05-09, 04:39 PM
I've ridden Lucas Valley several times. It's a nice little climb.
03-05-09, 05:55 PM
I've ridden Lucas Valley a number of times and think it's a really nice ride. No less safe than any west Marin road. And that Freitas Parkway to Butterfield Road bit is totally do-able. I've mountain biked up there and seen the road, but never thought of road biking over it. It's a great idea, next time I do that ride I'm going to add that in! Way more interesting than D Street, which is steep with a lot of traffic.
03-07-09, 09:10 AM
Lucas Valley Rd actually has one of the highest numbers of bike and motorcycle crashes of any road in Marin County (according to the paramedics who took me off Pine Mtn). There's a nasty decreasing radius turn on it (on the east side, toward the top) that catches a lot of people by surprise. I was doing roving SAG for the Mt Tam double a few years back and could barely get by that turn as I had to keep bringing crashed cyclists back to the start area.
Other than that it is a great road.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.