On Saturday, I rode the first half of the route ConstantRider so kindly mapped out. What a ride! That is certainly one of the most beautiful places I've ever ridden! Lovely scenery, well-kept roads (for the most part), and lots and lots of roads that point up.
I was staying at the foot of the eastern side of the mountain that is the Marshall Wall, so my ride started out with my front wheel pointed at the sky. This would set the tone for the rest of the day, it turned out. The ride up the 1 was quite nice, the bay providing some great views to my left. Before long I came to the right turn onto Coleman Valley Road, which I recognized from the ATOC, which was pretty cool.
Coleman Valley Road kicked my butt, plain and simple. I'm not sure where the 'Valley' in the name comes from, it should be called 'Coleman Road That Goes Up and Up and Up Forever'
But I'll be back to climb it again, there is no doubt about that. Riding over the names of some of the best cyclists of our time was quite a thrill, and the ridge at the top provides incredible rollers and scenery.
After a short break in Occidental, which included one of the most delicious cookies I've ever had from the store there, I enjoyed the long downhill on excellent roads into Freestone. I got lost a bit, and decided to cut short the ride at that point without doing the second half. This was probably a good idea, as the final miles up and over the Marshall Wall left me with absolutely nothing left in the tank.
End results, per my Garmin: 76 miles, 7400' feet of climbing (!). I'm not sure I believe that 7400' feet result though - I'd be interested to hear how much climbing other people have logged in this area.
All in all a fantastic ride. I'll be back for more.
I managed to take a couple of pics along the way (I gotta get better at remembering to take pictures!)
Beginning of Bay Hill Road:
The top (or one of the many 'tops') of Coleman Valley Road:
Thanks again for the route, ConstantRider - if you're ever in SF, let me know, beer is on me