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  1. #1
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    Best Napa Valley riding?

    Can anyone recommend a 50-ish mile loop starting from Napa. I like hills. The hubby and I are going mid March. Thanks!

  2. #2
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Here's the 100 mile route from the Napa Valley Tour de Cure - lots of opportunities for short cuts. Ink Grade and Mount Veeder are the signature climbs of the Valley.




    And here's the 100 mile option for the Napa Valley Century

    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

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    The Tour de Cure route is somewhat boring, if you can say that about Napa Valley riding. It's mostly a loop around the valley on 29 and Silverado Trail.
    I'd say try some of the climbs out of the valley into the hills.
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    Here's the 50-mile course from the upcoming Cycle for Sight in Napa. Gets you up Mt. Veeder early for your hill fix .
    http://www.cycle4sight.com/downloads/50_mile_map.pdf

  5. #5
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Using DiabloScott's Tour of the Napa Valley route sheet, both the Mt. Veeder/Dry Creek loop and the Sage Canyon/Pope Valley/Ink Grade loop are very pretty. You might also cobble your own ride taking parts of these and putting them together, such as:

    Go up Mt. Veeder (south to north) - the climb starts easy, gets harder, then a twisty descent - gorgeous road;
    Go down Oakville Grade (follow the map to Dry Creek Road but go straight instead of turning onto Dry Creek - it's a very steep descent so be careful);
    Turn left at Hwy 29 - in 100 yards or so, the Oakville Grocery on the right is a great place to grab lunch;
    Use the map to find and go up Sage Canyon - gentle climb;
    Veer right to stay on Hwy 128 instead of veering left onto Chiles and Pope Valley Road - climbing, but not hard - pretty;
    Turn left onto Lower Chiles Valley (the map above does not show this connection, but it's there - I've done it) - pretty, fun downhill;
    Turn left onto Chiles & Pope Valley Rd (you are now going in the reverse direction shown on the map) - more pretty downhill;
    Veer right back onto Sage Canyon/Hwy 128;
    When you get to Silverado Trail, make your way back to where you started. Silverado Trail is gently rolling and has a goodly amount of fast traffic and lots of wineries, but also has good shoulders (easily wide enough to ride two abreast) 98% percent of the time and adequate shoulders the rest of the way. It also often has noticeable to kind-of-annoying wind coming out of the south in the afternoon.

    This is just one possibility. About the only thing I would not do in the area is go up Oakville Grade (meaning east to west) - almost exactly one mile of incredibly nasty, exposed-to-the-sun seriously double-digit climbing. Did it once, don't plan on ever doing it again. Seriously, the flat parts of that mile are 13-14% - it gets up to 20% on the ramps. No, thank you. Of course, some people actually like that sort of thing . . . .

    Oh, I also would avoid Hwy 29 north of Yountville after about noon - combination of too narrow and too much traffic visiting too many wineries. South of Yountville, there is a frontage road to keep yoiu safe, although as of last May or so it was a pretty rough surface.

    Have a great time. It is a beautiful area to ride in.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    Oh, I also would avoid Hwy 29 north of Yountville after about noon - combination of too narrow and too much traffic visiting too many wineries. South of Yountville, there is a frontage road to keep yoiu safe, although as of last May or so it was a pretty rough surface.
    This is wise.

    Silverado Trail is better for getting up and down the valley, apart from the far north stretches.

    Soda Canyon, Atlas Peak and Wild Horse Canyon are all good tough climbs, with the downside that they're all cul de sacs.

    The Veeder/Dry Creek loop is a popular one, and you have the option of turning left after Veeder and doing Trinity Road before coming back.

    If you set out early, you can take Hwy 12/121 towards Sonoma, and come back over Cavedale, back into Napa (via Veeder or Dry Creek, depending on how tired you are). Set out early, because though 12/121 has a good wide shoulder, when the traffic builds up it can get a bit scary along there.

    Coming down Oakville Grade is fuuuuuuuuuun. I've never gone up it, even in a car.

    Howell Mtn/Deer Park road up to Pope Valley and down by Lake Hennessy is a great loop. Or the 128/121 Sage Canyon/Capell Valley/Monticello loop (in either direction) is another good 'un.

  7. #7
    Bok
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
    This is wise... Or the 128/121 Sage Canyon/Capell Valley/Monticello loop (in either direction) is another good 'un.
    Gonna give this one a try. Good to know that someone has recommended this route. Google maps shows non-existent shoulders from the spot checking I've done. Hopefully its safe enough...

  8. #8
    Bok
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    Oh, I also would avoid Hwy 29 north of Yountville after about noon - combination of too narrow and too much traffic visiting too many wineries. South of Yountville, there is a frontage road to keep yoiu safe, although as of last May or so it was a pretty rough surface.
    Just verifying that the frontage road is still very, very, rough as of April 2014...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bok View Post
    Gonna give this one a try. Good to know that someone has recommended this route. Google maps shows non-existent shoulders from the spot checking I've done. Hopefully its safe enough...
    It is a good loop, but be very careful on the Monticello/Mt George roads in boat season. Lots of folk towing loads not necessarily knowing what happens behind them.

    And that frontage road, Solano Ave, is going to be very rough for the foreseeable future.

  10. #10
    Bok
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
    It is a good loop, but be very careful on the Monticello/Mt George roads in boat season. Lots of folk towing loads not necessarily knowing what happens behind them.

    And that frontage road, Solano Ave, is going to be very rough for the foreseeable future.
    Just finished the loop today: Yountville - Capell valley loop (actual ride) - A bike ride in Yountville, CA (would have taken Silverado all the way back to finish the loop but had to rush back for dinner).
    Absolutely no shoulder for Sage Canyon and Capell Valley Rd, but drivers were very courteous, even when I was struggling along at 6-8mph on the 7% grades... Its fine as long as you are okay with cars whizzing by at 30-35 mph within a foot or two of you.

    Rd Conditions:
    Silverado Trail, Sage Canyon Rd, and Monticello Rd were in great condition.
    Capell Valley was a bit on the rough side.
    Shoulder on 29 was terrible. Washington St was so much smoother as a frontage rd compared to Solano.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, Solano is brutal. Going up the trail to Yountville Cross wouldn't have taken you too much longer, tbh. And would've been a lot more comfortable.

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