So I mapped out at route on Ride with the GPS and rolled out of the Turlock Lake parking area on a fairly breezy but gorgeous spring day. My main goal is Fields Rd, a gravel road with views of the snow capped Sierras. My route took me down Davis Rd.
I was surrounded by green rolling hills, cows and a few homes. The brisk tailwind was also pleasant. Sadly up ahead the road came to an end at a Ranch. Closer inspection of my route (satellite mode mainly) would have shown this.
Bummer, so I make a u turn and that brisk tailwind changes as well. It is still a nice day and I decide to do the route backwards, knowing I will have to alter my finish. The roads I am on peaceful and car free, just birds and a formidable headwind. That ends as I turn onto Hwy 132 (Yosemite Bivd.) a no shoulder affair. I am only on this for a half mile as I see Crabtree road appear and I turn onto it.
A few cars. but the give me room and roll along.
You always need to verify if GPS mapping programs got it right, sometimes they do "funny" things; like adding bogus roads to your route.
This road was on my cue sheet, I WAS looking for this kind of road and my eyes said yes. PLUS the road lacked the plethora of NO TRESPASSING signs usually seen on private property. So in I went. I was immediately in amongst many cows at the water cooler, a large herd of the most skittish animals ever. They fled at my approach.
I rolled on, nothing but green hills and blue sky (and cows).
Almond orchards appeared on my right - some workers were there and barely gave me notice. The road became paved, a ranch would appear off road - way off road. After a few miles I was in an orchard, I was pretty sure this was private property but again no signs, then the road ended. The road I wanted did not end so that was a good clue I was on the wrong road.
So I backtracked again, passed a guy in a truck - who only looked at me like I was an idiot on a bike on a road to nowhere. I arrived back a the main road, figured I should do a better job of route planning and try again. But it was fun...