Apologies for reposting this, but since Specbill expressed some interest I was concerned that my report would get buried in the original announcement post.
Disclaimer: (aged) newbies tandem team here (3 months or so). Maybe a more experienced team will chime in. Also, someone reading this who has more than the two rest stop pictures I took could post something as well
Attendance: 11 tandems plus 3-4 1/2-bikes. Ride left Apple Ford at 10:15 or so.
Route: Attached. About 52 miles of mixed terrain. Maybe the grade at one point touched 10% as I saw 9% on my cyclometer, but no long climbs. Big and little rollers which were a good deal of fun. The 5 mile descent out of Occidental was a real highlight. The descent into Apple Ford is a bit harder to recall since we were somewhat tired at that point. The 48 miles (out of 50) I have on my Garmin showed 2300 ft. of climbing at 17 mph. Some riders started in Petaluma which would have made the total ride about 90 miles.
These roads are must-do for riders in this area. Combination of rolling cattle terrain, tall redwoods and the Pacific ocean is pretty hard to beat. Traffic wasn't really too bad. Hwy 116 has a decent shoulder and the cars on Hwy 1 along the coast aren't moving all that fast.
Weather: Dumped my arm warmers and light riding jacket pretty quickly, leg warmers at the first opportunity thereafter. Weather was near ideal with fog along the coast, but didn't get cold enough to require jackets. Good ocean-side visibility would have been nice, but that portion of the ride, especially roller coaster-like, was still very enjoyable.
Finally, this was a good learning experience. On the short rollers we spent a lot of time in our 48t (well, actually 24t since we have a daVinci) chainring charging down the hill in the 48-12 and downshifting 3-4 times on the way up. On the longer downhills I'd have to get in my big chainring and managed to forget on one of the "ups" to change chainrings; lot of grunting on that short climb.