Point Reyes Lighthouse

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
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For today's club ride, I take off from Nicasio to meet up with the group at the Point Reyes National Seashore's Bear Valley Visitor's Center. It's located west of Olema along Bear Valley Rd. Water and restrooms are available with ample parking.
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The park rangers were already posing for a group shot that was going to be posted to the park's website.
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**Photos may be enlarged by clicking on the selected image
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We head north on Bear Valley Rd to Sir Francis Drake Blvd. There is a brief stop at the Inverness Store for folks to purchase sandwiches for lunch. There is also a porta-pottie available across from the store for public use. You get great views of Tomales Bay too!
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We continue on Sir Francis Drake Blvd (SFDB) for the next 1.5 miles before tackling the first climb of the day. It's under a mile long and the gradient starts off around 6-7% then gradually increases to 9% and maxes out at 11%. Once you reach the top and make the descent, you need to go left at the Y intersection to stay on SFDB. You have another 13+ miles to go before reaching the lighthouse. The road starts off pretty flat and then it's a series of climbs and descents. We pass Dairy and Beef Ranches that date back to the early 1830's. Watch out for the cattle guards as you ride through! The last climb towards the lighthouse is the steepest. The gradient starts off around 9% and maxes out at 12%, thankfully it's not that long. The ocean views and the surrounding landscape is pretty spectacular!
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The Lighthouse is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There are 308 steps down to the lighthouse. Water and restrooms are available. Lunch is at the enclosed look out point. It's sunny, warm and clear with not much wind. There was also a lot of little flies buzzing around the table. Bob reminded me that the flies were also God's creations too. "Thanks Bob". We were all able to do some whale watching, which was totally awesome. What a great way to spend the day. Today is also Mary's birthday! A card was given and the traditional birthday song was sung to her. " HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!"
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After lunch, we just reverse the route back. The scenery is just absolutely gorgeous! Can it get any better than this? Wow!
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On the last descent back out to Inverness, you need to watch out for the section of road that is full of potholes. The dappled lighting from the shade doesn't help much either. I tried my best to avoid them but the vibrations was a bit much and my rear tail light broke off. I had to stop to pick up the broken pieces. I think it's the 3rd light that's broken off my bike. How annoying!
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I continue on Bear Valley Rd to climb Olema Hill which takes me to Platform Bridge Rd. Then it's a nice flattish ride back along the reservoir to Nicasio. Halloween is near, pumpkins are everywhere!
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Thanks to Phil for leading today's ride. It was fun and the weather was perfect!
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15+ people in attendance
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42.7 miles with 2950' of elevation gain (original route)
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66 miles with 4258' of elevation gain (from Nicasio)
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Weather: Fabulous! Sunny and warm with clear skies. Starting temp of 64 reaching a high of 78

4 comments:

  1. Am I the only one who found this a challenging ride? I felt dog tired afterwards. Too many hills, perhaps. It certainly wasn't the weather or the scenary which, as Nancy shows with her excellent pics, was terrific!

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  2. Whenever I ride out the that very lonely lighthouse I never sure that I am not riding to end of the world or at least end of California. Always glad to return were I started.
    Charles Nighbor

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  3. terrific pics as always, nancy, and your commentary is entertaining as well. yes, that final downhill returning into Inverness is turning into a real road hazard, isn't it. after my last encounter with it, i have resolved that until the surface is fixed, when descending this hill i am NOT going to use my normal downhill protocol of ignoring the brake levers...

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