Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rough Riders Rally; Final Recon of all Routes, Part 1

Above: the view looking west from my room at the Acqua Hotel, before my ride: Mt. Tam and Mill Valley!

I just got back from a three-day trip to Marin County to finalize all the details of the Rough Riders Rally, including riding all three of the suggested ride routes with my Garmin 310xt to create the map, elevation profile and such. It's just 1.7 miles from our host hotel to the start / finish of each of the three rides. Acqua Hotel is not only perfectly located, it's also a lovely hotel with a fantastic breakfast buffet. Though it's located right off the 101, it's absolutely quiet. The view of Mt. Tam is to die for, too! I rolled into town Friday, took a photo from my room, got on my Rivendell Roadeo and hit the road at nearly 5pm. Thank goodness for long summer days!

My route Friday was the suggested route for Friday afternoon at the Rally:
On the map you'll notice a little out-and-back by Ross (1.6 miles total). That ended up being a mistake as this was intended to be primarily a road ride with one nice trail section past Phoenix Lake, Lake Lagunitas, and Bon Tempe Lake. From Ross I was intending to catch a trail and cut across to the upper part of the route, where it says Meadow Country Club, however the intended trail was closed and will be until November due to some type of public works. (I wish there were some way to delete that dogleg from this route map, but I don't think so.) Therefore this whole route will be a paved ride. It's a fantastic ride, though, truly one of the best rides anywhere in the world. It's only 31 miles, not counting the dogleg, though it took me almost three hours and might take some people four hours because of the 3500 feet of elevation gain and the million-and-one places to stop to enjoy the view and take photos. I think it's a really good Friday afternoon / arrival day warm-up route for the Rally, plus it is THE classic local road ride for this area.

Here's a map and some photos, but be sure to check out the Garmin Connect page to interact with the map, elevation profile, and more! (All images below are in order as if riding the route.) Also, be sure to check out the full slideshow of this route.
At the bottom of this post are links to all the route details for all three of the suggested routes. If this information and these photos don't make you realize that the 2010 Rough Riders Rally is Not To Be Missed, then I don't know what does!
Above: Alpine Reservoir
Above: Late afternoon sun as I cross the Alpine Dam.
Above: at the top of the climb from Alpine Dam, left turn on Ridgecrest Blvd.
Above: Just a bit down Ridgecrest Blvd. The trees provide a lovely setting at any time of day.
Above: this is one famous road, not only for cycling, but also for car commercials. Thankfully, the traffic is light and the views are mind-boggling: southbound on Ridgecrest Blvd.Above: self-portrait heading along the upward rolling ribbon of road, with the Pacific Ocean off to my right.Above: that's Stinson Beach below me, shot while pedaling (like most of my photos).
Above: a quick self-portrait while stopped near the start of the descent to Panoramic Hwy. That's the San Francisco Bay off in the background.
Above: That's the San Francisco Bay off in the background; you can also see some of the descent to Panoramic Hwy. Time to fly back down to Mill Valley!
Above: Back at the Acqua Hotel before sunset!
1.7 mile route from Acqua Hotel to Tam Bikes

Friday ride at Rally: Alpine Dam Loop (Garmin)
Friday ride at Rally: Alpine Dam Loop (Slideshow)
Saturday ride at Rally: Marin Headlands (Garmin)
Saturday ride at Rally: Marin Headlands (Slideshow)
Sunday ride at Rally: Railroad Grade up Mt. Tam (Garmin)
Sunday ride at Rally: Railroad Grade up Mt. Tam (Slideshow)
Rough Riders Rally routes index
Rough Riders Rally home and registration

No comments: