Here are some notes from Bruce Berg, who pre-rode the route with Rich Fisher and me on 8-09-08. I've added some comments as well.
Notes on the 200k route. Not all hazards can be spotted and noted. Here are some comments for hazards or issues we did notice:
- There are numerous locations along the route that lend themselves quite well to pacelines. However, the pavement in numerous areas has deteriorated badly in local spots and there are areas of loose pavement [Think loose cobbles] and potholes. This is most noticeable in the first half of the ride and is most dramatic on Bohemian Highway to Occidental. There are also several miles of patched trench on the descent from Occidental to Monte Rio with bad cracks and potholes. If you are in the front of a paceline, it's really your job to point these out to those behind you.
- If you need a place to stop in the 29 miles between Marshall and the finish, the Nicasio store works quite well. The gent running the store is very friendly especially so to bicyclists.
- On the way out, there really isn't a place to get supplies between the start and Valley Ford except at Nicasio at mile 11.
- The ride has about 6,300' of climbing, compared to about 7,100' for the better known SF 200k ride. [NB: this is from a VDO computer. On my Blackburn Delphi 6.0, I got 8100'. That computer is usually about 10-12% higher than say a Polar]
- Remember to ride single file, particularly on highway's 116 and 1. The turn from Bohemian onto River Road (116) is a T intersection and the cross traffic does not stop. A surprising amount of traffic on highway 1. [Not sure what was going on, but I've never seen it so busy. It does not make the roads unsafe, just that there is more traffic]
- [from Monte Rio, it is ok to take Moscow Road, which is the left turn before the turn to cross the Russian River. This will avoid the narrow section on 116.]
- The control at the Marshall store was extremely busy last weekend. The wait was almost 15 minutes to buy milk and they ran out of chowder. Be patient.
- Be careful not to ride past Diekmanns in Bodega Bay. It is on your right near the bottom of a descent coming into town and the store faces the direction you are going it is difficult to see.
- If you aren't in a hurry, there are numerous locations where the blackberries looked wonderful. Just remember to get out of the roadway.
- Three places to stop in Duncans Mills. The general store on the north side of hwy 116 is probably the fastest. There is a nice café in the same group of shops, slightly east of the general store. There is a bakery café on the south side of hwy 116 that is pretty good as well.