Old Zac - Riding the Old Cazadero route, some dreamy northern California Gravel
Last fall I moved to the bay area, something I have been wanting to do since before I started Sklar Bikes 10 years ago. Since arriving I have been having a very nice time exploring all the unbelievably good riding that California has to offer. Or well, mostly stuff right from my house that is still blowing my mind, so this weekend it was nice to get out a bit further and see that it is good there too!
For years my California friends have talked about the Grasshopper Adventure Series. I have yet to participate in one but they sound like some awesome and challenging rides. The Old Cazadero route was one of the first routes for this series that had to be abandoned when the event became super popular. However, those roads are still there and I was invited by my pal and new shop building mate Matt Feeney (of Pass & Stow Racks fame) to ride the route this past weekend and it was a treat.
Matt picked me up in the morning and we headed North from Berkeley towards the charming little town of Occidental. The winter hills were glowing green as we weaved our way towards the coast and a cute little bakery to get some pre/post-ride snacks. A crew of 15 or 20 folks assembled at the start and we chatted before taking off. I was pretty surprised to see a couple SuperSomethings there. Evan and Ian are two of Matt's riding buddy's who have been on the bikes for a while and it was so fun to get to ride with them. Lots of cool bikes represented out there - Black Mountains, Falconers to name a few. Love to see the local support!
Anyhow. The route was so fun. Four pretty big climbs and a couple of really fun descents through loamy redwood forests. It meanders along rivers and through quaint little towns. If you were to describe my ideal of a bike ride, it would probably look a lot like this. Fun ups, fun down, drinking fountains and a snack stop in the middle. What more could you ask for?
There is so much to explore out here and as a route nerd it was a good reminder that people have already done so much work for us creating beautiful routes. Can't wait to check out more of these classic rides.