Mid-Week Rides: Has anyone ever ridden Rio Nido Rd
Wednesday, May 1 2019
Eleven riders made the rendezvous for breakfast at Henny Penny in Petaluma for a hearty breakfast and review of a route listing provided by Chris. The routing provided a caveat about ‘Rio Nido Rd’ – noting that even for Chris this was an un-explored roadway. (Further exploration is now not contemplated.)
We rode the route as offered, many including local resident Ralph Konietzko had not done Walker Road which had pavement reminiscent of San Benito County. All was going well over the Bohemian Highway but turning onto Moscow Road on our way to Duncan Mills and a public access bathroom, a sign - big one, back lit, said ROAD CLOSED AHEAD. We made the pit-stop but used Hwy # 116 instead. Next up, the aforementioned Rio Nido Road. Looked good on the map, started on CA #116 and ended on Armstrong Redwood where we were to pick-up Sweetwater Springs. Had trouble spotting the turn for Rio Nido Rd but Rob Hyman found our way. Interesting collection of housing here, though hard to appreciate given the poor or non-existent paving. Jonathan Jefferies commented that he now knew where the Hippies of yesteryear relocated.
Sweetwater Springs beckoned. I kept an eye on the GPS, it announced ‘Shroud Rd’ as next intersection. One would think (me), that Sweetwater was yet to come. However it wasn’t indicated until after we were forced to U-turn at the park entrance. However, going back GPS now announced Sweetwater Springs. Shroud Rd and Sweetwater share the same intersection. Who knew?
The cinnabar (mercury) mine on Sweetwater is rapidly collapsing and it’s here that the roadway abruptly climbs in a series of switchbacks. We paused at the mountain top for a break that including window cleaning (Thanks Rob!) and tire inspection. It was also here that there were mumbled questions about lunch. Ralph had an idea for a place in Healdsburg which was approved by Jeff’s experience. We came down the mountain in route – having encountered but one vehicle which was entering a driveway otherwise only a couple bicyclists shared the roadway. Great outdoor lunch was had by all (except Jonathan – who didn’t appreciate his ‘Pulled Pork Sandwich – seeming NOT pulled pork).
It was time to get back with routing, we’d already lost our San Jose residents on entering Healdsburg and now at 1:50 pm (I checked my watch), everybody else ‘bailed’ except Jeff Zane and Brent Hansen. They were committed to finishing the ‘plan’, the roadways and the hatchery. Afterwards it was a romp for Wohler Bridge, Forestville and a stop at Brent’s Motor Works near Sebastapol. I took a break in downtown Sausalito where there was an abundance of ‘5-minutes free parking’.