Ok. Are you ready for this? Not gonna sugar coat this because anyone who’s reading this blog knows what they’re in for this weekend, right? If you don’t ,you will. If you haven’t ridden a Grasshopper before please read the Rules of Engagement. We will be gathering in Monte Rio at the parking near the river on the west side of the bridge. If it fills up, there is space at the park and ride near the corner of Moscow Rd. and Boho Hwy. The ride will begin at 10:00 A.M. Remember that these are not races but are long, hard training rides. Jim Keene and NorCal our main sponsor for the events will be providing a feed at the top of King Ridge. If you want to leave food, water, etc. for him make sure it is clearly marked. He will be in Monte Rio in the A.M. There will be no other food or water provided along the route but there are plenty of places to stop if you are in need.
Photo: Last years Gran Fondo. Levi, Yuri, Mig and Ben King. If Yuri is smiling like this on Sat you better be really worried!
The Course of course: As always you will need to show up, sign two waivers, pitch in you 20 bucks and get your laminate to get all the details to this years King Ridge Hopper. But here’s a few details that will help you prepare for our final adventure of the year. After rolling out Moscow Rd to Caz Hwy we will make the usual merge onto King Ridge where things will get really exciting. Drink up as Jim Keene will be near the King Ridge Tin Barn intersection. At this point we will head North. King Ridge is always big. When you get to Tin Barn and turn night the chatter usually stops. Arriving in Kashia Tin Barn Rd. Ts into Stewart’s Point/Skaggs Spring Rd. Take a look at the sign…be glad we’re not going to Healdsburg, it’s crossed my mind more than once. The descent down to the Gualala River is steep and treacherous. Be careful. Earlier this week a squirrel attempted suicide and I barely kept it upright as I rolled over the middle of it with the front and then back wheel at full speed.
Don’t miss the turn across the Gualala River and continue about 15 mile to Hwy 1.
The next bit of info is for those on an all day tour not worried about how fast they ride. I’ll tell you where to find a killer bakery and water fountain. Shortly after passing Horicon School, an historical 1 room school house on your left you’ll come to the upper part of Sea Ranch housing development. On your left you will see a fire station. Turn left. Continue 1/4 mile. On the rt. you will find Two Fish Bakery. If you skip this stop you will find yourself descending to Hwy 1 where you will end up in Sea Ranch. Head south. The sign says 30 miles to Jenner so just think, if we were taking the shortest way home you’d only be 40 miles from the finish! If only…
I wouldn’t send you all the way this far north without delivering you to Meyers Grade. Now you’ll just have to be guessing how we get there. There are many choices and my only clue to you is that it’s not a true Hopper unless there’s a double helping of dirt. H2O. The best place to fill up quickly is beside the restrooms as Stewart’s Point Store. You would be crazy to pass this up. The best choice is for the group you are in to call a “truce” and restock. There is grub, Red Bulls and stuff in the store of course. From here it’s just a hop, skip, jump, roll, paddle, crawl, sojourn, cruise home. Some parting coastal shots that you might get a glimpse of on Sat. BTW, we were going to ride Hwy 1 all the way to Jenner but I got some serious vertigo from the exposure between Fort Ross and Meyers Grade. If you miss a corner or a big RV blows you over we’re talking 2000K vertical to the coast.