We normally expect great rides on roads with stunning names. California is full of roads with names like sunrise, panoramic, paradise, alta vista and more. But it doesn't take an alluring name for a road to be well worth a ride. Just as a book has more than its cover, a road has much more than its name.
Case in point - Hicks Valley Road. North of San Francisco, somewhere in between Petaluma and Nicasio this small farm road turns off the major route for some glorious turns and rolling hills under the banner of solitude. Hardly a car went by as we cruised through green farmland and many cows.
Seasons have been pretty much irrelevant this year in California due to the lack of rain and consistently warm temperatures, but even without April Showers, the roadside is graced by May flowers, a preponderance of orange California poppies and tall purple flowers glisten in the beating sun and sway gently in the wind.
Long stretches of roads less traveled help fill in the blanks for great adventure. With Matt's guidance, we wanted to ride somewhere new, we wanted to ride a certain hill, and we wanted to ride 100 miles. Hicks Valley Road, seemingly unimportant, and so unimpressively named, made all this and more possible.
The day was one of cookies and pizza, fresh mint on the roadside, great miles and greater friends. We finished on familiar roads, a strong tailwind easing us home down the coast on Highway 1.