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Thread: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

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    Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    I decided to give my little '75 CB125S some exercise today so I put together a route covering some favorite roads plus a new one to explore.

    Link to google map

    My route


    The little bike's light weight and short wheelbase always take some getting used to after riding anything bigger, but on tight twisty roads I soon get in synch with it. "I'm turning 8,000 rpm but only going 63 mph." Yes sir, that's normal. "I can't get it to shift to a higher gear." Well that's because you are already in top gear. Soon enough I catch on to the game - hang onto the hard-earned momentum as much as possible, downshift whenever necessary, and just enjoy the feeling of flicking the flyweight bike around corners and over bumps. What it might lack in miles-per-hour it delivers big time in smiles-per-hour!



    After heading around Lake Berryessa I took always-wonderful 121 over into Napa, crossed town and headed out Redwood Road.





    Redwood becomes Mt. Veeder Rd., narrow, bumpy and loads of fun.




    At the summit I see a heavy marine layer has pushed into Napa Valley, a huge relief after last weeks 100 + degree days.



    Mt. Veeder ends at Dry Creek Rd. and I turned left toward Sonoma County.

    Winding through redwood forest the road begins to climb with some of the steepest and tightest hairpin turns around.












    Reaching a ridge top the scenery alternates between dense shady forest, sunny vineyards, and hilltop views toward Sonoma Valley.









    More hairpin turns drop down to Hwy 12 where I turn south.



    Lunch time! I stop at Juanita Juanita's Mexican restaurant for their great food and funky ambiance.









    -Bill

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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    After an excellent burrito I backtrack a couple of miles and turn off on Cavedale Road. This one was new to me but I had looked at Google street views and could tell it was a must-see road. It did not disappoint.



    This marker shows donations of $5 to $165 were made to fund construction back in 1915.



    Cavedale is narrow even for a single lane road, with a surprising number of driveways so I had to stay ready to take evasive action even on my tiny bike. But the scenery was stunning as the road climbed up, up, and up some more.












    This vantage point looks south to San Pablo Bay.



    It was hazy but you can see San Pablo Bay and the downtown buildings of SF in the upper right of this zoomed shot.



    Continuing northward, Cavedale weaves a beautiful path through redwood forest before joining Trinity/Dry Creek Rd midway.






    Cavedale was a wonderful discovery that I look forward to checking out in all seasons. Up and over Oakville Grade I ride 128 back home. Stopping at Lake Hennessey I admire my little tiddler and think, yeah, she gave me plenty of smiles-per-hour today.



    -Bill

  3. #3
    2 wheel Chauffeur lowbuckrider's Avatar
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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    Great pix and report!
    "Don't confront me with my failures; I have not forgotten them." J. Browne

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    Senior Member Grissom's Avatar
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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    This is what Pashnit is supposed to be about, thanks for the

    I look forward to your ride reports!

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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    I am so in love with your CB125S! I could look at it all day long - simply gorgeous.

    Glad you discovered Cavedale. It's a little bit rough, like most goat trails in the Mayacamas, but so worth the extra bumpiness. I've always thought of it as a fancy version of Pine Flat Rd.

    Keep the reports coming, they're awesome!

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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximo View Post
    I am so in love with your CB125S! I could look at it all day long - simply gorgeous.

    Glad you discovered Cavedale. It's a little bit rough, like most goat trails in the Mayacamas, but so worth the extra bumpiness. I've always thought of it as a fancy version of Pine Flat Rd.

    Keep the reports coming, they're awesome!
    Pine Flat Rd., now you've given me a new one to try! But it looks like it peters out. Can you take Cadd Dunlavy Fire Trail back to Geysers?

    -Bill

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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    Quote Originally Posted by GB500guy View Post
    Can you take Cadd Dunlavy Fire Trail back to Geysers?
    IIRC that's an unpaved road, so it depends on how much you like washing the underside of the bike. For the most part I've come to accept that roads up to the geysers are going to be an up and back affair.

  8. #8
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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximo View Post
    IIRC that's an unpaved road, so it depends on how much you like washing the underside of the bike. For the most part I've come to accept that roads up to the geysers are going to be an up and back affair.
    Thanks Maximo. I would take the NX250 on that one and hope that fire trail was not private property. Otherwise backtracking would be plenty fun too!

    -Bill

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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    I've always backtracked. Once I was up there on Geysers road and the gate at the top was open so I kept going with the intention or heading downhill to Cloverdale, but when I got by the plant security stopped me and turned me back. That's as far as I've ever made it. Backtracking isn't bad, it gives the road a new perspective.

  10. #10
    Go ahead and pass me... Backmarker's Avatar
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    Re: Riding Napa/Sonoma back roads on a tiddler

    Funny, I decided to check out Pashnit to see if CB500Guy had posted anything new. What luck! I now have some more photos to add to my desktop slideshow to drool over. Awesome
    Thanks once again for taking us along on your adventures. Always, always enjoy them.
    Some people just don't know how to drive... I call these people "Everybody But Me."

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