Cycling in Wine Country

Wine country is famous for its beautiful scenery but did you know that it is also a popular cycling destination, drawing cyclists from all across the region and beyond. A testament to its popularity is the fact that Stage 7 of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will, once again, take place in Santa Rosa, city of former cycling champion, Levi Leipheimer.  From vineyards to rolling hills, coastline to quaint towns, wine country has much to offer in the way of scenic cycling, so get ready to ride the beauty that surrounds us each and every day.

If you are new to cycling or haven’t ridden in a number of years, don’t worry; we’ve compiled a list of useful resources to aid you in your two-wheeled adventures.

A great place to start preparing and planning your wine country cycling adventures is Wine Country Bikes.  Located in nearby Healdsburg, Wine Country Bikes offers a variety of services, insight and equipment for the novice and expert alike.  Their website is chock-full of helpful resources as well as a nice list of tours they offer for those looking for a guided pedal through the region; some tours offered are multi-day tours for the truly adventurous.  Here you will find a variety of bike rentals, from road bikes to tandems and even child trailers, for those without any equipment.  The knowledgeable staff is a team of local cyclists and dedicated travel professionals who are passionate about creating amazing personalized cycling adventures. The team boasts a wealth of experience and insight which they are willing to readily share to make your bicycling adventures a memorable experience.

Once equipped, you’ll need to choose a route.  For those looking for shorter trails to occupy an afternoon or morning, there are a number of parks throughout the region which offer loops and trails for a relaxing outdoor pedal.

Santa Rosa Creek Trail – Santa Rosa – 2.14-mile trail and a great option for families or other leisure riders.

Spring Lake Regional Park – Santa Rosa – paved 3.5-mile loop around Spring Lake used by cyclists, runners and walkers. Spring Lake also connects with Annadel State Park, a popular destination for off-road riding.

Joe Rodota and West County trails – Santa Rosa & Sebastopol – 14 miles of level trails, perfect for casual cyclists and families. The 8.5-mile Joe Rodota trail starts in central Santa Rosa and ends in Sebastopol. The 5.5-mile West County Trail connects Sebastopol to Forestville.

Helen Putnam Regional Park – Petaluma – 6 miles of trails with a variety of terrain and trail widths. Riders will enjoy panoramic views of southern Sonoma County.

Looking for more resources?  Here you will find Easy, Moderate and Expert itinerary suggestions for bike routes through Sonoma County.  For those willing to push themselves a bit harder, here is another article for some advanced rides, courtesy of Levi Leipheimer. If you find yourself exploring Sonoma Valley, here is a helpful map for biking the region.  And for those using two-wheeled transit on a more regular basis, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a great resource.

So grab your helmets and explore all that wine country has to offer.  Be safe out there and have some fun!

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