Northern California - Napa/Sonoma Trip Suggestions
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04-14-08, 09:11 PM
I'd like to do a three day trip through Napa and Sonoma Counties. I'd like to ride 35 to 70 miles a day and stay at a B&B each of the two nights. Any route and or lodging suggestions would be appreciated. We'll carry a bit of light luggage, but no camping gear.
I know that some of the organized tour companies do routes up there, so you might use portions of their trips to help get you some ideas.
I can't help too much with specifics because I don't know very many of the roads. I can tell you that there is some great riding (fairly low key) around Healdsburg and that the King's Ridge ride (see Princess Zippy's post) is supposed to be one of the nicest rides in the whole USA.
Edit: Here are some leads:
etc. (from http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=wine+country+bike+trip)
Let us know what you decide- sounds like a blast. You going solo? Do you want to sleep a different place each night or use one place as a home base?
04-16-08, 05:38 PM
I spend a lot of time up there, we have a house in Healdsburg (which we rent out by the way, but we have a 3 night minimum).
First off, I would say "screw Napa". The cycling in Napa sucks :)
If you do end up in Napa, I would recommend that the only way from Napa to Sonoma that you use is 128 north from Calistoga or Mark West Springs The southern crossing is very much not fun (traffic). Oakville Grade and Spring Mountain Road are extremely difficult climbs. I rode from Healdsburg to Calistoga and back this weekend, there is one small climb just North of Calistoga but it's not difficult.
One possibility. Start in Petaluma. Bodega, Valley Ford, Valley Ford Freestone, Bodega, Bohemian, River, Sunset, Westside, stay in Healdsburg
Day 2. North out of Healdsburg on Healdsburg Ave, Lytton Station, Alexander Valley, left on 128, right on Geysers, right on Red Winery (this is an extra loop well worth taking), Pine Flat, left on Alexander Valley, 128 into Calistoga, get on Silverado, stay somewhere in St Helena.
Day 3. Head South on Silverado to Napa. Double back after checking out Napa (Silverado is a decent road to do twice). In Calistoga again, take Petrified Forest off 128 and then right on Franz Valley School. Left on Franz Valley. Left on Porter Creek and then onto Mark West Springs. This road is more trafficked than anything so far, but it's not too bad and there is a downhill. Cross 101, left on Fulton. Left on 3rd into downtown Santa Rosa. Some urbanish cycling but good bike lanes. Right on Brookwood, left on Sonoma. Right on Yulupa, turns into Bennett Valley. Right on Grange. Left on Petaluma Hill to Petaluma.
If you want to include roads like King's Ridge they will be much harder and you probably won't be able to include a Napa leg. I'd recommend this, if you are interested I can design something there as well. Don't pick Skaggs Springs Road or Fort Ross unless you are extremely fit.
04-16-08, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. Very helpful information. Maybe the thing to do is just stick to Sonoma County and get some coastal as well as wine country riding in, per your suggestion stay out of Napa. There will be a group of three, I'll be going with my wife and a friend.
04-22-08, 03:53 PM
Oakville Grade and Spring Mountain Road are extremely difficult climbs.
I rode up Oakville grade to Dry Creek Rd. this weekend. It was a killer.
04-23-08, 09:51 AM
Nothing wrong with riding in Napa(it does not suck in the least), just one mans opinion. There is also an easy way of getting to Napa from Sonoma via Carneros route on Ramal road. From there you can do numerous routes that do not include any busy roads. As someone who rides these routes everyday, riding here is quite enjoyable if you know where to go and not.
That being said whether you are riding in Healdsburg or Sonoma be careful of wine drinkers, there are alot on weekends.
If you would like some accomadation or route advice pm me and i'll send them.
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