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  1. #1
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    Is Sonoma Mtn. Rd open to bikes?

    I'm planning to ride from SF to Napa. I have a route that gets me to Petaluma, and I'm familiar with the Napa roads once I hit Dry Creek/Mt. Veeder. What I'm trying to figure out now is the in-between part...

    Sonoma Mtn Rd. looks like it is currently closed to cars, but maybe not to bikes? If anyone's familiar with its current condition, please let me know.

    I want to say away from Highways 12/121/29...so it seems like Sonoma Mtn. and Bennett Valley are the main choices. Is this correct? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rushfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstantRider
    I'm planning to ride from SF to Napa. I have a route that gets me to Petaluma, and I'm familiar with the Napa roads once I hit Dry Creek/Mt. Veeder. What I'm trying to figure out now is the in-between part...

    Sonoma Mtn Rd. looks like it is currently closed to cars, but maybe not to bikes? If anyone's familiar with its current condition, please let me know.

    I want to say away from Highways 12/121/29...so it seems like Sonoma Mtn. and Bennett Valley are the main choices. Is this correct? Thanks.
    I was on Sonoma Mountain Road not too long ago above Glen Ellen and a sign read that it was closed to through traffic, but I didn't drive all the way up it. Trinity Road above Glen Ellen will work to get you to Napa Valley, so Bennett Valley is probably a good choice. Plus, you'll be going the route of the Tour of California in February...

  3. #3
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    Thanks, will use Bennett Valley and Trinity.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    SF to Napa

    I see you do like your climbing going to Napa by way of Bennet Valley and Mt Veeder. Or you do not like the traffic on Highway 37. On a site called www.bikely.com there are 100s even 1000+ bike routes posted. Including one I added from Novato to Napa and Vallejo. If you do not mind using roads that have wide shoulders and some to high traffic check it out. Mostly Hwy 37, Arnold Drive and Hwy 12. Much flatter then roads like Mt. Veeder and the Trinity Grade.
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    Yes, I wanted to do some climbing and take scenic backroads rather than just taking the most direct route there. It was a pretty indirect route -- when I drive to Napa from SF using 37 and 121, it's 65 miles. The backroads route via Bennett Valley and Trinity ended up being 97 miles.

    On the return trip the next day we didn't want to do so much climbing so we did take a flatter route back using 12 and 116. 12 was okay, although the shoulders were pretty narrow in some places, but the real nightmare section was a three-mile stretch of 116 between Arnold and Adobe -- narrow two-lane highway with heavy traffic speeding in both directions, and an inches-wide shoulder with a rumble strip to complicate things further.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstantRider
    Yes, I wanted to do some climbing and take scenic backroads rather than just taking the most direct route there. It was a pretty indirect route -- when I drive to Napa from SF using 37 and 121, it's 65 miles. The backroads route via Bennett Valley and Trinity ended up being 97 miles.

    On the return trip the next day we didn't want to do so much climbing so we did take a flatter route back using 12 and 116. 12 was okay, although the shoulders were pretty narrow in some places, but the real nightmare section was a three-mile stretch of 116 between Arnold and Adobe -- narrow two-lane highway with heavy traffic speeding in both directions, and an inches-wide shoulder with a rumble strip to complicate things further.
    I know the section of road "of which you speak". It is one of the most lethal section of road in the state. I prefer to go all the way south on Arnold/121 to 37 at the Infineon Raceway, along 37 to the Lakeville Highway and back up to 116 near the cold beer store. Maybe with a stop at Papa's Taverna for the Greek food.

    From the Sonoma side of Trinity I prefer climbing on Cavedale which is just to the south of the Trinity Grade and has far lower traffic.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    more reply

    As one can see from the pront page of the "Press Democrat" Sonoma Mountain Road is 'open' to bicycles but not cars. The road slumped last winter and is not passable to cars but a cyclist is shown riding across the damaged area.
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  8. #8
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    i'm glad i took the detour. that road looks ready to collapse even further at any moment...

  9. #9
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    No Guts, No Glory. Just kidding. Several friends in the Santa Rosa club hve been thru the "slide" area and have had no problem. They just dismount and walk. In fact they say the ride is better then ever as a lot of tourist and visitor traffic is gone and the roads are quieter then ever.
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  10. #10
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    Sonoma Mt. Road; Glenn Ellen - Cotati

    I'm sorry this is probably too late for you. In the future, however, do take Sonoma Mountain Road. It looks like a massive earthquake struck, and I don't think it'll be fixed any time soon, but you can definitely walk your bike through it. We do it all the time. The up-side is that there is less traffic up there these days.

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