Riding from SF to Sonoma
My girlfriend wants to do this over thanksgiving. Is it safe? Route suggestions?
It's safe, but in my opinion, you should avoid Rt. 116, which unfortunately is the most direct way to get from Petaluma to Sonoma. The way to avoid it is to go further north, then head east via Sonoma Mtn. #2.
To get to SF from Petaluma, you could use the (very detailed) route sheet here, which starts at the Golden Gate Bridge.
Using it, you'd follow the directions until you get to the 50.0 mile mark, a RIGHT on McDowell. Instead of taking that RIGHT, you should just continue straight on Washington until you hit Adobe. From there, you could use this route to get to downtown Sonoma. (I've ridden this route up until the point where you turn left on Verona....so from that point on, I was just basing the route on what roads will take you to downtown Sonoma, rather than what roads I have experience with. But at that point you're in residential neighborhoods, so the roads should be fine to ride on.)
As you can see from the map, this Petaluma to Sonoma route looks like a major detour from using 116, and it is, complete with a fair amount of climbing. But it's very scenic, and the downhill stretches are a lot of fun. And most of all, it allows you to avoid 116, which is a two-lane highway with rumble strips, little to no shoulder, and heavy, high-speed traffic. I rode 116 once, and once was more than enough. It's not a pleasant road.
Sonoma Mountain Road
Note: Sonoma Mountain Road is washed out at the top and requires a bit of
cyclocross, at least as of 12 months ago (and I didn't see any impetus to fix it).
As in, the road is falling off the side of the mountain. Bennett Valley is more
straightforward in this respect (and doesn't have the tough climb on Sonoma Mountain)
but it has more traffic.
Frankly, you'd be better off going to Healdsburg instead
Originally Posted by murphstahoe
EDIT: Yes, Murphstahoe, you're right -- the route I originally suggested includes the portion of Sonoma Mtn. Road that has been closed for repairs since 2006. (Supposedly the repairs will be finished in December.) I was misremembering the route I took in December 2006, but looking back on an old Bikeforums thread, I see that I took Sonoma Mtn. Road north rather than east (like I thought I had done), eventually connecting to Bennett Valley and then Warm Springs.
Cedric Bosch, I've edited the route I created in Bikely (and linked in my original post) to avoid the section Murphstahoe mentions.
Last edited by ConstantRider; 11-26-08 at 01:29 PM.
Great! Thanks for the suggestions. I'll let you know how it goes.