Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tandem riding in Napa/Sonoma

    After a flight west to Vancouver and a drive south to Napa, two tandems will be up for ten days of riding the valleys of Napa and Sonoma.

    Since there is nothing worst than travelling across the continent to find the nice rides the day before you have to go back home, I would greatly appreciate if any of you could help me find great early season tandem rides (mainly rolling hills, some climbs here and there and maybe a few long ascents averaging 10%) in those two regions.

    Of course, I did thorough search on the Web but, for some reason, I put more trust in contributors to this forum than in most comments I read...

  2. #2
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    675
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Silverado Trail has very smooth pavement, wide bike lanes and is rolling terrain. The road up to Anguin I believe is Hwy 128 is nice, a little steeper, also nice pavement. Seems as though Napa County has more funds to keep roads in better shape than Sonoma County, but choices are endless. Enjoy your stay.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vacaville, CA
    My Bikes
    Santa Cruz Blur LT, Kestrel Evoke, Co-Motion Speedster Tandem
    Posts
    482
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So many good roads in Napa and Sonoma to ride on. Check out this PDF for the Wine Country Century Route - you can also add Coleman Valley Road to the Coast for another 25 miles. Santa Rosa is about 30 minutes up Highway 12 from Sonoma, in Sonoma County.

    http://srcc.memberlodge.com/resource...mile%20map.pdf

    The Napa Valley Century features some of the best roads and Climbs in Napa Valley and a part of this century is ridden as part of the Tour of California.

    You can also ride to Sonoma if you turn left on Mt. Veeder Road where it intersects Trinity Road/Oakville Grade road. Trinity will drop you into Glen Ellen.

    http://www.eaglecyclingclub.org/images/100mile.pdf


    There are lots of variations off these two rides - in Napa - there is also Howell Mountain Road - then there is Spring Mountain Road, Diamond Mountain Road and Calistoga Road. All of these feature some good climbs. Some in the 18% range.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  4. #4
    Senior Member gpelpel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, CA
    My Bikes
    Time VXRS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR
    Posts
    2,503
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Silverado Trail is a famous ride but can be very busy with traffic and therefore noisy.

    One of my favorite ride is around Healdsburg. You can pack at the shopping center (safeway?) at the southwestern corner of the town plaza and head west on Westside Rd. and northwest on W. Dry Creek Rd.. W. Dry Creek is a very scenic and quiet road within the vineyards. You can go to its dead end and back half of mile to Yoachim Bridge road going east to Dry Creek Road. You can then either turn left to the Lake Sonoma Dam or right to hit Canyon road. If going to the dam you may either rest at the park (restrooms available) and turn back or make the 1 mile climb to the lake. Come back the main road (Dry Creek) and turn left (East) on Canyon Road. After you cross the freeway head South to Geyserville and east on route 128 into the Alexander Valley. Once reaching Alexander Valley Rd. head back west to town. That's a 36-40 miles very scenic and quiet loop with only the last 4-6 miles being on a busier road.

    I have never rode it but the Anderson Valley from northwest of Healdsburg toward the ocean should be a very nice one as well.

    Both the Alexander and Anderson valleys offer plenty of small wineries. The area is not as popular as the Napa and Sonoma valleys but are, in my opinion, more rural and authentic and less tourist trap kind of places.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    675
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And the roads are beat to death. Thats my backyard your talking about, I ride the roads around Healdsburg 5 times a week. Most of the roads on the west side are crap, ride the roads on the east side of Healdsburg north and your chances of smoother pavement are much better. Hwy 128 to Red Winery, geysers if your a strong tandem team, anywhere on the east side is much better than the west, such as westside, west dry creek. very serene but very bumby, unless you haul ass and skip over the holes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Central Coast, California
    My Bikes
    Colnago C-50, Calfee Dragonfly Tandem, Specialized Allez Pro, Peugeot Competition Light
    Posts
    3,370
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You didn't mean to include Geysers in the "good road" catageory did you ? The south side is pretty good but if you go over the top and head towards Skaggs the pavement is not so pretty, not to mention narrow and often dirty. It's a great ride though, I'd recommend it.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    675
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah the North side is beat to death. Better yet, how about Pine Flat. Hope all the snow didn't wipe out the wildflowers, thats how I con my wife up that hill.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for your help.

    Joe, these maps are a great help.

    We'll try to keep on the east side; still, I can't believe your so called bumpy roads are half as bad as our nice roads...

  9. #9
    Senior Member ftsoft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Bianchi xl boron, Trek WSD, Comotion Speedster, Giant TCR Advanced
    Posts
    274
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
    Yeah the North side is beat to death. Better yet, how about Pine Flat. Hope all the snow didn't wipe out the wildflowers, thats how I con my wife up that hill.
    Pine Flat is a nice ride, but you better be a strong tandem team to ride it.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pine Flat: I guess we could give it a shot...

    I figure we could ride a loop on Pine Flat Rd and Geysers Rd. Looks like a hilly ride but nothing crazy...

    Any idea what kind of gradients we should expect?

  11. #11
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    Too Many
    Posts
    8,284
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have cycled many of the routes in Sonoma and Napa including the tour of Napa. We liked the ride through Pope Valley. We did Santana's Sonoma / Napa tour a few years ago and stayed at the Geyserville Inn. We like the ride over the ridge to Napa. Silverado Trail is very nice and flatter but has fast traffic and may have a lot of wind. I would suggest doing the riding early before the wineries open. Here is a link to several rides. If you are looking for more challenging rides, the last one has your name on it.

    http://www.srcc.com/10_rides.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    675
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pine flat, 5-23 percent at the very top, but we usaully don't go to the top. Geysers is lots harder, many 15 percent grades, and approx. 40 mile loop

  13. #13
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fair Oaks,CA
    My Bikes
    Kestrel RT1000 & Calfee Tandem
    Posts
    717
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another possibility is to start in Rutherford or St. Helena. Use the Silverado Trail to get to Route 128 (Berryessa). Follow 128 past Lake Hennessey. Turn left and go toward the Pope Valley. At Pope Valley, refuel at the general store and either go up Howell Mountain or continue on until you get to Ink Grade. Climb either road. Both take you to a little town called Angwin. From there, it is a beautiful downhill run back to St Helena. About 33 miles using Howell Mountain and about 38 miles using Ink Grade. Both are about 11% average for 2+ miles. Lots of shade on both of them. Be careful on the Silverado Trail in the afternoons on the weekends. Too many people have had way too much wine.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    877
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you want to extend your radius a little bit, look into West Sonoma County coastal areas. It's been an awful long time since I rode there. I'm planning on doing Levi's Gran (actually Media) Fondo. Look into parts of those routes.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    I'm fundraising for Tour de Cure in both Napa and Long Beach

    Help Support me in the Tour de Cure Ship to Shore in Long Beach
    Jimbo's Long Beach Page

    Help Support me in the Tour de Cure in Napa
    Jimbo's Napa Page

  15. #15
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vacaville, CA
    My Bikes
    Santa Cruz Blur LT, Kestrel Evoke, Co-Motion Speedster Tandem
    Posts
    482
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by VaultGuru View Post
    Another possibility is to start in Rutherford or St. Helena. Use the Silverado Trail to get to Route 128 (Berryessa). Follow 128 past Lake Hennessey. Turn left and go toward the Pope Valley. At Pope Valley, refuel at the general store and either go up Howell Mountain or continue on until you get to Ink Grade. Climb either road. Both take you to a little town called Angwin. From there, it is a beautiful downhill run back to St Helena. About 33 miles using Howell Mountain and about 38 miles using Ink Grade. Both are about 11% average for 2+ miles. Lots of shade on both of them. Be careful on the Silverado Trail in the afternoons on the weekends. Too many people have had way too much wine.
    That's part of the Century route map I posted the link to. I agree - one of the nicer rides in the Valley - do it all the time.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, I'm back.

    As planed, we first spent a few days in Napa then moved to Santa Rosa.

    Although Napa was beautiful, the best rides were in Sonoma county.

    The weather was mostly bad to real bad: we had 3 sunny days which is sad considering what weather should be late May in that area. We were so happy to have sun for the King's Ridge ride!

    We left early, allowing the longer drive along the coastal road -- under the rain.

    Thanks to you all for the cues and thanks to the Santa Rosa Cycling Club for the great maps and road books!

    I don't know when, but we will be back!

  17. #17
    Senior Member PedalPink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    My Bikes
    2010 Calfee Tetra Tandem, 2005 Co-Motion Primera Co-Pilot, El Conquistador de Montanas, Schwinn Twin
    Posts
    105
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry to hear you had such bad weather. I didn't see your post for information early enough to reply with some of my suggested rides, but it sounds as if you had some great routes from the advice here on the forum.

    Did you see anyone famous? Two years ago we were climbing Mt Veeder and were overtaken by a guy in a full Bicycling Magazine kit. I said something about his impressive speed, and he replied, "Wait 'til you see who's behind me." A few minutes later, an even bigger whoosh as another guy passed us but in an Astana kit riding a Trek. Yes, it was Levi out for a training ride after his second win of the Tour of California. We were on part of the Tour of California route and could follow the chalk marks for people's favorite riders.

    I enjoyed reading "A Tale of Two Valleys" by Alan Deutschman, who compares the history and culture of Sonoma and Napa. I, too, thought the best rides were in Sonoma. We also plan to be back!

  18. #18
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hollister, CA
    My Bikes
    Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
    Posts
    3,934
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm glad this thread was resurrected. My wife and I are looking for a ride on the 26th and have given up on finding a good organized ride. I think we'll look to plan something out in Sonoma. We did a very nice 60 mile ride starting in Sebastopol on our anniversary recently
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    rdtompki, you will love this link : http://www.srcc.memberlodge.com/TGR

  20. #20
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hollister, CA
    My Bikes
    Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
    Posts
    3,934
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    TTF, as it turns out I was looking at the SRCC website just yesterday. SRCC has a 100 mil ride on the 26th with only 4000' of climbing, the very day we were looking for a ride. DW and I will probably do this although we'll need a nap or two before the following weekends NWTR.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  21. #21
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Coral Springs, FL
    My Bikes
    ''09 Motobecane Immortal Pro (Yellow), '02 Diamondback Hybrid, '09 Lamborghini Viaggio, '09 Fiji Aloha 1.0
    Posts
    2,047
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gpelpel View Post
    Silverado Trail is a famous ride but can be very busy with traffic and therefore noisy.

    One of my favorite ride is around Healdsburg. You can pack at the shopping center (safeway?) at the southwestern corner of the town plaza and head west on Westside Rd. and northwest on W. Dry Creek Rd.. W. Dry Creek is a very scenic and quiet road within the vineyards. You can go to its dead end and back half of mile to Yoachim Bridge road going east to Dry Creek Road. You can then either turn left to the Lake Sonoma Dam or right to hit Canyon road. If going to the dam you may either rest at the park (restrooms available) and turn back or make the 1 mile climb to the lake. Come back the main road (Dry Creek) and turn left (East) on Canyon Road. After you cross the freeway head South to Geyserville and east on route 128 into the Alexander Valley. Once reaching Alexander Valley Rd. head back west to town. That's a 36-40 miles very scenic and quiet loop with only the last 4-6 miles being on a busier road.

    I have never rode it but the Anderson Valley from northwest of Healdsburg toward the ocean should be a very nice one as well.

    Both the Alexander and Anderson valleys offer plenty of small wineries. The area is not as popular as the Napa and Sonoma valleys but are, in my opinion, more rural and authentic and less tourist trap kind of places.
    My wife and I were in Occidental for my nephew's wedding in '05 and we spent a week in no. calif. Next to the wedding and associated family events, the highlight of our trip was a guided 25 mi wine country tour around that area. We still talk about that ride and how much fun it was. I don't remember the roads being "bad," but I do remember our guide saying we were going up one road early as it got quite busy in the afternoon. We returned on another less traveled road.

    We were not "into" cycling much then, but we did have hybrids for little neighborhood pie rides. I've often thought about that ride again now that we are pedaling TWOgether (thanks Zona') I do remember some nice rollers, something we don't see here in So. Fla.

    Have a great time, and post pix
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    32
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There and back again...

    The two captains that went to Napa and Sonoma might very well be back (although on smaller bikes): thanks to you all, we loved our trip so much we are now planning a second!

    We do not wish to stick to Napa and (better) Sonoma : anywhere we could drive to in a rental car from SFO airport suits us!

    Is there a specific area where rides are worth flying 6 hours for and in such number that we wouldn't spent most of our precious time (a week) in the car? We don't mind climbs, I don't mind redwood and my partner doesn't mind highway one ;-)

    I'm thinking in the lines of north of the Bay -- again -- (Marin County and some more King's Ridge) or south (Santa Cruz, Los Gatos) -- this mostly based on feeling. I'll leave it up to you to please enlighten me.

    Many thanks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •