Biking Events in Sonoma County

Levi's GranFondo

Whether you like cycling through abundant flat wetlands and wildlife, the shaded majesty of a redwood forest, or undulant vineyards and organic farms, the rolling hills and scenic meadows of Sonoma County make a perfect setting for bike rides.

Together, we can protect and preserve the beauty and natural resources of Sonoma County for generations to come. Check out our page on Sustainable Travel, and look over the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

Here’s a quick look at a few annual themed bike rides, offering something for every level of cyclist.

Levi’s GrandFondo – May

This race offers 11 different routes, ranging in length and difficulty from the 8.8-mile Family route (118 feet elevation gain) to the steep 117-mile Growler (10,564 feet elevation gain). Each rider is recorded, with your time published after the event. (With different start and finish locations, you’ll want to plan ahead for this ride.)

Sonoma County Backroad Challenge – June

The fun-oriented Challenge consists of four rides that appeal to cyclists ranging from beginners to experienced. Funds raised are donated to the Rotary Club of Petaluma. There are four spectacular rides through the scenic countryside of southwestern Sonoma County, all beginning from the Penngrove Market near Petaluma.

  • Century ride (99.54 miles; 6,188 feet of climbing). Far and away, this is the most challenging ride, designed for very serious riders who are in great physical condition and experienced with significant elevation changes. Be rewarded with some of the best scenic country in Sonoma County: rolling hills, pasture lands, vineyards, coast line, redwood groves, and challenging climbs.
  • Metric Century (65.74 miles; 3,971 feet of climbing). An intermediate ride that will be perfect for experienced riders without the extreme endurance challenges of the Century Ride. 
  • Training Ride (46 miles; 1,903 feet of climbing). This course is a little longer than the Half Metric with rolling hills. You won’t get too far out of town on this course but you’ll enjoy scenic views of the pasture lands and it’s a great training ride to tackle the full Metric next year.
  • Half Metric (36.52 miles; 1,656 feet of climbing). This course is mostly flat with the nicest roads possible. You won’t get too far out of town on this course but you’ll enjoy scenic views of the pasture lands and rolling hills that surround Petaluma. 

Giro Bello – June

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, the net proceeds from this ride benefit local charitable projects focused on youth and fire victims. There are three rides offered:

  • Century ride (100.9 miles; 5,100 feet of climbing). Travel through the wine regions of the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and the Russian River Valley, on a challenging ride designed for serious riders who are in great physical condition and experienced with significant elevation changes.  (There is a bail-out point before the climbs.)
  • Metric Century (100km/66.8 miles; 2,406 feet of climbing). An intermediate ride offering a great workout, this route also goes through the wine country of the Alexander and Dry Creek valleys. There are three moderate climbs throughout the route.
  • Family Fun Route (27.6 miles; 896 feet of climbing). There are no major hills on this route, but the Vine Hill slope is fairly continuous; there is an alternate route for a more gradual climb. 

There’s a lunch stop along the route for Century and Metric riders. Routes are marked with different colored arrows on the pavement, making it easier for new riders to stay on their route. The rides start and end at O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol, with a post-ride meal, music and bike expo.

Tour de Fuzz – September

Indeed, you read this right. “Fuzz” is old-time slang for “cop” and the beneficiary of this ride is the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy of Sonoma County.

First responders often must witness grueling events that, despite their training, can pierce the human heart. The Law Enforcement Chaplaincy is a group of over 70 volunteer chaplains who assist our first responders 24/7 by providing emotional and spiritual support in times of crisis. Their services are non-political and are available for victims, their families, and the first responders.

The Tour de Fuzz offers a unique look behind the scenes at the world of law enforcement. Following the ride, for instance, will be exhibits featuring SWAT, bomb squad, law enforcement robotics, Police K9s, and more.

You don’t have to be a Law Enforcement Officer to ride. This is a time to show appreciation and community with our first responders and how they are there for us when we need them. And if you are a law enforcement officer (LEO) from  another location, you are certainly welcome to join a “LEO team.” (Many come from far away and make it a family vacation.)

This ride has three levels and they are seriously challenging. Each one starts in a different place, and they all end up in Santa Rosa.

  • Enthusiast (50K/35 miles, climbing 505 feet) starts near Healdsburg and loops near the Forestville area.
  • Roadie (100k/63 miles;  climbing 1,273 feet) starts in Geyserville and loops through Healdsburg and Windsor.
  • Commando (102 miles; climbing 4,278 feet) starts in Santa Rosa and goes as far north as Cloverdale. Includes a VERY steep hill.  This is not for the first time century rider.
Cyclists race past redwoods

More Cycling Opportunities

For cyclists, Sonoma County has it all. A gorgeous coastline, wildlife-filled wetlands, meadows of spring wildflowers, straw-colored summer hillsides dotted with oaks, meandering backroads, and easy trails through ranchland and vineyards along old railroad routes. Not to mention world-famous wineries and acclaimed restaurants and eateries that specialize in farm-fresh ingredients.

From beginning bikers or families with kids to experienced cyclists seeking a challenge, there’s a route for everyone. For details, check out our Guide to Cycling in Sonoma County.

Order a free Sonoma County Visitors Guide and Wine Map.

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