Nothing represents this quite so vividly as the many themed bike rides that pass through western Sonoma County in the summer. Whether you like abundant flat wetlands and wildlife, the shaded majesty of the redwood forest, or undulant vineyards and organic farms, there are rides for every taste and ability:
Giro Bello – Saturday, July 6
The ride is hosted by the Santa Rosa Rotary to fund their many charitable projects here and abroad.
There are three levels of rides offered:
- Century ride (102 miles; 6,531' of climbing). Travel through the wine regions of the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, and the Russian River Valley. End this ride in the refreshing shade of our ancient redwood forests.
- Metric Century (100km/66.8 miles; 3,178' of climbing). This route is great for a first long distance ride. It too goes through the wine country of the Alexander Valley and Dry Creek. But there is only one big climb, Chalk Hill.
- Family Route (27.6 miles; 1,048' of climbing). There are no major hills, but the slope is fairly continuous. There is an alternate route for those who are more used to riding on flat terrain.
The rides start and end at O'Reilly Media in Sebastopol, with a post-ride meal, music and bike expo. You can register online. Event packets must be picked up on July 5. For more information, email [email protected].
Tour D'Organics – Sunday, Aug. 11
This ride is sponsored by the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the spirit of community in Sebastopol.
Sebastopol is blessed with rich agricultural land and many organic farms. Each rest stop of this tour is located at a farm serving local, organic refreshments, including a final meal for all participants. (Those on the 65- and 100-mile ride get an additional meal at lunch.) If you love the planet and like beautiful cycling, camaraderie, and fresh, local, organic food, this ride is for you.
There are four routes on this ride:
- 16 miles. Ideal for beginning riders or a family day out, this ride goes up to Forestville and back. Farms include Gabriel Farms and Traditional Medicinals (best known for their healing herbal teas)
- 35 miles. This ride also goes to Gabriel Farms and Traditional Medicinals but adds Golden Nectar Farm up near Windsor.
- 65 miles. In addition to the farms of the 35-mile ride, this route goes up through Healdsburg, then to Dry Creek Peach, and back down through Middleton Farms on Westside Road.
- 100 miles. Covering the same route as the 65-mile ride, the century ride adds a southern loop down to Bloomfield, taking in Three Ox Farm in western Sebastopol.
All the rides culminate with a festival of live music, beer, wine and even MORE organic food at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center! Massage therapists will even be available to help rub out those kinks for a fee of $1/minute. You can register online for the Tour d'Organics. (Kids 12 and under ride free. Youth 13-17 receive a 50% discount.) For more information, contact [email protected].
Tour de Fuzz – Saturday, Sept. 14
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 an "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. They all end up in Santa Rosa.
- Enthusiast (50K/35 miles, climbing 505') starts near Healdsburg and loops near the Forestville area.
- Roadie (100k/63 miles; climbing 1,273') starts in Geyserville and loops through Healdsburg and Windsor.
- Commando (102 miles; climbing 4,278') 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.
You can register online. Early bird deadline is July 15.