Whether you're a novice or an expert cyclist, pedal your way along the back roads of Sonoma County on a relaxed, experience-rich, hassle-free, guided bicycle tour, with all the pesky details handled by the folks at Sonoma on A Bike.
According to company co-founder Randy Johnson, the customer's only job is to show up. Sonoma on a Bike takes care of the rest.
"Our tours are designed for people who can really savor the experience," Johnson says. "It's not just point-to-point cycling. Our customers are interested in the wine, the food, and the cycling."
And the sensory experiences can be delightful, from tastings at boutique wineries, to gourmet lunches spread on starched white tablecloths along the roadway, to luxurious lodgings, and more.
Depending on the season and your preferences, come face-to-face with a herd of goats while tasting artisan cheeses, picnic under 1,400-year-old redwoods, or experience a crab fishing expedition along the coast. Sonoma on a Bike guides its guests to unique Sonoma County festivals, events, activities, and hidden adventures that only insiders can offer.
"One key that separates us from everybody else is that we're local, local, local." Johnson says. "We're from Sonoma County, and we love it here."
Johnson is CEO of Getaway Adventures, which offers bike and kayak trips, hiking adventures, and personalized van tours in northern California. Getaway offers both one-day and multi-day trips.
"I always enjoyed the multi-day trips," Johnson says. "They're so much fun, and you really get to know your guests."
Intrigued by the possibilities, he partnered with Gil Roberts to create Sonoma on a Bike as a separate division of Getaway Adventures. Sonoma on a Bike focuses on multi-day, all-inclusive cycling adventures primarily in western Sonoma County, designed for those who want to savor the delights of a bike tour, getting up-close and personal with all that this area has to offer.
It's not meant for everyone. The company's motto is, "Limited Seats, Unlimited Experiences."
A six-day, five-night tour for four to eight participants is offered roughly twice a month, with a seasonal itinerary that takes advantage of what is growing and what is happening countywide. This trip includes: a bike guide/host; a support van; all breakfasts, four lunches, and all dinners (including wine); use of a specialized bike with handlebar bag and helmet; all specialized events, private tours, local experts, and entrance fees; and baggage transportation between hotels.
The biking routes are typically rated moderate, but more challenging rides can be arranged, or tired guests can ride in the support van. The company also creates private, customized tours for six to eight people.
If possible, the company does an in-depth phone interview before booking a trip, and a questionnaire helps determines guests' interests and needs before they arrive.
"The more you know, the more you can tailor it to the particular guests," Johnson says. "Our tours are really designed to do what the guest wants to do."
Sonoma on A Bike, 2228 Northpoint Parkway, Santa Rosa, 707-568-3040, 1-800-499-2453
Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.