As a professional cyclist, I race and train all over the world. There are so many beautiful places to explore and see, but something always brings me back home to Sonoma County. Sonoma County offers some of the best riding in the world, and I am proud to call this place home. Whether you are looking for a challenging ride or a wine country spin, the area is full of options for adventures on two wheels. Here are some of my favorite rides in our area!
My top 4 favorite bike rides in Sonoma County for leisure or easier, flatter terrain are:
- Chileno Valley Road: No matter how you loop this route, Chileno Valley Road is a must-do for a cyclist of any ability. There are some steep roads surrounding it, but if you are willing to conquer Wilson Hill, you will have one of the most beautiful views around. If you want to keep it easier, stay on Chileno Valley Road to Tomales. There is a great bakery in Tomales with amazing sweet and savory focaccia bread only sold on the weekends and they run out fast! Motivation to push the pace! It is a nice rolling terrain with beautiful views of creameries, happy cows and goats, and even a family of swans. I use this area for recovery rides as well as an irreplaceable outlet into Tomales Bay, Bodega, or beyond.
- West Dry Creek Road: You haven’t lived until you ride in Healdsburg nice and mellow (or as fast as you want, but why) on West Dry Creek Road! There are many route options here where you can add on to the steep surrounding climbs, or just keep it a nice wine cruise. You can cut over on multiple roads like Lambert Bridge Road or Lytton Springs Road to loop around. It is one of my favorite rides, and I have been known to stop at a winery or two along the way, because… well, wine not.
- Eastside Road and Knights Valley: Windsor offers its own treats for nice rolling roads, and too many loops to mention. I love Eastside Road because it connects me with the east part of the county into Chalk Hill for more strenuous riding, or you can stay along the base of the valley.
- Occidental Road: This may not be the easiest route, but it can be a nice moderate effort. The town of Occidental is great, and there are many ways you can loop up into there. You can connect Occidental with Coleman Valley (see below), or come up from Santa Rosa or Guerneville. You can also head down into the Russian River valley through Monte Rio and the Bohemian Highway. I love this route on a hot day because the redwoods offer a cool shady retreat and you see parts of the county that remain hidden treasures.
Ready to really challenge yourself some distance and climbs? Try out these top 4 Sonoma County Bike Rides with more challenging routes:
- Cavedale Road: You haven’t done a true Sonoma County mountain until you climb up Cavedale Road! It is a steep, long climb that offers a great challenge if you are up for it. You can loop back down Trinity Road into Napa or back into Santa Rosa. I love this climb for its tight switchbacks, steep pitches, and incredible views. On a clear day you can see the Golden Gate Bridge! It is a bumpy ride but guaranteed to make you work for the views and the food and beverages post-ride!
- Coleman Valley Road: This is an iconic piece of Sonoma County. It is also a part of Levi’s GranFondo! Although this climb is shorter than Cavedale, it has an unrelenting pitch during the first mile of the climb. Once you tackle the wall of Coleman Valley Road, you can do any climb! At the top, the views extend up to Meyers Grade and down to Pacifica. It is a leg burner for sure!
- Pine Flat Road: The first time I did Pine Flat out of Healdsburg I thought the climb would never end! But it is a great road that ends at the top and gets you high above Sonoma County Wine Country. You can do multiple routes through Healdsburg and Windsor to get to this climb and enjoy it the whole way. Well, until the top. The top of Pine Flat is the steepest climb I have ever done, but it is a very short pitch! I would recommend not wine tasting prior to riding up Pine Flat, and save it for after!
- Geysers Road: I am sure you have heard cyclists referring to accomplishing the “Geysers”. This loop can be done in either direction and is completed through the town of Geyserville. You can hit this ride through Healdsburg or even more north in Cloverdale! There are some very steep pitches, and some unpaved sections but I consider it a classic Sonoma County route. Challenging climbs will make you wonder why I suggested this route, but then you soak in all of Sonoma County’s glory!