Biking the Sonoma/Napa Wine Country – Day 3

It became readily apparent after day 2 that bike fit was going to be an issue. I thought I had placed things reasonably well when I took off that first day but it’s really better to actually measure things and I wish I had. With the climbing on the 2nd day and a seat that was positioned too low, the back of my right knee took on more than it usually does. Consequently, it was pretty well torqued by the 3rd morning. The damp, foggy and cold morning only exacerbated things. So despite being an otherwise awe inspiring ride up Hwy 1 to start the morning, it was also a painful one. I took some pain reliever after a bit and it helped some. I also raised the seat – again. And it was something I did a few more times before finally arriving at a point that felt like it was right.

Our start that morning was back up Hwy 1 till we got to the turnoff toward Guerneville. There were only a few of us that chose that option and only two of us rode together along Hwy 1 until we got to Duncan Mills. (The other had left earlier to take in the Cazadero hwy route.) Here’s the whole route for the day.

The fog broke enough along the way to snag this pic of the coast though. And maybe because it was mid week, the traffic along hwy 1 was pretty light that morning. It turned out to be a really nice morning ride.

By the time we rounded the turn and made our way to Guerneville, the weather had improved dramatically. Another sunny day at hand. It certainly hadn’t warmed up much though.

We veered off to detour into Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve. It’s a beautiful park of old redwoods. We lunched there before heading on. In the shade of the trees it was downright chilly. Was glad to get back on the bike and into the sun.

On this day I took the Green Valley Road option and like other options, it was a scenic route with very little traffic. Eventually it joined up with the route most everyone else was taking and that was up the Westside Road. I’ve been up that road before tasting wines back in 2010 so it was familiar looking territory. Taking the option put me behind the others so when I arrived at Arista Winery to taste some wine most everyone else was just leaving.

Arista had some great Pinot Noir and was a nice spot to just park for a bit. Nice views there. Warm temps. Later, I rode on with Maureen, the ‘sweeper’ lead for the day.

From that point to our stay at Madrona Manor, it was a relatively short ride.

All in, a 57 mile day. We enjoyed a wine tasting and dinner at the restaurant at the Madrona Manor that night. We never did get into Healdsburg. (I went back on the weekend after the tour to see a bit of Healdsburg though.) This old house was very cool but considering we were so close to Halloween more than a few of us thought the house was just a little creepy looking. And yet, I slept fine that night after all those miles and a belly full of good food and wine.

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