Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a leisurely day tripper, there’s no finer place to bike ride than the backroads of Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley wine country. Undulating roads twist and bend between the towering redwoods and gracefully wind beside endless acres of premium vineyards between Windsor and Healdsburg.
One of the top local cycling treks is Healdsburg’s Westside Road to Dry Creek Road. It’s an easy scenic ride along the Russian River, paralleling some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards. Coming from Windsor, Mark West Station Road is a bit more remote with less traffic, as is Eastside Road. All roads eventually lead to Healdsburg.
There’s no shortage of postcard scenery. Traffic is light most times during the weekdays and the pavement is fairly even and well-maintained, however, cyclists need to heed attention as the roads are crowned and the shoulder is non-existent in places.
Stop, swirl and sip at the eclectic Porter Creek Vineyard where the vines meet the Redwoods and the chickens roam freely or continue further down the road for a bonafide rest stop at the trendy MacRostie Vineyard for a seated tasting of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. St. Helena and the Mayacama Mountains serve as a picture perfect backdrop as you pedal north toward Dry Creek Valley.
West Dry Creek Road mimics the rolling hills of Tuscany. Roads are open and wide with plenty of room to navigate the sweeping curves. Plenty of great wineries along the way, including Unti Vineyards or Sbragia at the far end of Dry Creek Road.
A quick pit stop might be in order at the Dry Creek General Store for a farm-to-table deli lunch before heading up toward Sonoma Dam Recreational area. For the adrenaline seekers, consider a ride up the far reaches of Sonoma Dam through the Zinfandel vineyards in Rockpile AVA, or meander the flat market roads through Alexander Valley past Jordan Winery. You will not be disappointed.
Santa Rosa Cycling Club offers guided tours for all levels and can assist with local bicycle rentals and equipment. Checkout their website for more challenging rides and races.
However you choose to get around Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley or Alexander Valley, know that there are plenty of wineries to soothe your aching muscles. Happy trails!