We are coming in from out of state to do Levi's Grand Fondo, flying into San Francisco, staying in Santa Rosa. What are the not to miss cycling places not to miss? Bike shops, rides to take, eateries, etc.
You gotta go to Russian River Brewery and try some of the stuff they have on tap, like the Damnation ale and any of the soured oak-aged stuff. If you are into beer at all you'll love the brew there and it's right in downtown SR. They sell a couple cycling jerseys so it's sorta bike related.
The high points, so to speak: Mt. Tam, Diablo, Hamilton. Hamilton is a long day century when done bart to bart. Leave Fremont bart, climb Mt. Hamilton Rd. There is an observatory at the top with info center and snack food. Descend, climb some more, check out San Antonio Cafe if it is open. Ride to Pleasanton and get on bart again.
In SF, starting from Embarcadero ride to Fisherman's Wharf, say hello to sea lions at pier 39, keep riding through Marina, Presidio to Ocean Beach, ride through Golden Gate Park. Before riding through the GGP panhandle you can visit The Haight and a few bike shops on Stanyon if you are interested. Take Page back toward downtown. http://www.sfbike.org/download/map.pdf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haight-Ashbury
Be sure to ride over Golden Gate Bridge at some point.
Above Category in Mill Valley: the most pegoretti's i've ever seen in one location
Bicycle Odyssey in Sausilito: good mix of classics and new stuff
Bike Nook in San Francisco: a time capsule from the 80s
Beer: Beach Chalet brews their own, Toronado lots of microbrews
if you're staying in santa rosa your best bet is to try and keep things close to home.
sonoma and marin counties offer more awesome rd rides than you could do in a month.
and the restaurants and breweries are world class.
definitely do the cavedale/trinity/sonoma mtn rd loop.
I consider myself one of the ultimate beer guys so breweries are definitely my thing so...
1) Buffalo Bills in Hayward. Three block walk from the BART station. Best wings in the Bay Area. Order then without cilantro and ask to have them thrown on the grill.
2) 21st Amendment in SF (best in SF). On 2nd St. between Bryant and Brannan. If Back in Black is on top give it a try. I call it liquid crack. A dark IPA that is amazing.
3) Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley. Again just a couple of blocks from the BART station.
4) Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur. They do a great Porter. They are located across the street from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.
As for rides...
1) Head up Conzelman Rd to Hawk Hill. It will give you the million dollar view of San Francisco and Golden Gate Bridge. You pick it up on the north side of the GG Bridge.
2) Head to Tiburon and do the Paradise Loop. If you Google Paradise Loop Tiburon you'll get the exact route.
3) Come on down to the Peninsula and take a ride down Crystal Springs Rd to Hwy 92. Take the brief ride on 92 to Canada Rd. Go south on Canada Rd to Woodside. If you are up for a challenge go west on Hwy 84 about 1 mile and connect to Kings Mtn Rd. Take Kings Mtn Rd to Skyline. 1500' of climbing in about 4 1/2 miles.
As for bike shops...I would be remiss if I didn't throw in a pitch for Stones Cyclery in Alameda. A very old school shop, 63 years in business, that doesn't do high volume. Just very high quality.
Contact NorCal bikes in Santa Rosa they sell maps of the roads in Sonoma County color coded by traffic flow. They can give you the scoop. Colman Valley Road is nice from Santa Rosa and back about 65 miles. A trip out to the Geysers is nice. Cave Dale is good. There are many Many rides in Sonoma and Napa Countys and you never have to go down to the city and deal with all the traffic hassels.
I'm doing the ride too.
We had a huge rim failure on the tandem when we tried to do Kings Ridge last year and this is our chance to bite that sucker back!
I just dug three maps out of our map bag. Two of them are just AAA maps but easy to read!
One is the Bicycle Touring Map of the wine country.
The Gran Fondo newsletters have routes on them but aren't posting up mileage or climbing. Maybe a couple of you can help.
We are staying at the Hyatt in Santa Rosa on Railroad st.
About how long RT is the ride to Bodega Bay? Perhaps on Bodega Hwy through Sebastopol? About how much climbing? Anyone know? Any good eats in Bodega?( I used to go clamming there with my folks when I was 3)
About how far is Healdsburg?
Lastly, I am so intrigued by Calistoga Rd. to Calistoga and back via Franz (Hanz & Franz)
Rd. Is that brutal but short or easy but long?
I'll hit the bike shop also but want to print out the better directions here.
Bodega and back is about 65 miles or so. Bodega Highway is narrow right out of town and gets a lot of traffic. I hate it though many people ride it. If you go out that way there is not much climbing. I like to go out to Occidental and through Colman Valley then down 1 then Bodega Highway to Freestone, Stop at the Bakery, which is GREAT, and get some bread then up Bohemian Hwy back to Occidental then back to Santa Rosa. Go to NorCal Bikes on College ave and get the Sonoma Bike Coalition map. If you go East of Town check out Cavedale Road. about 1700 feet over 6 miles really nice. thats about 45 miles round trip. Healdsburg is not to far and mostly flat maybe 40 miles or so RT.
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