Want the definitive wine country ride? This 30-mile road ride starting from Healdsburg (just a few miles from Santa Rosa, the finish for the Tour of California) is perfect for beginners to roadie veterans—with rolling vineyards, quiet country roads, a couple of manageable hills, and a must-visit general store. The first 10 miles through Dry Creek pass some of the most beautiful stretches of wine country back roads. West Dry Creek Road seems tailored for cyclists, with light traffic and little ups and downs to keep things interesting. A short climb over Canyon Road brings you from Dry Creek Valley to Alexander Valley. Cruise through Geyserville’s charming downtown and continue on Highway 128. Things get tight the next 5 miles because there’s no shoulder; fortunately, car traffic is generally light here too. Be sure to make a stop at the Jimtown Store (6706 Highway 128, Healdsburg): it’s a rite of passage for cyclists in these parts. The store’s got everything from gourmet sandwiches to classic candies, antiques, and, of course, wine. From here it’s just 5 miles back to the Healdsburg plaza.
TIP: Bear Republic Brewpub (345 Healdsburg Ave.) in downtown Healdsburg next to the plaza makes a perfect post-ride place for a pint. Pair an unfiltered Hefeweizen with one of the eleven burgers on the menu. Down the hatch!
Park in downtown Healdsburg by the plaza. Ride south on Healdsburg Ave. At the 5-way intersection, make a right on Mill St./Westside Rd. Go 0.5 mile to West Dry Creek Rd. and make a right. Go 9 miles; then make a right on Yoakim Bridge Rd. and go 0.7 mile. Go right on Dry Creek Rd., then make a quick left on Canyon Rd. Follow this 2.25 miles to Hwy. 128. Make a right and follow Hwy. 128 through Geyserville (making a left to stay on Hwy. 128). After 5.5 miles, make a left on Geysers Rd. (look for sign for “The Geysers”). Go 0.7 mile then turn right on Red Winery Rd. following this to a T-intersection at Pine Flat Rd. Go right, and continue along Alexander Valley Rd. Pass the Jimtown Store. After 2 miles, make a right on Lytton Station Rd. Follow this under Hwy. 101 as the road becomes Lytton Springs Rd. Make a left on Chiquita Rd. and go 2 miles to Grove St. and go right. It’s 1.7 miles back to the plaza. Here’s a map of the route.