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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys Road Bike Ramble

"Life is like riding a bicycle; to keep your balance you must keep moving" ~ Albert Einstein

Want to see your favorite wineries from an entirely new perspective, then how about grabbing your bike for an unforgettable two-wheeled adventure through vine covered valleys of Sonoma. I started thinking about this option the other day, when a friend of Mrs. Cuvee inquired if I knew of any vineyard bike trails. Looking back at her and the question, I had a blank expression on my face and gave a shoulder shrug; confessing that I've not really looked into it on any level.

Having been an avid cyclist in my early years, back before I could afford to have a vehicle on a regular basis, my interest in finding out more was piqued. So what did I discover, a pretty easy to use website where the average vino-sapien can access hundreds of bike trails for a small subscription fee at The loop I found is described as the "Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys Ramble" and is known as a easy 32-33 mile meander through the vine covered countryside, an area dotted with multiple tasting rooms. The kind of ride that just about anyone could conquer all or half of it in pretty easy fashion, without too much huff and puff.

Speaking of Dry Creek, I've included a link to an interactive map of wineries you may encounter on this trail and just one click on a wineries icon will give small glimpse of what to expect before you arrive. Now if you’re looking for a few recommendations of wineries to visit, here some of my faves; Ferrari-Carano Vineyards, Dry Creek Vineyards, F. Teldeschi Winery, Gustafson Family Vineyard [the view here is worth the steep ride] Michel Schlumberger, Quivira Vineyards, Ridge/Lytton Springs Winery, Rued Winery and Seghesio Family Vineyards. I hope you’ll plan to visit some of my top picks along the route or better yet let me know which wineries you discovered along the way, which you'd recommend.

After posting this article to my Facebook page; Alison Crowe, winemaker at Garnet Vineyards in Carneros suggested another great ride for the wandering wino and even for the adventurous vino-sapien. She thinks, Carneros is great to bike in because so much of it is "back roads" off the main highway. Few cars and nothing but gorgeous rolling hills and fresh breezes. It stays much cooler than other wine country areas. There's a nice loop that can be had on Cuttings Wharf/Las Amigas/Duhig roads. And she recommends a stop at the Fremont Diner for brunch/lunch!

Before you run out the door, racing to put that bicycle on the back of your own wine-wagon, you may want to make life a little easier by investing in a GPS which can be mounted on the bike, that way you can follow the routes so much easier. Once you have a GPS device you can down-load the trail directly from to your device. Of course it goes with out saying there two things you will definitely need before hitting the trail, one having a good helmet is a smart way to hit the road, just incase you have a spill and two bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.

The ride above does not really require you have the full-on bike-nerd accessories [unless of course you really want them] you'll just need to wear something comfortable and bright, sturdy shoes are must, those pedals can give your feet some grief, after just a few miles.

Also please be careful when trussing up your bike on the car, some of those devices that attach to the trunk-lid are a bit sketchy, I've seen a few fall off during transport, it's not a pretty aftermath. The best ones that I've seen attaches to the trailer hitch of the vehicle, providing easy on and off and a secure fit that won't bang your car. You may also want to look into some saddle bags, they come in handy when you'll be out all day on the wine trail and who knows you may want to take a bottle or two back with you from a newly found favorite. Until next time folks sip long and prosper cheers!
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