Fall Bike Tours

Posted By: Tony Blakey | Sep. 19 2013

California Bike Map - Napa-SonomaAs the leaves pile up here in the streets of Portland, many people are wondering where would be a good place to escape to for a last minute fall bike tour.

High on the list for consideration must be the California Wine Country in Napa & Sonoma counties. This part of California is great for a fall cycling vacation for several reasons:

Napa Valley Bike Tours

Wine lovers looking for some gentle riding will stick to the valley floor meandering their way up from glitzy Yountville to quirky Calistoga. Within a few miles of riding you pass several of the world’s best wineries. There are also some fantastic places to eat.

More aggressive riders will head up Howell Mountain Rd. This little-used lane heads straight up the side of the valley and has great views and steep grades. Either return to the Valley down Deer Park Road or continue across to Pope Valley for an epic ride. Sleepy Pope Valley gives a glimpse of what the Napa Valley was like before the wine boom.

Our favorite towns to stay in are St Helena and Calistoga. Both are at the quieter northern end of the valley. St Helena is the more polished but Calistoga probably has more raw charm.

Sonoma Bike Tours

Sonoma County is quieter and a little less brash than Napa Valley. Wineries tend to be smaller and many are family run. There is also a fantastic range of riding: from rolling wine valleys to towering Redwood groves to a rugged coast. In fall the coastal fogs have gone and the ocean breeze is gentler.

Our favorite riding is out of Healdsburg and Guerneville. Beginners and intermediate riders will love the quiet Dry Creek Valley. More aggressive riders will want to head into the coast range and along the coast. Occidental makes a great lunch stop.