I just returned from my first cycling excursion to California, which tied in nicely with the Tour of California stage at Santa Rosa. I am a nubie on the cycling front, celebrating my first year in June of riding, but in this short time I have found hill riding the most enjoyable and rewarding for losing weight (which is why I fell into cycling initially), and getting above a place to see it anew. When I first arrived to meet up with my friends Tanya and Deb, I met up with T (Tanya) at Locals Tasting Room in Geyserville. I was directed for my first ride toward Geyser Road and the climb that bears the same name. I was fresh off driving from Ashland, Oregon that day and this was my wake up.
It was breathtaking on both getting vertical, and seeing the valley below as well!
The next day it was Rockpile with some cycling friends of Tanya’s led by Patty Phillips. The ride was again, very vertical, wonderful in vistas seen and my senses, smells, sounds, temperature all waking me up and challenging me to pay attention. It was something truly amazing to see and experience. Wonderful roads, better than home, being Seattle. The scent of wine, or the blossoms, filled my senses. It haunts me today, in a very positive, lovingly held memory. I next did a ride out to the coast thanks to Tanya suggesting a route from Occidental out on Coleman Valley Road to Hwy 1 and then back using Bohemian Hwy for my return. One word for the ride, breathtaking! You get it all on this route, shade, grand tree style with Redwoods, then some climbing, following some of the Santa Rosa stage of the Tour of California and then opening up to a view of the ocean and Hwy 1. Simply some of the most stunning riding I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing in this short span of mine.
By Harold Hollingsworth