Healdsburg Harvest Ride Revisited

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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This ride is a repeat of the Harvest Ride I did a few weeks back, this time we’re here with the Wed group from Grizzly Peak Cyclists. This scenic counter clock-wise loop tours the different wine growing regions of Sonoma County; Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill Valley and Alexander Valley.

We head south on Westside Rd; this road runs 9.3 miles along the low-lying plains of  Russian River Valley through the many world-class wineries and gorgeous vineyards.

The golden hues of yellow, crimson reds and vibrant orange saturate the entire valley floor! The flat to rolling terrain leads us to the single climb up and over through the woods onto Wohler Rd.

We cross the Wohler Bridge over the Russian River to Eastside Rd. The expansive vineyards around the valley and its autumn colors are spectacular!

Mark Station Rd and Windsor Rd takes us through the town of Windsor; these back roads leads us pass the open fields, apple orchards, ranches and farms towards the County Airport.

Shiloh Rd cuts through the south end of Windsor and continues east over US-101 to the opposite end at Faught Rd. There is a brief regroup at Eposti Park off Old Redwood Hwy.

Faught Rd heads north with great views of the surrounding valley vineyards.

Chalk Hill Rd goes along Chalk Hill Valley;it’s a smaller appellation within Russian River Valley. The climb up the south side of this road is much shorter and much gentler with grades maxing out at 9% towards the summit.  

The descent on Chalk Hill Rd drops into the valley floor pass the horse and cattle ranches and hillside vineyards.

The rolling terrain leads us to the short climb up Chalk Hill to the Historic Chalk Hill Grange. The road continues gently pass the acres of vineyards of Verite and Lancaster Wineries. We cross the Historic Maacama Bridge and make our way out to CA-128.

We continue NW on CA-128 through the splendid vineyards and wineries of the expansive Alexander Valley to our lunch stop at Jimtown Store.

The post lunch route stays on CA-128 to the flatlands along Pine Flat, Red Winery and Geysers Rd. We meander along the valley floor with awesome views of the sprawling vineyards and winery estates.

CA-128 continues NW through Alexander Valley and crosses the Russian River into the town of Geyserville.

Geyserville Ave leads us out-of-town to the climb up east Canyon Rd; it’s 3/10th of a mile with gradient ranges of 6-9%. You’re at the summit when you see the Olive Hill Cemetery. Enjoy the colorful hillside vineyards on the descent into Dry Creek Valley.

From Dry Creek Valley, we take Yoakim Bridge Rd to W Dry Creek Rd; this is probably one of the most popular cycling roads in this area! The gentle rolling terrain meanders 8.8 miles through the spectacular Dry Creek Valley!

Westside Rd takes us across the bridge into Healdsburg and back to the parking lot.

It turned out to be a perfect day for touring the wine country and to enjoy the autumn colors before all the leaves fall off the vines! Thanks to Deb for leading this annual ride!

~40 people in attendance with 2 tandems

Garmin Stats:
54 Miles with 2169′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 345′
Max grade: 9%
Terrain: Flat to rolling with a couple of low hills

Weather: Great! Sunny and cools with temps ranging from the high 40’s to the mid 60’s. Breezy N winds with 87% humidity.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  ~Albert Camus



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Follow this route for today’s ride: