Monday, June 16, 2008

In Wine Country

My wife and I went to Healdsburg this weekend, as we do most weekends. We recently purchased a house up there that we are trying to rent out as a vacation rental. We really enjoy Healdsburg, it's a gorgeous place with a great mix of good wine, great food, fun events, and most importantly excellent cycling. The cycling drew me to the area, starting with 7 years ago when I did the "Terrible Two" - a very difficult 200 mile event that will be going again this weekend starting from Sebastopol and climbing 18,000 plus very steep feet as it explores Sonoma County. I will be taking a pass on the TT this year, but I'm getting in some good riding up in Sonoma.

This weekend was a lot of work - we have 13 or so fruit trees which are coming into fruit - Nectarines, Pomegranate, Pears, Almonds, and zillions of apples. We even managed to get 10 or so tomatoes to start fruiting in our vegetable garden - I'm trying to learn gardening so that we can have produce coming in most times of the year for our renters to pick. It's hard trying to figure it all out - we have table grapes that are fruiting but not nearly as much as the random grapevines on the fence. The question is - are those any good? To this city boy they might as well be poisonous if I don't know any better. Unlikely - but they might not be a variety that tastes good.

Anyway, after hours in the yard and fixing a broken faucet, we did get out for a ride on Saturday. We did a loop of Eastside and Westside roads (I think this is the east and west sides of the Russian River). Nice roads with low traffic and only a few rolling hills. Jill's a little under the weather so we took it nice and easy. On Sunday I broke free for a loop north of town, through the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys, and over Chalk Hill Road - the bane of triathletes doing the Vineman Triathlon. This drops me into Windsor where I can return on Los Amigos Road. This picture is of the Dry Creek Valley just off of Lytton Springs Road.

Sonoma County has it all for cyclists. Beautiful winding roads, low traffic for the most part, awesome scenery, Bear Republic Brewery for post ride libations. I skipped the Racer 5 IPA as I headed home where my wife was being a good sport and had made dinner. We managed to integrate some of our garden - Cilantro from the garden for the Spanish rise, and Fresh Rosemary from our Rosemary Bush for the Chicken. Our Lavender is blooming like crazy and I read about someone making "Lavender Chicken" but my wife was cooking - so she made the rules and the Lavender was vetoed.


Debra Mathy said...

Stop by Dutcher Crossing when you out this way next. We're avid bikers (mountain biking for me) and I'd like to compare route with you. Always looking for a new adventure.

murphstahoe said...

Dutcher Crossing - are you the people who bake the bread?

I like getting up there because Dutcher Canyon is such a super road.

You'll have to point out the MTB spots up there for me, all I know is Annandale (of course that may be all you need...)