My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ride The West - Day 12 - Petaluma, CA

Today we rode through the heart of Sonoma wine country and it did not disappoint.  Right out of the gate we started passing vineyard after vineyard.  The grapes were ripe and ready for picking.  The stooges stayed together for most of the day with just a few side trips keeping us apart.  The weather was also ripe for riding ... high 50's at the start, warming to the mid 80's with no humidity.  Arm warmers (shed at the SAG) and my vest kept me very comfortable.

30 Miles of Vineyards

Rich Color ... Ready For Picking
Mike Munk Snapped Another Great Shot of Me Cruising Through Sonoma
While we turned off a bit before my favorite winery (Silver Oak), we went past scores of others. The roads were relatively quiet. but rough in many spots.  Our pace was slow as we sucked in all the great views.  So many wineries ... Raymond Burr, Yoakim Bridge, Matrix, Quivira, Mill Creek, Hop Kiln, Toad Hollow, Lambert Bridge, and Korbel to name just a few.

Joe Enjoys The Day

Jeff's Turn ... These Views Were Typical of the Day
I broke off from the boys to track down a few wineries I wanted to see.  They headed to Korbel and sampled some champagne.  I stopped at Lambert Bridge in honor of Karen's family name.  It was a neat building with a great old truck out front. The Lambert's closed the winery in the 90's after they lost a big law suit with Seagrams.  The new owners have revitalized the brand.  My next stop was at Toad Hollow.  I chose this for their great toad label that looks a lot like Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows (I have over 250 different versions of that book).

Lambert Bridge Winery

Toad Hollow Vineyards

Hop Kiln Winery ... Neat Building ... Over 100 Years Old
We met back up a the only SAG of the day in Guerneville.  My cleat had been squeaking most of the morning, so I spent some time trying to grease and fix it, but one of the bolt holes was stripped.  Jim was able to use a larger bolt and get it to hold pretty good.  I think I will finally switch over new more walkable mountain bike like cleats after this ride.  The highlight of the SAG was fresh strawberries and brownies that Margo Addison dropped off.  She rode with us in 2010 and for the first leg of this trip.

One Shoe On, One Shoe Off (Courtesy of Mike Munk)
Joe, Jeff, and I rode out from the SAG and made one last winery stop at one of Joe's favorites, Joseph Phelps Freestone.  After that, we turned away from the wineries and across the Russian River.  We climbed to the neat town of Occidental and stopped at the Union Hotel that had a great bakery.  I had the most decadent sticky bun ... it must have weighed a pound!  It provided plenty of energy for the rest of the ride over some rolling golden hills.  We met up with Tracey and Char and finished the last 15 miles together, including a pretty steep wall about 7 miles from Petaluma.

Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards
Jeff and Joe Cross the Russian River

Yummy, Yummy in My Tummy
70 more miles and 2,600 feet of climbing today - Tomorrow we head to San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Saturday will be our second rest day.  I hope to visit my uncle, do some sight seeing, wash my clothes, and grab some dim sum.  Pig .. close your eyes.

Piglet Dim Sum ... OK, Maybe They Look More Like Doggies
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Sonoma Wineries ... Good Night Cleats ... Good Night Barb and John (See You Soon) ... Good Night Rick (I Enjoyed the Day We Rode Together) ... Good Night Colorado Crew (It Was a Fun Week)

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