Bicycling in CA … And Drink Wine!

Our goal was to bicycle in Edna Valley, Avila Beach, Santa Rosa, Ventura and Napa areas. So if you are looking for some insight as to where to cycle, here are some ideas, along with wineries to check into.

Edna Valley area, east of San Luis Obispo: We park our vehicle at one of the wineries, we usually ask Saucelito Canyon staff if this is okay. From there we ride to Lopez Lake by way of Orcutt Road and then back via Orcutt Road but will turn-off onto Tiffany Ranch Road (passing more wineries) to Corbett Canyon Road to Route 227 to Claiborne & Churchill winery. One can buy a delicious lunch, just up the road from Claiborne & Churchill, at Sextant’s gourmet deli and then finish the ride on Biddle Ranch Road to hop off the bicycle, pack it on your car and enjoy a wine tasting at Saucelito Canyon winery. You’ll pass many wineries for tasting opportunities. The overall trick is to pace yourself cycling the miles and drinking the wines!

Wine tasting & cheese plate at Claiborne & Churchill

Avila Beach: With a bit of planning you can cycle from San Luis Obispo to Avila Beach via Ontario Road to a paved Bob Jones Trail head to Avila Beach Drive to eventually spend time on a pier for lunch, such as at Mersea’s Seafood on the Harford Pier. Or you could wine taste at Sinor-LaVallee, my favorite, and/or walk the beach area and find delicious food at other restaurants, such as Custom House.

Santa Rosa: On both sides of the Santa Rosa Creek you’ll find bicycling opportunities so park downtown, to eat good food here when done cycling, and hop on your bicycle. The Joe Rodota Trail, can be linked with the Santa Rosa Creek Trail and/or the Prince Memorial Trail. Be sure to have a map to know how they are connected and/or how you can further your ride to Sebastopol. If you have more time in the area, bicycling Sebastopol to Graton to Forestville is a combination of roads and trails with more wine tasting opportunities, such as Dutton-Goldfield Winery in Graton.

Napa: Years ago we bicycled the busy roads in this town and are now happy to see the Napa Valley Vine Trail, a safer bicycle ride from Napa to Yountville, and then can add bicycling miles on local roads with lower traffic. I continue to have fond memories of Trefethen Family Vineyards on a bicycle ride years ago, but you’ll discover there are many wineries to visit in this town!

Oxnard, Ventura, Ojai, Carpinteria: Bicycling options are many here. Bicycling from Oxnard to Ventura to Carpinteria is a combination of cycling Harbor Boulevard from Oxnard to Ventura, then Omer Rains Coastal Bike Trail to the Rincon Bike Trail and continue on Pacific Coast Highway to Carpinteria.

Or ride Ventura to Ojai by way of the Ventura River Trail to the Ojai Valley Trail, enjoy lunch in Ojai and ride back. I liked this trail on a recent hot day because much of it is shaded. Wine tours are an easy way to visit various places especially after a day of cycling … so consider them.

Shady trail

If you do not have any bicycling apps to help you plan your routes, I would suggest “TrailLink”. There you can choose the type of trail, length, surface and what activity you are planning … there is biking, but also cross country skiing, walking, mountain biking, wheelchair accessible, etc … so check this app when searching for your favorite activity.

Enjoy cycling and wine tasting, but always remember to be safe … wear a helmet, apply sunscreen, drink water, eat snacks, and ask to share a wine tasting with your friend at the tasting rooms so you are not cycling under the influence of alcohol. When telling the staff I am cycling and want to be safe, I have always been able to share a tasting with my friend. Enjoy the ride and sips!

Stop & sip some wine along the way!
Cycling past many growing vines!

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