Healdsburg, California, known as “The Small Town for All Seasons”, boasts a town square, cuisine for all pallets, and array of shops to please even the pickiest of spending connoisseurs. It’s also known for its fabulous events, and on Saturday, July 16, 2011, hundreds will be flocking to the small Northern California town for the 25th Annual Healdsburg Harvest Century Bicycle Tour.
While the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Bicycling Magazine listed Sonoma County, California as one of “The 7 Greatest Rides on Earth” — alongside the likes of Tuscany, Crested Butte, and Moab, this writer can truly attest that Healdsburg, California, in the heart of Sonoma County, has some of the most spectacular terrain and views a bike rider would ever experience. Take it from someone who has lived in this area for the last 10+ years; not a day goes by when there isn’t a single cyclist out on the roads in and about Healdsburg, California. In the summertime, the number of riders multiplies exponentially.
The Healdsburg Harvest Century Bicycle Tour event is for both road and mountain bikers, so bicycling enthusiasts should plan on spending the weekend and maybe a few extra days more. This is not a race, but a leisurely tour with three levels of biking terrain: 23, 37 or 60 miles, each varying in intensity. While the 23 mile ride is flat, the 37 and 60 mile ride will feature rolling hills and some moderate climbs. Whatever route you don’t participate in, you’ll definitely want to come back the next day or the day after to at least take a partial ride through some of Sonoma Wine Country’s most famous appellations — Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and the Russian River Valley.
Event registration is open now here. The fee is $90. There will be no refunds as they ride rain or shine. Registration will close on July 15th shortly before 8am PST or when the event is full, so plan on registering as soon as possible. While you’re at it, make your hotel or B&B reservations because Healdsburg is a hopping community, especially on the weekend. For information on lodging, click here.
Check-in begins at 6:15am until 8:00am at the Healdsburg High School located at 1024 Prince Street just off of Powell Street. There will be two rest stops along the way and lunch provided at the high school from 10:30am until 2:00pm.
For those needing extra bike parts or accessories, there are a few places in town to assist you with your needs:
- Spoke Folk Cyclery, located at 201 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-1717.
- Wine Country Bikes, located at 61 Front Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 472-0610
Be sure to check the weather forecast for temperatures and weather conditions. The normal weather pattern consists of cool foggy mornings and warmer afternoon temperatures, but this year the pattern has been erratic with rain in the month of June! Best suggestion is to wear layered clothing.
Just a word about “consideration”…a little courteousness to fellow participants and neighbors along the course will go a long way when planning for future events. This area is very popular for wine tourists and bicyclists alike. Some of the roads are very narrow so it pays to share the road together.
Sources: http://www.active.com/cycling/healdsburg-ca/25th-annual-healdsburg-harvest-century-tour-2011, http://www.healdsburg.org/, http://www.healdsburg.com/biketour/, http://winecountrybikes.com/, http://www.spokefolk.com/