Self-Guided Sonoma Road Biking

Cycle through California’s Sonoma Wine Country

TripAdvisor Certificate of ExcellenceSonoma is synonymous with wine, and boasts a spectacular landscape of rolling hills, quiet country roads and coastal access perfect for a self-guided cycling trip. Biking through Sonoma is a delight for wine lovers, bike enthusiasts, and casual tourists alike. Food ranks high here too; the farm to table movement thrives and tradition is honored in each element of food production and enjoyment.

Available May 1 – October 31.

Why travel with AOA?: Find out more

Price: from $1279 pp

Activity: Road Biking

6 days, 5 nights

Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced

Check Availability!

 

Self-Guided Sonoma Road Biking

Trip Details

PRICE

$1,419 pp with 2 participants

$1,325 pp with 4 participants

$1,279 pp with 6 participants

  • We cannot accommodate solo travelers on self-guided trips.
  • Price is per person, shared occupancy in all accommodations.
  • Prices are based on your trip starting on Sunday. Possible increased costs for trips that start on other days of the week.

*Find out more about solo accommodations under the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below.*

 

Overview

This self-guided cycling trip is a one-of-a-kind journey. Breathe in fresh wine country air and take in the views as you travel off the beaten path and pedal down roads that only the locals know. Begin your journey with a ride to Sebastopol, a fantastic launching point for true road riding, then travel to the quaint town of Glen Ellen with a stop at the beautiful Jack London State Park. Next you ride north along the world famous to Healdsburg, one of the jewels of wine-country destinations. The restaurants are world-class, the evening walks intoxicating, and the roads top-notch! Complete your journey with a scenic ride south to Rohnert Park where this trip ends and your next adventure begins. Available May 1 – October 31.

 

Trip Rating Details

self guided sonoma road bike trip rating

Click here for an explanation of AOA’s trip ratings.

 

Where to Meet

START: Day 1, Meet at DoubleTree Hotel Rohnert Park at 12:00pm for orientation (Click here).

END: Day 5, Finish back at DoubleTree Hotel Rohnert Park.

GUESTS: 2 min

 

Included

  • Luggage transfers Day 1, 3, 5, 6
  • Personal orientation on Day 1 with expert staff to go over your route book, bike set up and cover the days ahead
  • 2 nights lodging in Healdsburg
  • 2 nights lodging in Sebastopol
  • 1 night lodging in Glen Ellen
  • Breakfast on Day 4, 5, 6 (lunch and dinner on your own)
  • Gloves, helmet, clipless pedals available upon request (with bike rental)
  • Detailed route book with maps, cue sheets, suggestions for stops, water, restaurants and more
  • Pre-travel preparation via detailed trip packet
  • Assistance in planning Pre- and post-trip travel
  • Telephone support throughout the trip

Not Included

  • Breakfast on Day 1, 2, 3
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Bike Rental (Available from AOA, see below)
  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Air transportation to and from San Francisco
  • Airport or hotel transfers to Rohnert Park
  • Optional gratuities to AOA staff

*Please see the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below for a list of available gear rentals and purchase options.*

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When’s the best time to go on this trip?

A: This trip is available from May 1 to October 31. May and June;  September and October are the high season months which makes our trips more competitive. These limitations should be considered when booking.

Q: What is self-guided? Why should I plan my self-guided cycling trip with AOA?

A: Self guided travel is a growing trend due to the flexibility to start and the extraordinary price. It offers support and independence, and customers don’t have to do any work to put it together!

  • You travel on the dates that work best for you and your group
  • You travel with your own small group, typically 2 to 10 travelers
  • Your route is meticulously planned by our experienced staff
  • All your lodging is taken care of
  • All your luggage transfers are included
  • You have access to local support and emergency services twenty four hours a day

Q: What are the rides like and how do I train for the trip?

A: This trip is intended to be the more challenging option in comparison to the Self-Guided Napa Road Biking trip. It is 100% road riding, and includes long rides with important hills. The whole region is hilly and a popular road cycling area. There are many road rides on small wine country roads out to the California coast. The trip is rated level 3.5 out of 5 for the fit, regular cyclists who ride 3 to 4 times per week.

Q: What sort of accommodations are included on this trip?

A: Night 1‐2: Sebastopol Inn. The Sebastopol Inn, in Sonoma’s Wine country, is the ideal accommodation not only for the romantic  wine country getaway, but also for a family vacation, with wine tasting, hot air ballooning, Russian River canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking, zip line, Safari West park with live animals and superb antiquing at your doorstep. This inn, nestled behind the historic Gravenstein train station, offers a central location to  explore all that is wine country in Sonoma County.

Night 3: Gaige House. Tucked into the Sonoma Valley hamlet of Glen Ellen, the Gaige House feels like a secret hideaway. Of course, it’s not really a secret; the Gaige House is regularly recommended in Michelin and other guides, and has been listed repeatedly in Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List of the top hotels in the world. As of June 1, 2012, Gaige House joined the prestigious Four Sisters Inns collection.

Night 4‐5: Healdsburg Inn. Built in 1901, this classic California inn has the best location in town, right on the historic Healdsburg Plaza. From summer concerts in the outdoor bandstand to antique fairs and holiday tree lightings, all of the town’s best events take place right here, literally outside the door of this renovated hotel in Healdsburg. Guests are also surrounded by stylish shops, galleries, wine tasting rooms and superb restaurants.

Upgrades  & Additions

Solo Accommodations Upgrade

$895 pp 

No solo travelers, this option is for a single room while traveling with your group.

 

Gear Rental

  • Bike rental is available through AOA. See the Bike Rentals tab below.

 

*A bike and helmet are not included with the cost of this trip. See rentals tab below.*

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).

Trip Dates

Dates

2017

Available May 1 – October 31.

How to reserve a self-guided trip:

One of the benefits of going self-guided is that your travel dates are dependent only on you. We are able to offer this trip at your convenience during the specified season. Please discuss your preferred travel dates with our staff upon inquiry.

To see all of AOA’s multi-day trips, visit our Tour Calendar.

Bike Rental

Bike Rental Options

This trip does not include a rental bike. AOA offers rental road bikes in partnership with a local bike rental shop near Sonoma for your self-guided trip. Each road bike rental includes a helmet and flat repair kit, and can be set up to your basic fit requirements. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle to use with your rental. 

BIKE RENTAL FOR THIS TOUR:

Carbon Frame Road Bike: $360 for the duration of the tour.

High performance bike ideal for serious climbing, equipped with eleven-speed Shimano Ultegra components that have been upgraded with wider range gearing to help with our steep climbs. The wheelset has also been upgraded with a lightweight performance set.

Bike rentals include helmet, gloves, flat tire repair kit, lock, bike bags, 2 bottle cages and bottles, bike computer, and choice of pedals – or bring your own.

OTHER RENTALS AVAILABLE 

  • Carbon frame road bike: Disc brakes, components similar to Shimano 105 or better. Past options include the Ridely Helium and BH Quartz. Inquire about current rental road bike options for self-guided cycling trips in California.
  • Aluminum frame road bike: Disc brakes, drop bars. Past options include the Fuji Sportif 1.
  • Cyclocross bike: Aluminum or steel frame, drop bars. Past options include to the Van Dessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF).
  • Hybrid bike: Aluminum frame, flat bar. Past options include the Breezer Liberty
  • Electric Assist bike: Flat bar, electric assist to aid on climbs
 Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax.

Reservation & Cancellation Policy

Reservations, Payments and Cancellation

AOA’s cycling trips are very popular and advanced planning is often necessary. We recommend making your reservations at least 3 to 5 months in advance. We can accommodate last-minute bookings provided space is available, so please call our office to check.

We strongly recommend that you purchase “travel insurance.” This is a valuable tool that will protect your trip investment.

For more details please see our comprehensive Trip Policies and Payments page.

 

Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE AT DOUBLETREE HOTEL IN ROHNERT PARK FOR ORIENTATION, RIDE TO SEBASTOPOL

12:00pm Upon arrival at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park, one of our trip experts meet you in the lobby and prepare you for the trip ahead! You will review the provided Route Book and all hotel reservations in detail. After getting to know you and the cycling tour you are looking for, our staff may suggest customized rides or activities to enhance your week. Next, they will provide a brief check over your bike to ensure you have a good understanding of the equipment and that it is set to fit you appropriately, then you hit the road! When you arrive at your hotel in Sebastopol by bike you will find your luggage waiting for you at the bell stand. Enjoy your first night relaxing, settling into your accommodations and enjoying dinner at the hotel or at one of AOA’s restaurant recommendations.

  • Cycling: 12-25 miles; +394 feet elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Sebastopol Inn
Cycle through Sonoma Wine Country on a guided tour with AOA!

Taking a break to recap on a great ride through Sonoma Wine Country and the surrounding areas.

DAY 2: SEBASTOPOL LOOP RIDE

Today is a day of options. There’s so much to see and experience from the saddle on your first full day of riding. Check out the mileage, elevation, and points of interest and pick the ride that suites you most!

Option 1: Sweetwater, Mays, Green Valley, 46 miles / 2800 ft elevation gain.

Sweetwater Springs is a local favorite. It connects Dry Creek Valley to the Russian River Valley. Sweetwater Springs has two challenging climbs, with one section boasting grades up to about 16%, but only briefly. The initial descent into the Russian River Valley is technical but the road surface is very smooth. The Russian River Valley area is known as one of the best places in the area to look at redwood trees. This route offers the option for a short detour to Armstrong Redwoods, well worth the extra mileage! Make a short stop at Guerneville for a break at Coffee Bazaar. Two more climbs will wrap up this ride.

Option 2: Sebastopol Bodega Bay, 41 miles / 4,500 ft elevation gain.

Another local favorite, this short-ish ride has plenty of punchy climbs, technical descents, and occasional flat roads. The huge advantage of this ride is you may see no more than 5 cars on Bay Hill and Coleman Valley Roads combined, giving you solid mileage on quiet, scenic roads.

Option 3: Sebastopol Marshall Loop, 74 miles / 5,000 ft elevation gain. 

This longer route extends south for a ride along the famed Pacific Coast Highway. After about 5 miles of riding alongside Tomales Bay (home of the San Andreas fault), you turn inland and climb the Marshall Wall. A lot of beautiful country roads await you here. The ride along Tomales Bay is very beautiful, but be prepared for a workout because you’re either climbing or descending with and without technical cornering. It takes constant effort to keep a fast pace on this kind of terrain, a great ride for a confident cyclist.

  • Cycling: 41-74 miles; +2,859 ft elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Sebastopol Inn

DAY 3: SEBASTOPOL TO GLEN ELLEN

Cycle through Sonoma Wine Country on a guided tour with AOA!

Ride past Valley of the Moon on Sonoma Mountain Road.

Leave your bags with the front desk this morning and hop on your bike for the ride to Glen Ellen, CA. You will depart Sebastopol and gradually work your way south and then east to the base of Sonoma Mountain. Very measured climbing begins on Roberts Road then becomes steeper as you approach the summit. Perched high on Sonoma Mountain with over 1,400 pristine acres and 26 miles of trails to explore, Jack London State Park is an outdoor paradise with a rich, colorful, and well preserved history. The climb on London Ranch Road is mostly gradual and along this road is the famous Benziger Family Winery, known for its bio-dynamic farming practices and fascinating history. Over the top there is a short descent to Sonoma Mountain Road which will take you to the outskirts of Glen Ellen. Many sections of this mountain road are shaded by a forest canopy that’s punctuated by hillside vineyards and stunning views. Take an evening stroll through Glen Ellen to shake out those legs and visit one of the several restaurants nearby.

  • Cycling: 35 miles; +3,501 ft elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Gaige House

DAY 4: GLEN ELLEN TO HEALDSBURG

Depart the quaint village of Glen Ellen for Healdsburg, CA and get ready for some really fantastic cycling into Napa Valley today. A short ride from your hotel will bring you to Cavedale Road and your climb for the day. This road gets very light traffic and the grade is mostly gradual with a couple of short punchy sections. After the summit there is a slight technical descent to Trinity road where you turn right and continue to Napa Valley. The trip north through Napa Valley follows the famous Silverado Trail all the way to Calistoga. World‐class vineyards and wineries line this scenic paradise, so if you are looking for a location to take a break then this would be a great choice. Continuing north from here you leave Napa Valley and enter Knights Valley and Alexander Valley before arriving at your destination. Healdsburg is one of the jewels in wine‐country destinations. The restaurants are world‐class and evening walks are intoxicating. Enjoy!

  • Cycling: 63 miles; +4,006 ft elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Healdsburg Inn

DAY 5: HEALDSBURG LOOP RIDE

Cycle through Sonoma Wine Country on a guided tour with AOA!

Cycling through Sonoma Wine Country.

Relax and enjoy a second day in Healdsburg. Today is another day of options where you can choose the loop ride that suits you most. Check out the mileage, elevation, and points of interest before selecting your route.

Option 1: Pine Flat, 37 miles / 3900 ft elevation gain.

This out‐and back is a popular road for those that want to school their climb. Since this road is a dead end, traffic is pretty light. The first part of the climb is mild but the last bit has grades up to 20%.

Option 2: Geysers, 56 miles / 4300 ft elevation gain.

Geysers Road is a long stretch of remote back road. One of the best things about this road is that in 25 miles of riding you are likely to see very few cars or even have the road all to yourself. After the first two climbs you have a long gradual descent into a long and deep canyon. If you’re from an area where canyons are uncommon then this ride is a treat.

Option 3: Westside/Chalk Hill, 54 miles / 1800 ft elevation gain.

Cycling is certainly not all about climbing; sometimes you just like to go fast and far. This loop is one of many variations of valley loops that take advantage of the flatter roads that also have minimal car traffic. Parts of these roads are used in various triathlon events and you can routinely see teams practicing here.

  • Cycling: 37-56 miles, +1776 – 4,252 feet elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: Healdsburg Inn

DAY 6: HEALDSBURG TO ROHNERT PARK AND TRAVEL HOME

Your final bike ride from Healdsburg to Rohnert Park is fairly direct while also managing to avoid major traffic areas. South of town you will cross an historic bridge over the Russian River and then cruise along Old Redwood Highway and Starr Road. After you pass the town of Windsor the roads will become more rural with light traffic and scenic rolling hills. The route then turns onto the Santa Rosa Creek Trail, a popular east‐west corridor for cyclists wanting to avoid the urban Santa Rosa traffic. Getting through Santa Rosa is easy, and then it’s a few short miles to Rohnert Park. Upon arrival at the DoubleTree Hotel you can collect your luggage and leave your rental bikes with the bellman. Safe travels to wherever the road takes you next!

  • Cycling: 37 miles; +1,246 feet elevation
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: On your own

 

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