A Press Democrat Blog

Bicycling Sonoma

The spin on riding

10 Takeaways from Le Tour

The 102nd Tour de France is in the books after one of the  most competitive editions of the race in recent memory. Chris Froome of Team Sky was declared the overall winner when he passed through the finish line beginning the first of ten circuits Sunday in Paris. Race organizers rightly neutralized the final circuits due to rainy weather conditions. What did we learn from this years race? Plenty, that’s what! Here are my ten takeaways from this years Tour:… Read More »


After yesterday, I did not think it would be possible for Tony Martin to wear the yellow jersey. After one of the more memorable stages in memory, Tony who unlike Thibault Pinot who had a complete meltdown after both punctured with 20km to go in Stage four, kept his cool after a rapid exchange with his shorter teammate and broke away in the final four km holding onto a three second victory erasing his measly six tenths of a second… Read More »

To have worn yellow and lost is better than not wearing yellow at all

A little word play describing the first three stages of the tour this year. Maybe it would better describe the heartache that Tony Martin is going through right now. I will revisit Tony in a bit. What a first three days, huh? With tomorrow’s cobble stage, the first week is revisiting some of the spring classics which usually provide the years best racing. The usual first week of predictable results has been turned on its head for sure. No surprise… Read More »

A deal is a deal

There is no way to adequately describe  in a blog format the entire meaning of this title. As with most of my stories, I will circle back to the title after a bit of explanation. In 1991, I made Sonoma County my permanent home after a brief stay in the late 80′s. What attracted me to this place that I would call home for half of my life is the texture of it: the varied climate, the undulating roads that… Read More »

Peter Stetina seriously injured

As reported by Velonews yesterday, Santa Rosa resident Peter Stetina who races for Santa Rosa based BMC Racing Team, was seriously injured in a crash in the final straight of the first stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in Spain. Peter suffered a broken tibia, patella and four broken ribs. A dozen riders were injured due to a poorly laid out course that had metal poles in the roadway that are used with traffic control (see photo below). The… Read More »

Super Sweetwater Grasshopper: a photo essay

Today the third of the five legged Grasshopper Adventure Series was pedaled from Sweetwater Springs road to the finish on top of Coleman Valley Road. In between, 60 miles and 9,000 feet of verticle climb over both paved or gravel road greeted the 250 participants. Riding a Grasshopper is an experience. From Miguel’s opening on the megaphone, to the finish, it is a day on the bike not to be missed. I rode the first two this year finishing towards… Read More »

How I learned to ride faster

I may be getting older, but give me any flat Strava segment a quarter mile to half mile long, I bet I can put my name near the top of the leader-board. There is a reason for that. I had a lot of training and motivation that requires a little history. That history was from my youth growing up in the Sacramento Valley in the early ’70′s. Some was good, some was bad. Figuring things out quickly, was a necessity.… Read More »

It is never raining again

  The title “It is never raining again” is what Giampaolo Pesce told me this past Saturday morning as we soaked  in the warm sunshine at Rochioli winery waiting for Silvano and Stefano for our morning ride. If you are familiar with Riviera Ristorante in Santa Rosa, you will know that the Pesce family  makes the best Italian food in the county. Plus, they are the biggest cycling fans in the area. If you are visiting Santa Rosa to ride,… Read More »

Tour of California route announced

The Amgen Tour of California announced their 10th anniversary route today which by omission did not include Sonoma County for the May 10-17th race. California has so much to offer in its varied landscape, so when Lodi, Ontario and San Jose are featured cities in this years tour I can only think this event is doomed. Any third grader could probably come up with a better list than the organizers did this year. Heck, a bunch sprint down Main Street… Read More »

Spoke rage and helmets

In the past two weeks there has been a lot of dialog over the cyclists mowed down by a teenage lunatic in Ukiah and the proposed helmet law being floated by State Senator Carol Liu. First, let me address the kid who turned his Honda into a battering ram.  I did not see anyone that really seemed shocked by what happened. That came as little surprise to me. As cycling continues its popularity, there is a growing discontent from some drivers that… Read More »