Photo by Bob Norberg



Three-day Labor Day weekend and three days of training for the medio GranFondo.

The heart of the weekend was 42 miles on Sunday, an out-and-back over Chalk Hill Road from Healdsburg to Shiloh Regional Park in Windsor, with fellow PD reporter Clark Mason. There are a couple of climbs that even with the granny gear had me straining to get over, and worrying even more about Coleman Valley Road in the medio fondo.

I’m on the 10 percent training plan … increase your previous best ride by 10 percent in distance or difficulty. Chalk Hill was definitely 10 percent more challenging than my previous ride.

The other two rides, Saturday and Labor Day Monday, were 22 miles on West Dry Creek Road, over

to Canyon Road to Geyserville and back to Healdsburg. They were easy by comparison.

Happiness is a breeze in your face and a slight burn in your thighs and calves and taking the time to look around. Otherwise you might as well be in a spin class or at home on an exercycle.

On West Dry Creek, Rafanelli Winery on Monday parked three of its early 1950s flatbed trucks for display, while there is still no sign of activity on the newly finished wine cave at Brack Road.

In Geyserville, the Mummy’s Kitchen sign is still one of my favorites, but the Alexander Valley Bike Co. has taken down its sign, with a hanging bicycle, from the antique shop. Shop owners said the bike company plans to reopen in the former Lampson tractor building in October.

Jimtown Store remains bicyclist-friendly, with bike racks and a water spigot on the side. They considerately charge $2 for a bottled drink … no need to have change jingling in your jersey pocket. The store was packed at lunchtime Sunday with cyclists of all shapes and sizes.

I was treated royally by the Dry Creek Peach and Produce Co. on Yoakim Bridge Road. Even though we were in cycling clothes with no way to buy peaches, they sliced up samples of their organic peaches, the only non-grape fruit grown in Dry Creek Valley. And they make a killer lemonade, 50 cents a glass.

In appreciation, I’ve since been back to buy some peaches.

However, it wasn’t so pleasant for those training for the full 103-mile GranFondo. Several people said that three perfectly manicured strips of broken glass were laid Saturday across King Ridge Road above Cazadero. It may be a sign that the friction between some in the community and cyclists has not calmed.

The riders who were not able to stop in time ended up brushing glass off of their tires with their hands.

GranFondo organizers said the CHP has been notified and will be watching the roads.