A Press Democrat Blog

Bicycling Sonoma

The spin on riding

Cycling amid the fall colors of Sonoma County

I had not planned on writing about the fall colors, until I made my monthly ride out to the Freestone Wildflower Bakery on Saturday. That is what happens here in Sonoma County. Sometimes the landscape just envelopes you and shouts “See, this is what I am talking about!” Reviewing the local Strava rides over the weekend, many were labeled “Fall Colors.” So, why not talk about the colors? First the weather was perfect. Cool mornings and warm afternoons. My ride… Read More »

Bicycling and not being afraid of the dark

Today starts the workweek with the clocks rolled back. Most of us will get home in the darkness of the five o’clock hour wondering what do with our lives frustratingly so, since it is still warm outside. Do we go to the gym and box in our world with a pudgy crowd spinning or treadmilling away watching Entertainment Tonight and Jeopardy? Fret not my little cycling warriors, I am here to rescue you! In the past couple of years, there… Read More »

Saving the world from Lance Armstrong

Some interesting news out of Greenville, South Carolina occurred this past week. It is the home of George Hincapie, who was a Lance Armstrong loyalist during the U.S. Postal glory days long before the crash and burn. George, with his brother, owns and operates a successful cycling sportswear company and a junior development cycling team in Greenville. This past Saturday, George hosted his annual Gran Fondo. An 80 mile pleasure ride through the fall colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains… Read More »

Saying farewell to Michael Torckler

Remember Michael Torckler? If his name does not jog your memory, he was the victim of a violent crash on Pine Flat Road on June 29, 2012. If you still need help, read about it here. The relevance of this story is that the Kiwi-born cyclist has been released from his professional team and on Oct. 28, he will be saying “Cheers” to Sonoma County as he departs permanently to his native New Zealand with his wife, Rowan, who is… Read More »

A beautifully, painful fall Shasta County day

After riding in Levi’s Gran Fondo, I had not planned on riding another big ride for some time. That changed quickly last week when several family members and friends encouraged me to participate in the Shasta Wheelman Jamboree Century held this past Saturday in Palo Cedro, which is just east of Redding. Lucky for me that I had a few days to convince myself that it would not be as hard the King Ridge Gran Fondo.  I obviously have lost… Read More »

Hypothermia, heat stroke and Kamikaze squirrels

The PD reported that Saturday’s high and low temperature in Sebastopol was 100 degrees and a low of 44. I don’t know anywhere in the world that has such temperature variances on a calm clear day. For 7,000 Levi’s King Ridge Grand Fondo bike riders, this presented quite a challenge. I will get back to the squirrels. I was greeted on my way on to the ride when Levi slowed his car from the fast lane on 101, rolled down… Read More »

Is Strava ruining cycling?

I am going to immediately jump in and join the Strava debate. If you don’t know what Strava is, it is the San Francisco-based social media that has swept up the cycling world in the minds of more than a few. Think Facebook for bike riders and you have a good grasp on what Strava is. Strava will record and log your rides through either your smart phone app or through a Garmin-like head unit, which is what I use.… Read More »

How the bike saved me

It was New Year’s morning 2011 when I made the decision. It is always easy to make resolutions when you step on the scale that first morning of the year, isn’t it? Here I was with a massive hangover, overweight, bad knees, bad shoulder, bad back, bad everything. My prescriptions were laid out on the counter so I could start another day, another year. This is not what being 45 is supposed to feel like. Being athletic and enjoying the… Read More »

Have You Raced Your Bike Yet? Check Out These Tips From NorCal’s Finest

GUEST COLUMN By TOM EDWARDS Despite the extensive negative media attention currently plaguing the cycling world, there is still the undeniable fact that as we progress through the year, thousands of people across the country are going to look at their love and dedication to the bicycle and decide to have a go at racing. You like going fast, so why not? Not only can this be a terrific resolution for one’s health, but it can also add an unforgettable… Read More »

GUEST POST: 10 tips for the GranFondo

About the author: Tom Edwards is a recent Sonoma State graduate and a Sebastopol road racer. He has ridden in the King Ridge GranFondo since 2010. “After rowing throughout school, I traded in my calloused hands for a killer jersey tan and haven’t looked back. I’m passionate about all things exercise, from the physiology involved, to coaching. On top of that, I love homebrewing, writing, and music,” said Tom. GUEST COLUMN: 10 Tips to Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable 2012 King Ridge GranFondo… Read More »