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A Press Democrat Blog

Bicycling Sonoma

The spin on riding

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 »

The devil that is Mt Diablo

Mount Diablo hovers above the East Bay landscape as the 4,000 foot high menace promising to dish out some sort of bizarre torture to all those who intend to scale it on two wheels. It is also the most frequented long climb by bike riders on the entire west coast. I have pedaled up the mountain in every season of the year and Diablo never fails to disappoint in what it has to offer. Last year during the stage of… Read More »

Riding in June-uary

Levi titled his Strava ride in Annadel yesterday “June-uary.” Though we may have been teased last month that our water woes have been put to rest temporarily, the reality is that we are still knee deep mired in our three year drought. The benefit to these dry days that we are experiencing is the incredible weather for enjoying the outdoors. The difference this year to last, is that the early rains put our verdant seasonal grasses and wildflowers back on… Read More »

Looking forward to 2015 and taking a last glance at 2014

So the year of 2014 is nearly over. Was it a good or bad year for you? As I get older, the grading of my past year is put in this perspective: was I healthy, did I do the things that I enjoy and did I get to spend it with the people that I love? By my account, 2014 will go down as a pretty good one. Riding my bicycle is often a solo experience, but it allowed me… Read More »