Riding in Sonoma County
A few words from the Tour d'Organics Ride Manager
Welcome to the 2017 Tour d'Organics! We have a terrific day planned for you. You will enjoy amazing organic farms, great food, and wonderful scenery. But, as an avid cyclist, the true star of the ride is the ride itself! Sonoma County cycling is world class. Many professional racing teams come here to live and train. Amgen Tour of California features our area. Levi Leipheimer has his Gran Fondo here.
Riding in this area though has its challenges. If you have not ridden here before it is helpful to take some precautions. Our roads are hilly. Be prepared for a strenuous day. See our website for links to maps I have prepared and posted on ridewithgps.com. The links will be available to you when you register. Those maps show the elevation profiles, and are useful. Also, our roads are beat up. We have a rural county with hundreds of miles of roads through varied topography. The road maintenance is spotty. So, you need to be extra careful while riding. We have potholes and uneven pavement. Pinch flats are common. It is important that your bike is ready to go when you get here. We have mechanics available and excellent SAG support, but preparation will give you a better day. Helmets are required, and gloves are a good idea.
I run my tires a little bigger here. I have 25mm Continental Gatorskin tires on my road bike. I inflate to 85 psi front and 90 psi rear. Running just a little soft really helps with our bumpy roads. But, don't go too low, or you will pinch flat! The Michelin graph here shows some good starting points.
Also, we have beautiful trees that cause dappled sunlight on our route. Combine that with potholes, and it can be tough to see the hazards. So, I ride with amber sunglasses. I find the amber works best for visibility in the dappled areas and shade, but still protects while in full sun.
As with any ride it is important to be courteous to the locals. Blowing through stop signs and traffic lights is just not a good idea. Also, staying to the right and allowing vehicle traffic to pass is smart. We have attempted to make the ride as safe as possible, with good signage, some flagmen, CHP officers at some traffic spots, and good route marking and maps. Nonetheless, you must pay attention. There are some high traffic roads, and riding single file in those areas is very important.
Have fun out there. I plan to ride the metric century this year with you, so if you see me, say hello! I will be in a TdO jersey. I am happy to try to answer any questions you have.
Tour d'Organics Road Manager
Daniel Rich (firstname.lastname@example.org)