Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cycling around Healdsburg - bike ride on the Chalk Hill Loop

This past weekend I took a bit of a breather on our trip to Healdsburg and instead of obsessively pulling weeds from the garden, I took my bike out for a spin.

I started at Le Tournesol and stopped to take a compare and contrast photoset.

Here is Limerick Lane Winery, tucked in behind some of their grapes.


Here is the view across the street.

new grapes on limerick

Newly planted vines - they went in this past week. These won't be wine for a few decades. I'm told there won't be a tasting room added because Limerick Lane is already maxed out with Limerick, Christie, Christopher Creek, and Mietz.

I headed South on Los Amigos into Windsor. Left on Arata, straight on Hembree, left on Old Redwood, left on Pleasant. This is where things get more pleasant, as you leave the outskirts of Windsor and head into the hills on Chalk Hill Road.

Chalk hill - always a good place to be on Twitpic

Chalk Hill is a very popular cycling road near Healdsburg, a part of the Santa Rosa Cycling Club's Wine Country Century and the Vineman triathlon. You often see hordes of triathletes scoping out the course. I rode the hill in the opposite direction of both of those courses - I prefer this direction because the descent is much more twisty and fun.

At the North End of Chalk Hill Road I turned left onto 128 and into the Alexander Valley, which as you can see is just an awful place.
This photo was taken at the driveway to Alexander Valley Vineyard's winery, the tasting room is tucked up into the hills and is quite striking. I highly recommend their "Redemption Zin".

128 takes you into the hamlet (2-3 buildings) of Jimtown. Here you can refuel at the Jimtown Store, known for cyclists stopping to fuel up and for their various olive and artichoke tapenades.


I took Alexander Valley Road straight to Healdsburg Ave, a detour on Lytton Springs is perhaps a more pleasant route, you can go under the freeway onto Chiquita Lane which is a rolling scenic alternative to the rough pavement on Healdsburg Ave. Both roads take you to Grove which takes you into downtown Healdsburg. A scenic cyclist bypass (if you don't want to go check out the Healdsburg Plaza) is Kinley Road, which runs along 101 on the West side from Dry Creek Road to Westside Road, past Horse Farms and grapes. Finally I got back on Old Redwood and returned to Limerick Lane, and sat down on the back deck and enjoyed a white peach from our tree which is in full flight.

Not a bad day at all!

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Surprisingly there are very few blogs chronicling the life and times of wine county in and around Healdsburg. After having the great pleasure of living in Healdsburg while on sabbatical 3 years ago, I have been trying to stay connected with the magical qualities of life I experienced there. It was a pleasure finding your blog. Keep it coming!!!