As someone who writes about wine, travel, and food I often get invited by businesses to experience what they offer to visitors coming to the area. When Bike Healdsburg contacted me I was a bit unsure. I pictured myself trying to get onto a bicycle and ride in a straight line after having a few glasses of wine. I must admit that a comedy movie rolled through my mind as I imagined it. Fortunately, the smart folks at Bike Healdsburg came up with the perfect way to ride through the beautiful streets of the city, without causing major catastrophes or accidents on their group party bike. I went and I have to say I had an absolute blast!
We started out meeting in a parking lot in the middle of the town. When everyone was there, our hosts helped us all mount up the bike and explained a few safety rules. Once aboard, we were ready to go. It was quite hilarious trying to pedal. You sit in a square, facing inwards, so the bike moves at right-angles to the direction in which you face. This was a trifle disconcerting.
As we rolled through town, our hosts pointed out interesting buildings, wineries, and restaurants along the way. We rode for about twenty minutes until we arrived at Sapphire Hill Winery. What a cute place! We all dismounted and had a chance to look around as our hosts led us to the tasting room.
Once inside, our group had an amazing private tasting. Sapphire Hill Winery prides themselves on pairing their wines with food, so we had the opportunity to nibble many different treats that complemented the wines perfectly. It seemed as though there were many many courses of food bites including dessert. We drank and ate happily while enjoying the atmosphere of the tasting room.
The tasting was so great that several people stopped to purchase wine after we were done. No hard sell needed or given. We all loved what we were eating and drinking.
We got back outside and onto the bike. Our group was feeling very happy. Somehow it seemed like it took half the time for us to get back riding through the streets of Healdsburg as it took to get there.
What I loved about this experience:
A. It is super social. Everyone on the ride was there to have fun. It seemed like our group was in it together which added for a great vibe and lots of laughter all the way through the tour.
B. The winery choice was outstanding. It would have been such a bummer to go and have indifferent wines. This experience was so much fun partially because the wines were good and everyone liked what they were tasting.
C. It was well organized. There was just enough riding to make us feel virtuous but not enough to make you feel exhausted at the end.
D. It’s Healdsburg! Who doesn’t love it there? There is so much to do and see in the town, and this just wraps it all up perfectly.
To whom do I recommend this ride? Anyone who has moderately good health and above the age of 21 (as there is alcohol involved – I believe they do the experience without alcohol so minimum age would be around 14 for that). It really isn’t strenuous and you can pedal as much or as little as you like once on board. I would say, however, that you have to be able to climb up and down on to the bike and be willing to join in with a bunch of people whom you may not know. I could see this as being a fun thing to do for groups, friends, corporate experiences, team building, couples, singles, or pretty much anyone who likes to have a bit of exercise and a good time.
Bike Healdsburg offer many different types of rides – everything from a morning exercise ride, to a progressive lunch, or wine and nibbles and finally a progressive dinner. I would suggest that to really get the most out of the ride do the lunchtime rides not in the heat of summer; that way you can enjoy all of the beauty of downtown Healdsburg as you ride.
The next time you are looking for something to do in Sonoma wine country, check out Bike Healdsburg. I highly recommend this experience!