Never mind the booze—with its winding roads, rolling terrain and frost heave-free pavement, wine country makes for the best bike touring, whether in Tuscany or Bordeaux. Ride through Northern California’s vineyards, and the bonus is that you're just a day’s ride to the rugged Pacific coast and a spin through the redwoods, all of which helps you burn off, yes, the booze.
Backroads’ five-night, sag-wagon-supported bike tour is the company’s most popular trip, and over the years they’ve fine-tuned the route to accommodate customizable cycling options from 25-100 miles each day, depending on individual interest. They'll also land you at plush inns and farm-to-table eateries each night. “We get a lot of repeat clients,” says Backroads’ Massimo Prioreschi.
The first night features the famous roman bathing course at Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, built above an underground mineral springs. Day two sees you climb over the mountains to Bodega Bay’s ocean-view hot tub. The following day brings a ride along the coast to the Russian River, a climb into the towering Armstrong Redwoods grove, and then on to the Michelin-starred Victorian Inn Madrona Manor in Healdsberg. Round the trip out with two days in Napa and big ride options, including the Oakville Grade, a regular feature of the Tour of California race, and the option to pedal up to dozens of different wine tasting rooms.
STAY: Six days