California has no shortage of bicycle-friendly cities. Since many California residents promote healthy lifestyles and a “green” attitude, it’s no surprise that cities like San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis, and Oakland are consistently ranked among the country’s best cities for cyclists. We can now add Healdsburg to that list, as Bicycling Magazine recently named the Sonoma County destination one of the country’s “Six Best Cities for a Bike Vacation.”
“This quaint town is an ideal staging ground for exploring Sonoma wine country by bike,” the magazine blurb reads, and lists suggestions about restaurants and hotels to visit while checking out the area by foot and bike. The magazine website also provides a link to another page suggesting great rides in Healdsburg and throughout Sonoma County. The other U.S. destinations mentioned were Burlington, Vermont, Charleston, South Carolina, Ketchum, Idaho, and Traverse City, Michigan.
Healdsburg residents and bicycle enthusiasts are giddy about this exposure, even if it is focused more at tourism than at cyclists. “In the ski world, some people like the black diamond slope and some like the bunny slope with hot cocoa in the lodge,” said Healdsburg Chamber Commerce Executive Director Mo McElroy, a well-known bicycle lover. “In cycling we can go over Kings Ridge or stop along the way and smell the tomatoes. It’s all good PR.”
So if you love cycling, head over to Healdsburg to see what the town has to offer. But remember to be careful. The Bay Citizen’s Bike Accident Tracker recently showed that Bay Area suburbs are the most dangerous when it comes to bike accidents and cyclist deaths. Between 2005 and 2009, for example, 930 Sonoma bicyclists were involved in accidents, and 8 were killed. So while cycling in Healdsburg follow all traffic signs, share the road with drivers, and remember to wear a helmet to ensure that the town remains a bicycle hot spot, but also a safe place for cyclists.
Photo credit: igb