Sonoma County is rightfully famous as a premier cycling destination, with dozens of bike-friendly roads winding through hills and straightaways past scenic vineyards and coastal vistas. Visitors will now have the chance to “elevate the experience,” in the words of Sonoma-based pro cyclist and Tour de France veteran Pete Stetina, as he leads tailor-made bike tours through the county in a new partnership with the Healdsburg Collection of boutique hotels.
Based at the h2hotel, Harmon Guest House or Hotel Healdsburg, guests can book private daylong rides with Stetina, customized based on interests and skills. “We can make it a massive day out with big mileage and hard climbs,” says Stetina, “or it can be a social ride, where I share coaching and equipment tips, followed with a bakery stop.” Guests can also book phone consultations with Stetina for personalized Sonoma route planning and tips and tricks for riding the area.
The Pro Cycling Experience starts at $1,765 for up to three riders and includes a two-night hotel stay and food and beverage treats. Notably, $400 of each purchase gets donated to the B-Rad Foundation to provide bike equipment, trips, and training to local kids in need.
For visitors looking to cycle routes themselves, the hotels offer free bike-mounted GPS devices pre- loaded with “Pete’s Picks”—custom courses created by Stetina. The routes range between 8 and 100 miles, rated like ski hills from green to double black diamond. The GPS gives turn-by-turn instructions and even regular prompts to hydrate. If you just want to pedal around town, the hotels provide free cruiser bike rentals and local maps.
I rode the Stetina-created Dry Creek Valley Route, leaving directly from the hotel on a 25-mile, mostly flat course passing a dozen different wineries. The road was smooth, the midweek traffic light, and the views spectacular. At one point, the route diverts from a busy section of the main road and takes riders on a side circuit over a couple of hills providing bonus views.
Circe Sher, president of Piazza Hospitality, which runs the hotels, is excited about the new program. “Biking has always been big here, but with the pandemic, people just went nuts for cycling. Pete has ridden every nook and cranny of this county. He’s like ‘Mr. Sonoma,’ so I couldn’t think of anyone better to share the experience with our guests.”