What could be better than cycling through California’s rolling valleys? On a recent trip, I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Napa Valley with my wife, Sue, and a group of our closest cycling friends. Our friends are no beginners; yet we all felt the rising excitement of exploring a new place in a stunning environment.
Napa Valley is home to the country’s finest wine. While my wife and I have been to Napa before, this was an exciting to trip to plan with our friends. We took advantage of the cool temperatures and spent a few days riding around the terrain. We took a ton of photos. Check them out!
Although Napa Valley is known for its wine; in recent years it has drawn a large crowd of fitness enthusiasts, looking to combine both leisure and exercise. A perfect combination for me.
One of the coolest spots we explored was the new Napa Valley Vine Trail, slated to provide nearly 50 miles of trail for walkers, runners, and cyclists. The trail runs from Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga and is a great option for travelers who wish to taste the wine, explore the landscape, and get in as much physical activity as possible.
On our trip, we spent time on multiple loops, some planned, others we discovered on our own. I love this list from 7X7. Check out their recommendations ranging from beginner levels to expert. Still on my bucket list? The Pope Valley Loop. This advanced loop spans more than 40 miles of Napa’s terrain. While reviews suggest that this trail is not for the beginner cyclist; the challenge is equally exciting.
We visited so many wineries, too many to count. One of the coolest spots in the valley was located at Clif Family Winery. If you’re wondering if there is any relation to the Clif bar empire, you’re correct! The winery is an impressive mecca for cyclists, featuring an espresso bar and plenty of high-energy snacks. We geared up, sipped a few wines, then headed back on the trails. The Clif Family Winery is frequently used as the launching point for many cyclists. The winery provides bike rentals, trail concierge, and guides to numerous nearby loops.
One important tip we learned on the trip was to schedule our rides around the heavy traffic times. Tasting hours (11AM-4PM) resulted in many of the main roads to filled with tourists and locals alike. We didn’t mind! We planned our rides in the early morning and later afternoons and joined the crowds midday to sample some of the best wine and food I’ve ever had.
I can’t wait to get back to Napa Valley and explore new loops, taste new wine, and enjoy the sun that seems to always be shining.