How should a bike travel company throw a spectacular end-of-the-season celebration? Well, it has to start with the perfect location. And for us, that is Healdsburg, a little hamlet in the heart of Sonoma’s wine country. Healdsburg has good soul, as well as good shopping. It has great food, too, and the weather is amazing, even by California standards. Then you add the perfect boutique hotel – the H2Hotel – where the service is impeccable, the rooms divine and the location spot-on. And to top it off, get a clubhouse provided by the Mill District and staffed by their amazing folks where there is not only room for bike washes and showers and lunches and relaxation, but also a very noticeable vacation-esque vibe.
The good people of Mill District are building something special in Healdsburg and we grateful they were willing to share their vision and their space with us. So we got the where sorted to perfection, but how about the what?
We started with having former pro rider turned lord-of-gravel and all around good guy Ted King design us some routes. We rode through the vineyards and the fall colors and up and over all the hills and dales. The routes were nothing short of spectacular with just enough “who the f#@# picked this climb” thrown in to test everyone’s November fitness.
And then there was the Mangia provided by Matt Accarino, the Michelin Star chef, cooking us lunches and dinners and cookies. He prepared braised short ribs and risotto and pasta and chicken and on and on. Then he attacked us on the climb up Fort Ross and we never saw him again. According to him, his end of the season fitness was pretty poor and if this is true, we never want to run into him when he is dialed.
And finally, we poured plenty of Sonoma wines, including some delightful pinots, some fresh chardonnays and a couple of bold cabs.
The Mangia, Beve and Bici were all on point in Healdsburg, but it was the people who made this trip extra special: the crazy fast Canadians, the hard-working, hard-charging Portuguese staff, the smiling Floridians, the easy-going Oregonians, the crusher Californians, the amiable Doctors, and the vivacious Virginians. We can’t wait to see them again in the coming year. And we hope you’ll come too!