Exploring Northern California's Best Cycling Routes and Events

Northern California is a cyclist's paradise, with its mild climate, picturesque vineyards, and a vast network of rural roads. From the Ballard Canyon Loop to the Wine Country Loop, Figueroa Mountain Loop, and King Ridge, there are plenty of routes and events for both amateur and professional cyclists to explore. The Ballard Canyon Loop is a 13-mile route that is perfect for the whole family. With minimal elevation gain, it winds through pastures, vineyards, and horse ranches.

About halfway through the loop, cyclists can enjoy a gentle descent that offers stunning views. The Wine Country Loop is a 73-mile route that takes riders through vineyards, forests, and farmland with an elevation gain of 3,600 feet. It's a great way to explore the Santa Ynez Valley wine region. The Figueroa Mountain Loop is one of the toughest climbs in Southern California with an average slope of 8% over 40 miles.

It was one of Lance Armstrong's favorite training routes due to its epic views of the Los Padres National Forest and San Rafael Mountains. The iconic Solvang Century takes place in the Santa Ynez Valley and covers 100 miles with an elevation gain of 4,000 feet. It's a great way to explore the area's bucolic vineyards. Sonoma County offers some of the most diverse biking terrain in the state with routes through redwood forests, deep canyons, wildflower meadows, oak trees, and quaint villages.

The Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys offer an accessible sample of the area's riches while the Valley of the Moon takes things up a notch with its 28-mile route that starts in Glen Ellen. The 55-mile King Ridge route is considered the jewel in the crown of North Bay cycling routes. It starts in Monte Rio on the Russian River and offers epic views of rivers and streams, deep forests, and large rural estates. The annual Levi's Grand Fondo takes place in Sonoma County and covers 100 miles with an elevation gain of 5,000 feet.

It's a great way to explore the area's stunning coastline. The Tour de Cure, in collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation, is another classic bike tour along the California coast that covers 100 miles with an elevation gain of 4,000 feet. Whether you're looking for an easy ride or an epic challenge, Northern California has something for everyone. So grab your bike and hit the road!.