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  • Writer's pictureRoy Parvin

The Geysers: One of the World’s Unsung Legendary Rides

Sonoma County is widely known for its wine varietals. But tucked in the high northeast corner, it offers something else world class: the Geysers Loop, the local equivalent of Alpe d’Huez.

You climb from the vineyards of the Alexander Valley, up the side of the Mayacamas Range and continue for 13 vertical miles over indifferently paved backroads. My experience was few cyclists, zero cars. I toiled endlessly skyward under the overhang of oak trees, eventually reaching a massive power plant in the middle of nowhere that harnesses energy from the world’s largest geothermal field. Steam rises right out of the earth.

After topping out, the terrain opens up, a wide scoop more pitched than the narrower corridors earlier on. A good deal of the time you’re screaming downhill over spotty pavement with occasional cattle grates. Loads of braking. Your legs and hands will complain for days. After it’s all over, you can make your way across the flats to Diavolo Pizzeria in Geyserville, drink a beverage of your choosing, and brag how you took on the Geysers loop. Only 42 treacherous miles.

Tell me your favorite ride. If I’m in the area with my bike, let’s go for a spin.

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