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“Very Nice Store”
Review of Wine Country Bikes

Wine Country Bikes
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 30 January 2014

We came from San Francisco and needed to rent just 1 bike for the group of six. We rented the cheapest model (was perfect for our wine country ride). The bike was in great shape, although it had to many bags on it. They were very helpful about the route and let us all change into riding clothes in their dedicated changing rooms. A nice touch.

1  Thank Jeffrey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"self guided"
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"dry creek valley"
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"wine country"
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"camellia inn"
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"mile ride"
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"great bike"
in 5 reviews
"excellent equipment"
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"plenty of storage"
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"rolling hills"
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Reviewed 10 November 2013

We rented a tandem this time (left ours at home) so that we could fly down. First about the shuttle bus from San Francisco airport. It is a two hour trip to the Santa Rosa airport and then a short ride by taxi to Healdsburg. We cancelled our return flight and flew out of Santa Rosa instead. Unless you want a a bit of sight seeing of San Francisco through a bus window, fly in and out of Charles Schulz Airport and spend more time exploring Healdsburg.

We had to switch tandems part way through our self- guided tour due to a scheduling conflict - our fault. The tandems were amazingly smooth and comfortable for both riders and we got to experience the different rides.

The Co-motion Torpedo was easily adjusted to accommodate the 12" height difference between my husband and I. It satisfied our need for speed - we tend to be competitive when we get on a bike!! Shifting was smooth and no sore butt for the stoker even though the bike seat had no suspension in the stem like my bike. This bike is challenging on steep climbs, and we did Sweetwater Springs Road from East to West this time. You can't zig zag up hill on a tandem, so be prepared to stop, let the thigh burn pass and get back on. We would never walk any part no matter how steep. Just a couple of stops on the steepest ascent near the start of the climb.

We did one day through cattle country, 105 km, beginning from our beautiful suite in The Occidental Inn B&B to Bodega Bay,and were glad we had this tandem. Lots of rolling hill climbs and a brutal final hour heading north from Marshall to Bodega Bay as we hit strong head winds and cross winds when we hit the coast. I was disappointed that there was no bathtub in our suite ( just ask for one unless you want to head down to the communal hot tub and pool in the cool coastal seabreeze), but we enjoyed a real fire in our fireplace while agreeing that the flatter, shorter route back to Healdsburg the next day would be a good "rest" day.

The second tandem, the Trek T900, is more suited to less experienced, less competitive cyclists. I felt like I should be in a skirt and heels as you sit quite upright like a Dutch commuter cyclist. Once we resigned ourselves to this difference (and the fact that other "real" cyclists no longer made eye contact with us) we actually enjoyed our final few days on this bike. It is much, much slower no matter how hard you pedal, so it is a god choice for "slowing down and smelling the roses" so that is what we did!

Having said that, we did climb Ink Grade Road in Napa Valley without stopping, from bottom to top thanks to the gearing and smaller wheels of this bike. This same route had me near tears the previous trip on our own bike with numerous stops needed on the ascent (thigh burns and water breaks in temperatures over 100 degrees), so this bike is a great choice if you want to climb some hills and see the views with a little more ease.

No matter the weather, carry lots of water and tablets to keep your electrolytes balanced. WCB has these. Dehydration is the enemy.

As for some comments about the roads, our experience was that WCB staff went out of their way to keep you off of busy roads - we know because we lengthened some of the routes they had suggested and they made sure we remained on safe routes. Nevertheless, in some places close quarters with cars is unavoidable, such as the Coast highway where there is little or no shoulder. We had only 2 or 3 vehicles that were uncomfortably close throughout the entire trip. Most locals appear aware of the need to "Share the Road", and anytime we stopped to check our map, there were no shortage of people to offer unsolicited advise and assistance whether in a truck, on a bike or walking by. I don't think we met a single grouch the entire trip.

You probably are wondering about the Wineries, but the truth be told, while we enjoyed rolling past the vineyards and the Wineries we had no desire to spend much time wandering through the Tasting Rooms in bike shorts and helmet heads and I know some of the Wineries didn't really like it either. We did wander some of the beautiful grounds and we have a list of places to return to, but in a chauffeured car with a few friends to enjoy that part of wine country experience.

All in all our second trip was as much fun as the first. The mornings were cooler and foggier than our first trip, but everyday turned to sunshine and there was always beautiful scenery.

We have had a wonderful experience with WCB, and while they probably under estimated our cycling ability (both over 50), they did work with us to create some more challenging options and longer distances that we took full advantage of.

Thank you WCB!!

2  Thank Holly J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

We rented two bikes today and visited four wineries around Healdsburg.
The good:
-- great service people at the shop, helpful & very friendly
-- we'll maintained, high quality bikes with lots of attached bags to carry your stuff and purchases
The not so good:
-- the roads in this area are not bike friendly; the suggested itinerary included roads that are narrow, curvy with no shoulders in some areas (very scary). We biked the Napa Valley near Calistoga yesterday and almost every road had a marked bike lane.

1  Thank Breuklyn-Boy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

We loved cycling backroads to wonderful wineries. It was the day of our 20th anniversary and it was a perfect way to spend the day. We took a guided ride. The bikes were well fitted to us and in great shape. Our guide, "Tactical Terry, " was skilled and knowledgeable. The lunch was great and we made good use of their offer to carry bottles back for us.

Thank FlagstaffFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 10 October 2013

We arrived in Healdsburg around noon and only had the day to ride. We were quickly set up with bikes (there were 6 of us). We were given a map and suggestions for a fun filled afternoon. The deal included bike, helmet, lock and map. The bikes were really nice trex hybrid bikes (seemed like new) with plenty of room to carry lunch and essentials in a front pouch and rear bag! We followed his suggestions and had such a fun day!! We visited the General Store and three wineries--learned so much and had a lot of fun and some exercise as well! Glad we were on our own! So we didn't have to rush back to the bike shop by 5 when it closed--which would have been difficult, he said we could keep the bikes overnight at no extra charge as long as they were back by 9:15 the next morning. Such a terrific, informative and friendly shop--highly recommend!!

2  Thank laf81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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