This is a ride for all you mountain bikers out there. Best of all, it incorporates my absolute favorite craft brewery in the Bay Area—Russian River Brewing.
Start: Flying Goat Coffee (10 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401)
Located in a quiet corner of Santa Rosa next to the train tracks, Flying Goat is a great stop for coffee and breakfast pastries (muffins, scones, bagels). Both sparkling and still water on tap mean you can fully hydrate before setting out on your ride. Enjoy your double espresso out in the courtyard— but don’t expect to loiter here and check Facebook on the cafe’s non-existent WiFi network. That doesn’t matter though as you are here to bike, aren’t you?
Ride: Annadel State Park
With an extensive network of trails, Annadel State Park gives you tons of options in order to make your ride as short or as long as you want. The ride I have included here is a nice 16-mile loop taking in a large section of the park. If you are an intermediate rider like me, expect lots of hike-a-bike (HAB) on the first climb up Cobblestone Trail. It is steep and rocky in sections. You can print out a map here and also view trail descriptions in case you want to make some alterations or add on loops. I saved my route on Strava—those of you with the latest Strava app can download the route and get turn by turn directions, or for those of you with Garmins, you can download the GPX file.
Beer: Russian River Brewing Co. (725 4th Street Santa Rosa, CA 95404)
A rare commodity even in the Bay Area, Russian River’s flagship beer, the Double IPA Pliny the Elder, is by far one of my favorite beers. I therefore make the pilgrimage to the source whenever I get the chance. Nothing can beat a cold craft beer and a burger or pie after a long, hot afternoon mountain biking in the nearby park. Although made famous by the aggressively hopped California style ales, brewmaster Vinnie also churns out batches of Belgian inspired ales with names like Damnation, Mortification, and Rejection, along with barrel aged beers. As it turns out, demand is still greater than supply, but Russian River Brewing Co. prefers to grow their business organically while focusing on quality—after all, it is better to make great tasting beer than it is to make more beer. If you live locally or are even staying in the Bay Area for awhile, be sure to fill up your growler with your favorite Russian River brew before heading back.