Smart Cycling: Russian River Rides Benefit Charity (Aug. 21)

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biking_DCV.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

This much we know to be true: You love wine and know it goes down best in a beautiful setting.  Still, pairing both (read: vino and stellar Wine Country backdrop) with a charitable cause - not to mention a little healthy exercise -makes your vinous experience that much sweeter.  It seems that Russian River Valley winegrowers are onto your sentiments, since they're offering two wine-themed bike tours August 21 to benefit Bicycles for Humanity.  Led by renowned local vintners and chefs, the scenic rides are part of the weekend's Grape to Glass festival, which aims to showcase the gastro-artistic assets of this dynamic Sonoma region.

Farm-to-Table Tour
Playfully dubbed "Townie to Market," this lower-intensity ride gleans inspiration from the Slow Food school of thought and takes participants on a leisurely ride from downtown Healdsburg to farms on the outskirts of town.  The tour wraps up at Relish Culinary on the plaza, where Chef Duskie Estes of popular Zazu and Bovolo will create a lunch with ingredients gathered along the way.  $65/person

Semi-Pro Tour
For the firmer of thigh and resolve, the Tour de Vine "Cruise & Climb" tour is a 42-mile ride through the winding back roads and canyons of the Russian River, led by Guy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards and Dan Goldfield of Dutton-Goldfield fame.  As a reward (incentive?) for participants' efforts, the tour will wrap up with a stop at Bovolo for a BLT and a pint from Bear Republic Brewing.  $85/person

Look here for booking info.

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