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Issue No. 3 | October 2019


Ride Country


We all know “Wine Country” is where people come for a taste of world-class vino and Michelin-starred meals. “Ride Country,” however, well according to professional cyclist Laura King, that’s where people come for some of the best cycling in the world.

Laura is one of the driving forces behind the Mill District Velo (Cycling) programming, and if she has her druthers, people soon will know Healdsburg and northern Sonoma County by both names.

We’ve leaned on Laura and her husband, professional cyclist Ted King, to plan and lead our amazing bike rides around the area. As the two of them gear up (see what we did there?) for our next rides at the end of the month, we’re working hard to bring Laura’s vision for “Ride Country” to life. She coined the phrase earlier this year; the way she sees it, the nickname helps identify Healdsburg as a destination for cycling tourism.

The rides themselves are epic journeys into the most spectacular scenery you could possibly imagine. Flat valleys lined with vineyards. Rolling farmland. Fog-shrouded mountains. Coastline that stretches into oblivion. The rides aren’t easy; at times the climbing is downright difficult. At the end, riders experience a sense of exaltation and can’t wait to share stories from the road. Each of the rides Laura and Ted host is between 40 and 80 miles long. Each includes a service course in case riders need bike repairs. Each includes a pre-ride nutrition-packed breakfast and post-ride family-style lunch from Michelin-starred Chef Matt Accarrino, paired with local wines and brews.

“Cycling is as much of a draw to Healdsburg as the food and the wine,” she explains. “Why not celebrate that?”


Also in this Issue


Now that the Mill District site is mostly clear of buildings from its former life, we are looking forward to advancing the design of our public infrastructure and buildings with the City.

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We’re just about halfway through harvest here in Sonoma County. The sweet smell of fermenting grapes lingers in the air. Days are warm with nice breezes, nights are crisp and often downright cold.

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SPOTLIGHT Shelly Rafanelli

Technically speaking, Shelly Rafanelli-Felman actually is the second female winemaker in four generations on her family’s Dry Creek Valley farm.

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