Cycling in San Joaquin County; Tour of California, Best Ride Ever are motivators!

The Tour of California Bicycle Race started on Sunday in Sacramento, with Stage Two finishing on a bright, crisp and sunny Monday afternoon in Lodi, in front of a crowd estimated at over 20,000 cheering spectators. One hundred and fifty world-class professional cyclists peddled that stage, from Nevada City to Hutchins Street Square in Lodi, before moving onto Stage Three in San Jose.

 

The peloton for Stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California, just north of Rancho Murietta, headed to finish in Lodi.

A day earlier, over 150 local riders, dressed in their finest cycling gear, gathered at Lange Twins Winery in Acampo (just north of Lodi), for the Best Ride Ever. With the choice of 25, 62 and 100 mile scenic rides, great food, music and wine tasting – there was something for all! And, both events coincide with our local Bike to Work Week – so, triple the energy to get us on our bikes!

Both events showcased the stunning scenery of Northern California, and each underlined that by highlighting the bucolic wine-country back roads that surround Lodi on four sides.

These four riders had a fun time on the longer route of the Best Ride Ever (Matt Beckwith photo).
Group of riders on the longer route pose for picture (Matt Beckwith photo).

I was particularly taken by a small slice of our local cycling territory when the Best Ride Ever stopped at Consumnes River Farm, 28305 North Thornton Rd., just north of Thornton.  The Farm offers wine and olive oil tasting in a beautiful setting with a shaded outdoor patio and plenty of seating to share wine and good times!

Best of all, it’s just mile north of Thornton, and a 1/2 mile south of the Consumnes River Preserve. Thornton is a cute little town on the north edge of our county, with a new bakery and several stops for coffee.

Just north of the Farm is the Consumnes River Preserve, which showcases the intersection of the Consumnes River and Mokelumne Rivers. The preserve offers hiking and biking trails that take you through low-lying country around both rivers, showing off a portion of California much is it looked like to Native Americans hundreds of years earlier.

Consumnes River Farm, just north of Thornton on Thornton Road, made for a popular rest stop at Mile 15.
Tim Viall, Mary Kay Driscoll, Joe Flores and Christine and Steve Lewis prepare to ride the 25 mile route.
L to R, Steve Lauchland, Kari McNickle and Cassidy Thomas, board members of the San Joaquin Bike Coalition, ham it up prior to start of the ride!
150 riders both local and from other counties signed up at Lange Twins Winery!

The several mile stretch is a great place to bike ride, sample local wines and olive oil, and appreciate the rivers that feed the San Joaquin Delta, and the flora and fauna that thrive in such an environment.

So plan a day, take the bikes, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy this beautiful country between Lodi and Thornton, in our backyard!

For more info: Amgen Tour of California, www.amgentourofcalifornia.com; Bike to Work Week events, www.valleybikecommute.com/the-2015-challenge.html; City of Stockton bike routes, http://www.stocktongov.com/files/BikewaysExistingMap.pdf; San Joaquin Bike Coalition, “like” their Facebook page and see their web site, www.sjbike.org; Stockton Bike Club,www.stocktonbikeclub.org; Consumnes River Farm, 28305 N. Thronton Rd., Thornton, 209.334.5544, www.bellindoro.com, www.district11wines.com.

Next week, highlights of a recent tour from Morro Bay up CA Hwy 1 to Big Sur.  For other inspirational destinations in CA, see my Record blog: blogs.esanjoaquin.com/valleytravel!

Happy travels in the West!

 

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