It looked like we were going to have an unusually sunny and warm week around Thanksgiving, so we decided to try to make the most of it by squeezing in a 3-day bike tour. To keep things simple, we drove to Valley Springs and left our car at Don’s house, who we found through Warm Showers.
We enjoyed chatting with him as we got the tandem ready. He graciously lent us a cycling map of the area and gave us some great advice on good routes.
Day 1 into Sonora was nice except for a short section of highway that had lots of traffic and no shoulder. After checking into a hotel right on the main street, we found out that the annual Christmas parade was happening that night. We had fun watching the parade with the throngs of locals who lined the entire length of main street.
On Day 2, we did a loop out into the countryside. The second-half of the ride presented a long, challenging climb out of a gorge and to the top of a pass (Priest Grade Road). Though it started to feel like a slog toward the end, the road was very quiet and the scenery was stunning.
On our way back to the car on Day 3, it was great to discover some beautiful roads and areas that we had never been to before.
Sonora was a great little town to base ourselves in. It has a number of great restaurants, cheap accommodations, and so many great bike routes heading right out of town. Maybe we’ll head back in the Spring.