Last Monday, since both our son and our grandson were free, we took our Dahons to Sonoma where we parked behind the plaza in the large parking lot. It was a pleasant day for January, so we weren’t burdened by too many layers of clothing. The day before this expedition, my husband and I spent some time on Google laying out the route. The street view on Google is wonderful for determining how wide a road is and whether it has a bike lane or generous shoulder. Although you cannot tell how much traffic there is, you can make an educated guess based on the how the neighborhood looks.
We started in the park behind the plaza where there is a bicycle path that eventually turns into Lovall Valley Rd. At the end of Lovall Valley Road, we turned right on E. 7th St. which we followed through an area of lovely homes until we turned right on Denmark St., a narrow road with no real shoulders but very little traffic. Denmark St. ends at a path by Sonoma High School which we took to the right until we hit W. MacArthur St., a slightly busy street with a bike lane. Crossing over Hwy. 12, we followed MacArthur until we turned right on 5th St. W. ; then it was left at Curtin St. and right on W. 7th St. until we turned left on Oregon St. From Oregon, we turned left on Sonoma Creek Path and then left on Riverside Dr., with an immediate left on Petaluma Ave. Petaluma was the only street that really alarmed me. The shoulder was narrow, and the traffic was heavy and fast moving. Fortunately we were only on this street for a short time, but I was relieved to exit to the right onto Arnold Dr., not the most scenic but possessed of a nice bike lane. Turning right on Verano, we reached Maxwell Park located across the street from the Sonoma City Trail, which led through a meadow, past General Vallejo’s historic home, and back to our starting point. This circular trip is a little over nine miles, not a challenging ride but a level interesting one around a most attractive town that still retains a small town atmosphere with some rural areas and lot of lovely greenery.
To cap our day off, we ate lunch at The Girl and the Fig on the plaza, a real restaurant for foodies. Their menu is appealing and original with many French inspired dishes. The service is friendly without being overwhelming, and the atmosphere though noisy is pleasant. Don’t go without making a reservation.
After a brief visit to a couple of stores, which in our family always includes any available bookstore, we headed back to the busy SF Bay Area.