Sebastopol (USA) - Organic food, beautiful wine country vistas, folksy comraderie



Organic food, beautiful wine country vistas, folksy comraderie. That sums up the Tour d'Organics, West Sonoma County's quintessential bike event sponsored each year by the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. In 2014, the tour will take place on Sunday, August 10 and includes four different rides.

Eat Local, Ride Local. Sebastopol is known for its green, progressive, foodie, creative culture, so it comes as no surprise that the Tour d'Organics features stops at small, family-run organic farms and a post-ride organic meal for all participants. The food is prepared by local chef Sarah Piccolo of Fork Catering, and is guaranteed to be good for you and good for the planet. True to the earth-friendly theme of the day, registrants are encouraged to bring their own plates and utensils to make this a truly zero-waste event.

There are four rides available, depending on your personal athleticism and your goals for the day:

  • 16 mile route: Rolling hills and scenic bike trails. Good for a family outing. Elevation of 651'.
  • 30 mile route: Slightly more challenging, with an added loop through the redwoods of the Russian River Valley. Elevation of 1125'.
  • 70 mile route: Good for those ready to push some limits. This year the tour goes through the scenic Alexander Valley and includes a mid-ride meal. Elevation of 2768'.
  • 100 mile route: The ultimate challenge and the ultimate reward for those ready to tackle a "century ride." Like the 70 mile ride, registrants will enjoy a mid-ride meal. The extras of this unique route involve a loop in the southern hills of Sebastopol, down through northern Marin County. Elevation of 4835'.

Meet the farmers! Organic, family-run farms included on the rides are:

Capping the end of all the rides is a celebration and expo at the Community Center, with the fabulous music of The Rhythm Rangers, and a decidedly West Sonoma County array of exhibitors – artists, electric vehicles, bike-related jewelry, bicycle gear, plus local farms and other food vendors. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Cart will even be there selling ice cream. Masseuses will be there to massage away those post-ride aches, Copperfield's will have cool books on sale, and the Laguna Foundation will be offering guided tours of the wetlands adjacent to the Community Center.

"People of all ages and abilities enjoy the Tour d'Organics," notes Diana Rich, Executive Director of the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. "It's not a race so everyone is really friendly. They all just come to enjoy the people and the food, to breath the fresh air and ride through an amazing variety of landscapes in West Sonoma County."

Advance registration for the event is encouraged. However cyclists can register on the day of the event if they arrive by 6:30 am for century riders, 7:30 am for 70 milers, 8:00 am for 30 mile riders, and 9:00 am for the beginners' route (16 miles).

For more information, contact the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center at 707-823-1511, Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 – 4:00. Or go to their website at www.seb.org.