Welcome to Mill District in beautiful Sonoma County, California. Home to the quaint, foodie town of Healdsburg, which also boasts some of the world's best wineries and world-class cycling roads. Mill District Velo infuses a health and wellness culture and energy into the future Mill District neighborhood development and has been blending cycling with elevated culinary experiences since its inception in 2018.

This is the first official series that will offer a morning of riding through "ride country" with a guest chef and their inspired meal. Each chef is well known for their culinary talents, but also finds inspiration from their time on the bike.

If you are a cyclist who is comfortable riding amongst other cyclists on varied terrain for 40-60 miles at a social or spirited pace, these events would be a good fit for you. We look forward to exploring the vineyard laden roads of Sonoma County and then gathering for a family style meal with wine pairings post ride.
Mill District Velo
164 Healdsburg Ave
Date & Time
April 1 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Chef John McConnell:
Clif Family Winery
April 30 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Chef Ari Weisswasser:
Glen Ellen Star
May 7 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Chef Matthew Accarrino: SPQR + Mattina
Featured Chefs
John McConnell
Clif family winery
John McConnell’s cooking career spans several noteworthy restaurants and food-centric cities. Most recently, he served as the Executive Chef for Hillstone Restaurant Group, a position that afforded him the opportunity to work in New York City, Santa Monica, Washington D.C. and East Hampton, NY. Through his experience with Hillstone, John strengthened his business acumen and skills in restaurant management. Prior to working for Hillstone, John was Chef de Cuisine for Michelin-star rated Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco. He was Chef de Cuisine at Terra Restaurant in St. Helena for three years before that. John credits his grandmother with instilling in him an appreciation for food and cooking. When she would visit him growing up in Oklahoma, her passion for family and for cooking wholesome, from-scratch meals was infectious. Years later, while attending Iowa State University for Chemical Engineering, John felt a calling to the culinary arts. He enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute in 2004. After graduating with honors, John accepted an internship at Terra and moved to wine country. John brings his passion for local food sourcing and seasonal ingredients to Clif Family Winery & Farm. He lives in the Napa Valley with his three young daughters.
Ari Weisswasser  
Glen ellen star
Ari Weiswasser, a Food & Wine People’s Best New Chef 2015, spent his formidable culinary years in numerous fine-dining establishments in New York City’s Restaurant Daniel and Philadelphia’s Le Bec Fin, mastering the fundamentals of elevated cuisine and service before moving to California and deciding to do things differently at his Michelin rated Glen Ellen Star. 
He then spent two years at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in Yountville before opening Glen Ellen Star down the road from his wife’s family’s Benziger Family Winery, planting gardens in the vineyard to provide much of the kitchen’s produce. 
In February of 2020, Weiswasser and his wife purchased a controlling interest in the established Park Avenue Catering, serving all of Sonoma county.
Matthew Accarrino
Matthew Accarrino is a nationally recognized chef based in San Francisco. He’s no stranger to our Mill District events and enjoys riding in around Sonoma county. Born in the Midwest and raised on the East Coast, he moved west to California in 2007. He had originally hoped to become a professional cyclist until a leg injury turned his passion for cooking into a career. Matthew’s unique culinary style draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, personal experience, and classical training with some of America’s best chefs. Under his direction, his restaurants Mattina and SPQR both based in San Francisco have received high praise from critics and diners alike. When he’s not cooking Matthew enjoys riding and racing his bike.
Ride Guides
Your Mill District Velo ride guides are current professional or ex professional cyclists. They are adept at riding and guiding all abilities and paces and will mostly stay on the front of the group to ensure a steady pace, cohesion and manage regroups. Please upload the route to your cycling computer if possible. There will be a SAG support vehicle, but please also be prepared with a tuned bicycle and a flat repair kit. Feel free to learn or ask questions from these guides who are happy to share tips or stories. 
Ted King
Meet MDV Captain: Ted King raced at the highest level of the UCI Pro Tour for a decade. The Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Paris-Roubaix, the World Championships, name a road race and Ted’s likely done it. He retired to Marin County in 2016 where he continued to work in the sport of cycling as an amabassador and dipped his toe into gravel racing. The "King of Gravel" was named the 2019 Gravel Rider of the Year.  Ted met Laura riding bikes on Sonoma County roads and in 2018, they married and moved easy to Vermont where he co-owns UnTapped maple-based sports nutrition. The Kings (now with two young children) enjoy returning seasonally to their old training grounds in Healdsburg and playing a major role in the growing community at Mill District Velo.
Laura King
Meet MDV Guide: Laura King has worked in the cycling industry for two decades. She competed in triathlon for over 12 years and now rides for Cannondale Bikes. She co-founded and directed the gravel cycling race Rooted Vermont, is a consultant to organizations and brands in the outdoor space and mom to her daughter Hazel and son Hayden. She enjoys traveling the world as a family to race bikes, ride bikes, foster community and encourage growth of the sport.
Jess Cerra
Meet MDV Guide: Jess is a professional gravel cyclist with the Pinarello Scuderia team, but her background includes professional Xterra triathlete followed by a foray into professional road racing.
She is the Vice President of Product and Community Development for the Alete Active Nutrition team of brands including JoJé Bar (a real food energy bar of which she was the original Founder), Bonk Breaker, SaltStick, and Vitassium. Jess is also a Chef Instructor of Culinary Medicine at the VEBA Resource Center and in 2021, she added “race director” to her resume. She and her husband, Sam Boardman host The Last Best Ride, a gravel event in her beautiful hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
Brennan Wertz
Meet MDV Guide: 2021 was Brennan’s first season racing gravel and he finished in the top ten in every race he entered. In 2022 the 25 year old up-and-coming gravel racer turned pro with the Scuderia Pinarello program and attended a slew of the world’s premier gravel events, posting a string of impressive results
along the way. Prior to getting into cycling, Brennan spent 7 years as an elite rower. He rowed with the United States National Team and won the U23 World Championships in 2018. Brennan was on the rowing team while attending Stanford University, where he graduated with degrees in both Sociology and German Studies. Before becoming a professional cyclist, Brennan was an invaluable member of Above Category’s marketing team.
Schedule: Saturday, April 1
8:30 AM
Saturday, April 1: Chef John McConnell, Clif Family Winery
Meet at Mill District Velo for coffee and pastries. We will be ready to depart for riding at 9AM. There will be two pace groups: social (14-16mph on flats) and spirited (17-19mph on flats). The terrain is flat to rolling, riding the famed West Dry Creek road, up Dutcher Creek towards Asti, the newly paved Red Winery Road out of Geyserville and then you'll have the option of whether you include Chalk Hill or cut the loop a bit shorter towards Jimtown.

Social route: https://www.strava.com/routes/3055209709980333186
Guides: Jess Cerra, Laura King
Spirited route: https://www.strava.com/routes/3055210710702586042
Guide: Ted King, Brennan Wertz
12:30 PM
Saturday, April 1: Chef John McConnell, Clif Family Winery
Lunch prepared by Chef McConnell and wines by Clif Family Winery

MAIN COURSE: Napoletana style Pizza *will have gluten free dough in limited quantities
Pepperoni - Hobb’s pepperoni with Clif Family hot honey, San Marzano, farm oregano, and mozzarella
Margherita – San Marzano, farm oregano, garlic, mozzarella, basil, and EVOO
Allium – farm spring onions, fontina, olives, farm oregano, and pecorino

Grano e Fagioli – farro and heirloom farm bean salad with broccoli rabe, carrots, toasted sunflower
seeds, roasted garlic and lemon *optional ricotta salata
Big Green Salad – farm lettuces, kale, chicories, lemony-dijon vinaigrette, toasted sourdough crumbs
Spring Garden Vegetables – raw, wilted, roasted and grilled farm garden seasonal vegetables lightly

Warm hazelnut and chocolate chip cookies with flaky sea salt

Wine offerings: Clif Family Winery
Schedule: Sunday, April 30
8:30 AM
Sunday, April 30: Chef Ari Weisswasser, Glen Ellen Star
Meet at Mill District Velo for coffee and pastries. We will be ready to depart for riding at 8:30AM. There will be two pace groups: social (14-16mph on flats) and spirited (17-19mph on flats). Our ride will be on flat to rolling terrain towards West Dry Creek and head towards Lake Sonoma up Rockpile Climb. Rockpile is a long, mostly gradual climb and riders can flip at the very end turnaround or choose to shorten the climb depending on their preference.

Social route: https://www.strava.com/routes/3055214665431659542
Guides: Laura King, Brennan Wertz
Spirited route: https://www.strava.com/routes/3055214665431659542
Guide: Ted King, Jess Cerra
12:30 PM
Sunday, April 30: Chef Ari Weisswasser, Glen Ellen Star
Lunch prepared by Chef Weisswasser and team from Glen Ellen Star.

Lacinato Kale salad, medjool dates, toasted almonds, green tahini dressing

Wood Roasted Brick Chicken, Preserved Meyer Lemon
Griddled cauliflower, Za'atar & Labneh

House Made Signature Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream
Oversized Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wine offerings: Ceritas Wines
Schedule: Sunday, May 7
8:30 AM
Sunday, May 7: Chef Matthew Accarrino, Mattina
Meet at Mill District Velo for Accarrino's coffee + donuts. We will be ready to depart for riding at 9AM. There will be two pace groups: social (14-16mph) and spirited (17-19mph). After a cruisy spin down Westside Road,  you’ll turn onto Sweetwater, which is anything but sweet on the legs. This gradual climb turns straight to the sky before earning a hairpin descent. Another climb up into the hills above Cazadero will lead you on windy vineyard roads back to Healdsburg.

Social route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/41897342
Guides: Jess Cerra, Brennan Wertz
Spirited route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/41897344
Guides: Ted King, Laura King, Matthew Accarrino
12:30 PM
Sunday, May 7: Chef Matthew Accarrino, Mattina
Lunch prepared by Chef Accarrino and team from Mattina.

Wood oven roasted vegetable salad with mixed grains and burrata cheese

Pasta rotolo with heirloom tomato and basils
‘Porchetta’ with salsa verde, potatoes and garden greens

Lots of chocolate

Wine Offerings: Arnot Roberts Wine
 Join us April 1, April 30 and May 7 
We look forward to hosting you!
Mill District is located just one block from the historic town Plaza, the 10-acre Mill District is the new gateway into Healdsburg. A natural extension of downtown, both residents and locals will be able to enjoy the lush beauty of the Preserve or acquaint themselves with Mill District’s charming boutique shops and gathering spaces. While Mill District is still under construction, one of the gathering spaces is a site for bringing together the cycling community, which is Mill District Velo.

Parking will be off-site due to spring construction. There are public lots in Healdsburg, street parking is also free.

Please map: 164 Healdsburg Avenue to find your way to Mill District Velo.

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