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. Jess Cerra and Laura King have ridden bikes in many stunning locations throughout the world, but Healdsburg remains one of their favorite. Destination bakeries might have something to do with that, but a temperate climate with diverse terrain is also a significant draw.
Jess and Laura are two friends who live on opposite ends of the country and plan destination ride vacations in order to spend time together. The format of their vacation often exhibits a few common pillars: sunshine, adventure, good food and drink, friendship and challenging themselves physically.
Grit + Luxe is a weekend designed around those same five pillars. Many women's events are oriented toward the beginner cyclist, but we wanted to offer a weekend to the intermediate to advanced cyclist. This means, you're comfortable riding 60-75 mile rides on varied terrain, back-to-back days, and at a steady pace or with a group. This is not meant to be exclusionary; rather, we know that we often underestimate ourselves, so we wanted to create an environment that is a little more challenging, and where we can all push ourselves together while encouraging each other.
Mill District Velo
164 Healdsburg Ave
Date & Time
March 17, 2023 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
March 18, 2023 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
March 19, 2023 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday: Meet & Greet + Happy Hour
Join us at the Mill District Velo site for a low key meet and greet, sip some drinks and ensure everyone is acquainted and ready for a fun weekend.
Breakfast on your own, coffee will be available. Meet at Mill District Velo (164 Healdsburg Ave) and come through the gate. We will depart for a ride at 8:30am. Depending on group size and pace preferences, we will depart together or potentially break off into groups. We will have a support vehicle, but please come prepared to be self sufficient on the road (flat kit, nutrition). We will have JoJé Bars and UnTapped Maple sports nutrition products for sampling.
Bags can be left on site while we are out on the ride. You can also put layers in the SAG vehicle.
Geysers Ride Route: Setting out north along Dry Creek Road, we’ll pass the popular Dry Creek General Store, onto Cloverdale, and then start the true adventure when we begin Geysers Road. The road snakes besides Big Sulphur Creek and Truitt Creek on a road that will see nary a car, before a few switchbacks have us crest Geysers Road and sweep downhill back into the Dry Creek Valley.
Saturday: Socialize, Eat, Drink
Approximate ride finish time will be around 1:30pm. Bring a change of clothes and dress appropriately. We will be outdoors but have heat lamps and a fire pit in case it gets chilly. A lunch from Oakville Market including sandwiches and salads will be served.
Saturday: Be Inspired
Our guest speaker (also riding with us) will be Emily Kraus, MD. Her talk is titled, "Studying The Female Athlete: Complex Doesn't Have to be Complicated." As both an athlete and physician scientist, Emily has grown to appreciate that the complexities of the female anatomy and hormonal profile shouldn't be ignored and don’t have to be complicated. She will share her own journey including what she has learned (and still has yet to learn) along the way.
Feel free to head back to your lodging to take a shower, head to one of the coffee shops in town or hang at Mill District and socialize.
Saturday: Socialize, Eat, Drink
Dinner by a local chef. Wine poured by Ashley Darling of Darling Wines. Athletic Brewing, Kombucha and non-alcoholic drinks also available.
Sunday: Activate Core, Ride
Breakfast on your own. Coffee beginning at 7:30am. 20 minute core activation with guided instruction from Jess Cerra. If you have a mat, please bring one! We will plan to depart for our ride (route here) at 9:00am. Today we will ride west toward the coast on flat to rolling terrain. Once we hit the coast, we can stop for a few photos, then head inland and hit some dirt on Willow Creek ascent. Willow Creek is ridable on a road bike (with care). There may be a moment where you unclip, but it's fun and will add an adventure element. We will refuel at Altamont General Store and head back on flat to rolling terrain.
Sunday: Eat, Drink, Wrap Up
Lunch will be served post ride and then we will wrap up in the afternoon around 3-4pm.
FACILITATOR + RIDE 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. Jess isn’t one to talk about herself, but she has many stories to share while guiding our Mill District rides–so don’t be shy to ask her questions. You’ll often find her hanging near the back of the peloton teaching those newer to the sport. Her selfless nature is what helped her become a tireless domestique on the road to some of the best cyclists in the world, doing the hard work so that others would achieve their best. In addition to her cycling accomplishments, 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 partner, Sam Boardman host The Last Best Ride, a gravel event in her beautiful hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
FACILITATOR + RIDE 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 co-directed the gravel cycling race Rooted Vermont and its sister organization the Rooted Women's Clinic which was instrumental in achieving gender parity at the Rooted start line. Laura is a consultant to organizations and brands in the outdoor space, wife to husband Ted King 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.
Emily Kraus, MD
Dr. Kraus is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford Children’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center trained in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) sports medicine. She has research and clinical interests in endurance sports medicine, injury prevention, bone health, and the female athlete. Dr. Kraus has recently been named the director of the FASTR Program, which stands for Female Athlete Science and Translational Research, supported by the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance. The FASTR program seeks to help close the gender gap in sports science research with an emphasis on early interventions to prevent injury and the identification of ways to optimize performance in female athletes.
She has completed nine marathons including the Boston Marathon twice and one 50k ultramarathon and is an avid cyclist. With staying physically active as one of her personal passions, she recognizes how sport participation plays a valuable role in the physical, emotional, professional, and social development at any age and is committed to maintaining those ideals for the next generation.
Lodging and Accommodations are self managed, here are a few recommendations:
H2: Located one block from the Mill District, H2's proximity can't be beat. Stay right downtown with walking access to Healdsburg's many and restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and bike shop.
The Lodge and Hotel Trio are located on the north end of town approximately 1.5 miles away from Mill District Velo. Any easy ride on your bike!
Best budget option would be: Wildhaven Glamping which is 5.4 miles from Mill District so a car would be optimal.
Windsor is a nearby town with budget accommodation options, but will require a car.
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.
Please map: 164 Healdsburg Avenue to find your way to Mill District Velo.
What type of bike should I ride? The ideal bike would be a road bike with 28-32mm tires, however, a gravel bike with narrow slicks would be workable too. Sonoma county's roads are not always the smoothest and both routes incorporate little patches of broken pavement, gravel patches and a little dirt stretch on day two (Willow Creek). The dirt is rideable on a road bike, but there may be a couple sections where everyone will dismount and walk.
What gear should I pack? The entire weekend will take place outside. Healdsburg can experience big temperature swings, sometimes quite chilly in the mornings and potentially warm in the afternoon. Please pack a beanie, warm jacket and cycling layers for all weather. We will have a follow car in case we want to put layers in the car. Bring water bottles, flat repair kit and riding nutrition (although we will have some UnTapped Maple, Jojé Bar and SaltStick sports nutrition for sampling.
If you have a yoga mat, please bring it for the core activation session on Saturday.