The guttural thrum of an engine stirs the leaves of an oak tree. Over the crest of a rolling hill, motorcycles with goldenrod appear. Miles behind the riders, along blacktop shimmering in the sun’s warmth, Motherlode Motorsports equips patrons with rides, helmets, gas, and experienced guidance. Riders do not need a California motorcycle license to pilot the three-wheeled bikes, giving first-timers the chance to jump right on and glide along the gently ascending hills of Gold Country to San Andreas or up to the nearby Stanislaus National Forest.
Motherlode Motorsports also connects road warriors with an inventory of speedsters from Yamaha, KTM, Suzuki, and Honda, as well as gear from Fox Racing and other brands. Staff experts can offer advice on where to ride as well as tips on survival when confronting a feral camshaft and its cubs in the woods.
Inaugurated in 1991 as a 350-athlete competitive summit, the Sea Otter Classic has blossomed into a sprawling event with more than 50,000 spectators, 10,000 cyclists, and 300 vendors peddling bikes and gear with demos and samples of new products. Situated within Laguna Seca, the festival draws amateur and professional athletes into competitive mountain- and road-bike races, and recreational cyclists behold Monterey County's striking vistas in three Gran Fondo routes. Children's bike events plant the seeds for the next generation of cyclists with a skill-developing play zone and friendly races.
The history of wine in the Livermore Valley spans 250 years. Spanish missionaries planted the region's first grapes in the 18th century, and Robert Livermore sowed the first commercial vines in the mid-19th. These early efforts led to America's first international gold medal for wine at the 1889 Paris Exposition, when California grapes beat out bordeaux in the annual race to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The guides at Livermore Valley Wine & Cycle Tours lead cyclists into this historic, scenic valley in which some 40 wineries currently reside. Rides between them follow moderate routes, letting peddlers soak in views of the canyons and ridges that rise and fall between the clustered rows of vines.
Once you've invented a bicycle, fix and maintain it with today's Groupon: $40 for $85 worth of cycling products and services from Silicon Valley Cycling Center. Pedal into the Campbell shop for vital riding accessories, new parts, tune-ups, and Hemi engines for your ride. Today's Groupon gives you the option to combine two Groupons during a single visit.
Tread Bikes suits up cycling enthusiasts with a cornucopia of pedal-pushing gear and apparel, all organized in tidy racks that make for easy browsing. Select RD cleats by Pearl Izumi ($95) use direct-vent technology to cool down overheated tootsies, and the Fox Head Flux helmet ($99.95) keeps cyclers from having to cruise around town in a propeller beanie. Customers can also wrap torsos in the lightweight Carbon Ion jersey by Louis Garneau ($94.99), made from carbon-fiber fabric that assists in reducing static electricity while ushering circulation to the upper body. Tread Bikes' shop boasts a play area for children and welcomes dogs, so long as they are housebroken and aren't wearing rollerblades.
Adventures by the Sea is owner Frank Knight’s love letter to Monterey Bay. As an avid cyclist, kayaker, and surfer in his youth, Frank decided to share the gift of the bay by providing land- and sea-activity rentals for tourists. But, what started out as a small bike-rental shop frequented by local hotel guests eventually transformed into a four-location recreational company that now offers kayaking, bicycling, SUP paddling, and surrey-carriage rentals and tours.
Bicycle renters can cruise along 17-Mile Drive and the rocky shorelines of Pacific Grove, while surrey-carriage rentals provide a low-key communal pedaling adventure for up to four riders. Patrons can also enjoy the serene environment of Monterey Peninsula as they glide through the waters of Cannery Row and Stillwater Cove—both part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary—on the company’s kayaks and standup paddleboards (SUP). During tours, knowledgeable guides rattle off facts about the area while pointing out its wildlife, such as harbor seals lounging on the rocks and otters snapping pictures of kayakers.
Along with providing land and water activities, Adventures by the Sea helps guests build stronger relationships with one another through their local group adventures, which include scavenger hunts. When customers are ready to invest in their own trustworthy gear, the company’s pro shop helps them stock up on boogie boards, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards from brands such as Surftech, Naish Hawaii, and Paddle Surf Hawaii.