Santa Rosa has long been the epicenter for cycling of all kinds. It’s hard to imagine taking in the sights and sounds of Sonoma County Wine Country on a Summer weekend without encountering hundreds of happy people peddling through the wine country.
For those who live and work in Sonoma County, the region is also a well-known mountain biking destination. After all, mountain biking was invented just 40 miles south of Santa Rosa.
To understand the reach of the mountain bike community, you need look no further than the Trail House in Santa Rosa. Established in 2017, the Trail House has become the destination to start and finish a mountain bike ride. Nestled less than a mile from the entrance to Annadel, a 5,000-acre State Park, it’s the perfect place to gather and plan or to sit back and reflect at the end your ride.
The Trail House is home to many group rides and meetings, from the women’s-focused Bell Joy Ride series, to the weekly Wolf Pack ride and cycling camps. It’s the Wolf Pack rides that caught our attention, as it has grown with up to 30 kids arriving to experience what mountain biking is all about; spending time with your pack and enjoying what nature provides.
Wolf Pack rides are intended for 7-12-year-old boys and girls, and are hosted by Trail House owner Glenn Fant, friend Travers Ebling, and other dedicated parents.
We met up with the “pack” at Trail House to check out what makes this family friendly program so popular and endearing.
Immediately, we were confronted with a parking lot full of excited kids pedaling their bikes in anticipation as questions poured in: “Are we ready to go yet?” or “Can we take canyon trail to the lake?”
After 20 minutes of herding, we headed across the street to Howarth Park to meet with Chris Wells, who hosts a weekly mountain bike race called the “Dirt Crits”. A quick explanation of the rules and expectations, and the group does a quick loop around the 1-mile course, then gathers once more to form groups before heading off in to Annadel.
The Wolf Pack rides typically last for 2-3 hours and end up back at the Trail House for some refreshments and trail talk. This ride was no exception.
In only its second year of the program, based on the response from the community, it’s clear that the Wolf Pack will grow exponentially. “We sell a lot of kids bikes out of our stores, and this program helps us to close the loop by getting those kids on the trails, out in nature where they belong” Fant said.
Programs like the Wolf Pack is a great example of how Santa Rosa is a family- friendly place to live in, work in, and visit.
For more information on the Bell Joy Series or the Wolf Pack, visit www.trailhousesantarosa.com
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