Napa chef bikepacks Ridge Trail in 13-day sprint

Oct 02nd, 2017

See the video! Even in the densely populated Bay Area, open space, remote locations and unobstructed scenic views are out there waiting to be discovered. The Ridge Trail partnered with Don Nolan, a veteran cyclist from Healdsburg, to raise awareness of the opportunities “to get away from the city,” without going far away.

“Bay Ridge Trail is really about uniting communities. Preserving open space is what they do,” says Nolan. “Anyone can get involved in helping to preserve it. Individuals can get involved in their community’s decision-making process,” he added.

“Riding the ridge trails is my dream ride. I knew I needed a team to support me, so I discussed my adventure plans with the Ridge Trail,” said Nolan. He trained on the route one year to prepare for his ride on the 550-mile route. The route includes 370 connected miles of Ridge Trail. Nolan began by riding different trail segments, camped overnight, and tested his cycling equipment, his tent and his clothes. Nolan knew he needed to be ready for all common weather conditions of the Bay Area – fog, rain, heat and cold.

“I like to challenge myself… riding my bike and getting outside in the open space” he said. Nolan alternated his days camping out with a night in a hotel in places where there were no campgrounds. The route Nolan traveled included both climbs and descents of 5,000 to 6,000 feet in elevation every day. He bought food daily to limit the weight he carried on his bike. During his rides, Nolan found many remote areas surprisingly close to densely populated urban areas.

Late last year Nolan began discussing his ride with Bay Area Ridge Trail. “I knew I needed a big team to support me,” he remarked. Nolan sought help from members of individual communities along the way to guide him to the safest routes where trails did not connect. He also asked cyclists to ride along with him for part of the route.

“I enjoy the experience of my ride and the beauty along the way. Everywhere I go along the ridge lines are scenic views,” he explained. Nolan’s ride was part of this year’s “Ridge to Bridge” hiking, biking, running event held on April 22, to raise funds to build and connect more Bay Area trails.

Read Don’s blog to see how he prepared for the trip and his day-by-day account.


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