Ride to Gaia Fest with Rock the Bike

Beginning July 30 from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, we will pedal northward, covering 180-miles in 4-days, arriving in style at Gaia Fest, an awesome music and camping festival at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville.

For the past 4 years, we have mobilized hundreds to ride 20 miles south from San Francisco to Maker Faire.

At the Bicycle Music Festival, we move our entire festival, including our 10000-watt Pedal Powered Stage and hundreds of fans, from our day venue to our night venue 5 miles away.

We have studied from the masters of self-supported music and bike touring, the Pleasant Revolution.  Cello Joe, in foreground, will be biking with us. Kipchoge, in background will also be biking to Gaia, but from the North.


And now, we are ready to bring YOU safely by bicycle to Gaia Fest!

We will be carrying all the supplies we need for our tour, then setting up a Pedal Powered Stage featuring some of the best bands at the Gaia Festival, right across from the Main Stage!

Ride Schedule:

Day 1, July 30  Start: Golden Gate Bridge, 9AM. 42 miles to…
Destination: Petaluma. We will be staying the night at a farm. You need to be on our official ride list to get this information. Please see RSVP info below.

Ride description: Meeting at the Golden Gate Bridge, we will pass through the Sausalito/Mill Valley corridor before getting into the golden hills of Marin.  Two major climbs: after Fairfax and before Petaluma. Both under 1000 feet. Possible swimming route change through Samuel P. Taylor park would add 6 miles.

Campfire cooking and singing at the farm.

Campfire music! Justin Ancheta, foreground, is going on the tour!

Day 2 , July 31
Start: 9AM, Penry Park, Petaluma. 37 miles to
Destination: Alexander Valley Campground North East of Healdsburg

Ride description: Our easiest day. We will be cruising on mostly level ground climbing only a few hundred feet over the course of the day. Possible busking session in Santa Rosa. Plenty of time for swimming and rope swinging into the Russian River.

Day 3, August 1
Start: 9AM Alexander Valley Campground. 54 miles to:
Destination: Chekaka Recreation Area @ Lake Mendocino.

Ride description: Our longest day but  mostly flat. Steep hill at the end, unfortunately, but then we get to swim in a lake.

Day 4, August 2
Start: Chekaka Recreation Area Lake. 43 miles to
Gaia Festival, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville CA.

Ride description: 1000-foot climb and monster descent to start the day before the town of Willits. Then another long, slow 500-foot climb to the elevation of Laytonville at the end of the day. Our most challenging day physically but with a great goal… Gaia Fest is welcoming us with dinner, Lagunitas beer, and riverside camping Thursday night!

Gaia Festival will be selling $21 off tickets to those on our ride. Join our bike ride and purchase your ticket to the fest on our ride to access the discount! 

Check for updated information: https://www.facebook.com/events/316377835083888/




Ride Checklist/Guidelines


Be prepared like Cello Joe.

Two options to join.

1. Ride self-supported in which case you need to arrange your own food but can still enjoy the camaraderie at camp and during the days of riding. If you wish to camp in our group camp sites along the way, please pitch in $40.  This will include printed route maps as well. You can pay cash on the ride or paypal “payments@rockthebike.com” 


2. Get on our official ride list to have all your food, camping, and logistical needs met for one fee, $175. This will also include light mechanical support. See complete details below.

*** Read this Fine Print first! ***

*** Due to our commitment to Pedal Powering music and activities at Gaia Festival, Rock The Bike cannot offer to stay behind with any rider due to a serious unexpected mechanical problem or injury. We will research and post public transportation options to allow you to take a rest day, catch up, or go straight to the festival. We will try our best to be prepared for basic repairs and to coach inexperienced riders. If you are an inexperienced bike tourist wishing to go on your first multi-day ride, we would love nothing more than to share this experience with you, but can not take responsibility for your bike and your health. Please take extra precautions preparing your bike, and do practice rides with a load to make sure your muscles and joints are ready for 40-mile days in the saddle. In the world of serious bike touring, 40-mile days are considered light days. This is doable for any fit person, but you must do practice rides to anticipate how your body will respond.

*** We reserve the right to kick anyone off the ride who is unprepared, rude or violent, abuses substances, or otherwise detracts from the group experience. No refunds! ***


What is provided as part of the $175 ride fee:

1. Food:
We are thrilled to be working with Rose “Slam” Johnson, the bike-touring, Pedal Powered chef behind Apothecurious and Hot Bike. High-energy breakfasts and campfire dinners are covered each day, including bagels at the meeting point of day 1. You are responsible for your lunch and snacks each day. We will be stopping for lunch in towns with several options. Vegetarians, Vegans, or others with special dietary needs are welcome, but please let us know who you are.

2. Camping:
We will be camping in a farm near Petaluma, by the Russian River near Healdsburg, by Lake Mendocino, then at the festival grounds, where the Gaia Fest will welcome riders to take part in their Thursday night crew dinner, with beer! Group camping arrangements have already been made, allowing you to ride worry free.

3. Logistical support:
We will provide a route plan document including addresses, routes, key phone numbers, and info about Public Transportation backup options.

4. Light mechanical support.
You will be riding with experienced bike people who will carry many of the most common supplies and spares. We will do our best to help you make adjustments to optimize your body position and reduce mechanical wear. We will provide a sweep (a dedicated experienced rider who stays in the rear.) As posted above, we cannot commit to staying behind with riders experiencing serious mechanical or health problems, but will do our best to help you find your way home or to Gaia Fest.

How to pay:

Send $175 by PayPal to “payments@rockthebike.com”

or add “Ride To Gaia Fest” to your shopping cart on RTB.


How to prepare:

1. Ready your bike:
For a normal urban ride all you need to do is “pump air in the tires, put oil on the chains, not too much stress for your big ol’ brain, tuck in your pants leg so you don’t get a stain, and then ride your bike like you can’t refrain.” But for a multi-day tour you have to do all that and more. You need to take a practice ride with a load to see if anything falls off. Do an emergency stop to see if your brakes are up to snuff. Shake your bike and listen for unusual rattles that might lead you to tighten loose screws. See if your tires are threadbare. Examine your chainrings and sprockets for worn out teeth that look like shark fins. Check your quick releases; learn how to use them properly. Ask a bike person in your life to look over your bike or take it to your favorite shop for a full tune-up. Deferred maintenance can cause unexpected safety issues on a multi-day tour, so don’t procrastinate!

2. Have these necessary bike supplies:

• Empower yourself not to need help! Have a trusty bicycle multi-tool, 1-2 spare tubes that fit your wheels, a patch kit, mini-pump, spare spokes, and knowledge of how to use them.
• The less you have ridden your bike with a load, the more prepared you need to be.

3. Have these personal supplies:

  • Helmet, gloves, comfortable layered clothing, footwear, bandana (makes helmets more comfortable and absorbs sweat), hair tie for long hair.
  • Tent or tent space, pad, sleeping bag.
  • Lip balm, sunscreen
  • Sunglasses/eyeglasses
  • Lip balm, sunscreen
  • Hydration: Bring WATER in a reusable bottle.

4. Safety:
Have lights (front and rear) in case we need to ride after dark. We will only be riding after dark if we are behind schedule or if a rider is recovering from a technical breakdown and trying to catch up. If this is you, you may be tired. These are exactly the moments you want to be extra safe. Have lights with full batteries!