EDITOR: I read with great disappointment about yet another road biking accident in Sonoma County. I too, am training for the upcoming GranFondo. I am doing the Piccolo option (32 miles), and I'm hard-pressed to find a place to build up my stamina in Sonoma County. We have plenty of bike lanes, where you can take your life in your hands, but we are severely lacking in bike trails.
The distance and grade of the Joe Rodota Trail are fine for the recreational cyclist, but it's littered with garbage and homeless encampments. I wouldn't feel comfortable riding it alone, and I wouldn't consider recommending it to a visitor from out of town.
Sonoma County is actively trying to present itself as a cycling destination, yet we have no designated bike trails. I lived in Marin County for many years. Each community there has varied and beautiful bike trails. So does the California side of Lake Tahoe and numerous other areas in the state.
I'm not an experienced, nor a particularly avid cyclist. I have a bike for occasional, recreational use. Yet I have nowhere to ride. I feel it is imperative for the tourism and leisure industries that we address this issue. For now, I guess I will do 14 laps around Spring Lake.