All things bicycling in Sonoma County, California
“For the cycling enthusiast, when they are going to book a dream cycling vacation, it’s France, Italy and Sonoma/Napa counties,” said Loren Mooney, editor of Bicycling magazine. “It really is California wine country.” Press Democrat, 14-Feb-2009
CycleSonoma is a social network meant to be a central starting point for finding and exchanging information about cycling in Sonoma County, California. Regardless of what type of cycling interests you, we hope you will be able to find the information on this site or at least a link to one of the many bicycling resources in Sonoma County. CycleSonoma is meant to connect (or "knit") the cycling community in the county in a way that our other entities do not. It is growing directly out of our experience using the incredible power of social networks (aka "Web 2.0") in other domains.
Additionally, CycleSonoma is meant to help raise the awareness of Sonoma County as a cycling vacation destination. In our interaction with the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau Economic Committee, they became very interested when they realized that promoting cycling actually means people coming to town, staying in our hotels, visiting our wineries and dining in our restaurants. Promoting Bicycle Tourism is in our interest as it helps drive home the economic incentive of making Sonoma county a safer and more accessible place to ride.
Our goals are two-fold:
First, get everyone connected and create a front-door where every bicycle entity can be found (our pages can and do carry RSS feeds of the org's blogs if available and link back to the organization's website). SCBC is doing great work to get information out but by utilizing the collaborative power of social networks, we think we can help facilitate the exchange of information.
Second, I've had success getting local Sonoma business buy-in for supporting cycling by demonstrating the economic impact of cycling tourism to our area. In this climate, every extra dollar brought into our communities is important. So, Paul and I want CycleSonoma to help make it easier for non-locals to come and enjoy Sonoma County for cycling. We are also capturing Google Analytics statistics to further our argument as this site grows.
We have been creating pages for every bike shop, club, BPAC, manufacturer or other bike-related business or non-profit in the county and our goal is to have them all represented. We want to encourage each group or business to considering utilizing the tools of Web 2.0 and start publishing their news and announcements via blogs hosted on their site that provides RSS syndication. In that way we can help share that information and present it to our readers who then have the option to visit your site to read more.
If one wants to do anything about the quality and safety of our roads, it pretty much has to be addressed at the county level. The group taking the lead on that is the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition and the county bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees (BPAC). Our hope is that this site will help bring the cycling community together in conjunction with the local bike shops, local bike clubs, local BPACs, county BPACs and the SCBC. Think of CycleSonoma as a bicycle information clearinghouse for Sonoma County.
Please note: we do not want to compete with the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition in any way. In fact, we prominently point people to the SCBC website and will continue to encourage our members to join SCBC. (Note, site membership is free - send your money to the SCBC.)
Someone from our local cycling club asked why should someone join CycleSonoma if he was a member of our local riding "club", Sonoma Valley Cyclists (SVC). Here is my response:
Members can decide how much they want to participate but the main things we're looking for right now are:
Finally, as more businesses and organizations start syndicating their news via RSS, it won't require any extra work to share information and we can help feed interested people to the right sites and events.
You can also find us on Twitter @CycleSonoma
Give social networking for bicycling a try!
Come join us and spread the word. There is strength in numbers!
Last updated by Chip Roberson May 24, 2009.