Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Motorcycling with George Lucas

March 21, 2013
OK, not with George Lucas, just through his land.

When we signed up for a wine club on our last Sonoma trip, we committed ourselves to quarterly treks out to Sonoma to pick up the wine. Horrible, we know, having to go to wine country at least every three months. Our first pack was ready last weekend, a perfect excuse to take out the bike!

We devised our own route last time that avoided Route 101 and wove through farm country. The main downside was the several miles of suburbia between fields and highways. This time we chose to take Lucas Valley Road, which avoids suburbia and runs past Skywalker Ranch. Double win.

Skywalker Ranch (photo by terribomb)

Hollywood director George Lucas tried for decades to construct a studio for Lucasfilm on the land. After residents blocked that plan, he announced last year that he would instead sell to a developer interested in building low-income housing (Marin is the third-richest county in the country in per capita income, according to Wikipedia). It's unclear whether that's actually happening, but Lucas reportedly only builds on 3 percent on his land, and with 1,000 acres in Lucas Valley, that leaves plenty leftover for passing motorcyclists to enjoy.

Ben liked the road so much, he wanted to ride it twice. I was hungry and nixed that plan and instead we stopped at Hopmonk Tavern in Sonoma for a burger, beer-poached pear salad and garlic fries. Our crush on Sonoma continues unabated.

We picked up our wines, and rather than wandering around Sonoma, decided to retrace our steps and enjoy the ride in reverse. If anything, I think it might have been more beautiful in that direction (so beautiful that I declined to take out my camera and just enjoyed the ride).

- Steph

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