The town of Santa Rosa lies in Sonoma county and was my first brush with the renowned vineyard country of California. It was the stuff that fables are made of. The streets were lined with neo classical Spanish architecture and have a wonderful European charm to them. The cafes and shops were a delight to enter, each one with a distinctive character of their own.

I had heard of the famous Russian River Brewing Company which had earned the title of the best draught beer in America recently. I was keen to sample it so I wheeled Quest and myself to the town square where it was located. When I reached there I realised that it was immensely popular, as no less than two hundred people lined the way to the entrance. With a fully packed bicycle in tow there was no way I would get in there so I made my way to another brewery instead.

Santa Rosa was a delightful but expensive town to stay in for more than a day or two, but I did make it to the Charles Schulz ‘Peanuts’ museum. It was entertaining and quite well curated. After spending a couple of hours there and having lunch at the cafe I tootled off to find a place to stay in the outskirts of town.

A small chapel in Santa Rosa
The Charles Schulz Museum

I stayed at a motel in the outskirts of town which cost me USD 25 for the night. The room was tiny and not well kept but it had a bed and a clean shower. The following morning I cycled to a nearby cafe for breakfast and the waitress there, once she got to know about my journey made a big announcement to all the diners and the whole restaurant clapped for me!

The Russian River Brewing Co.

Dhruv Bogra was born in 1968 in Shimla. His father was an officer in the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army and he grew up amidst the structured life of the cantonment. The turning point in his childhood came when he was sent to Sherwood College in Nainital for a few years. The boarding school life ignited Dhruv’s love for the mountains and nature. Subsequently he completed schooling from The Army Public School in Delhi and graduated with History Honors from the University of Delhi and is an alumni of the International Management Institute, New Delhi. Dhruv is an adventure and endurance cyclist who had cycled extensively in the Indian Himalayas and Western Ghats on his mountain bike before he embarked on an epic, solo and unsupported 15,000 km cycling journey from Deadhorse in Alaska to Cusco in Peru from June 2016 to August 2017. In doing so, he became the first Indian citizen to cycle solo and unsupported from Deadhorse in Alaska to Panama in Central America. Dhruv has spent the last 30 years working at leading multinationals and large Indian corporates. He has held many senior leadership roles in the retail industry in companies such as Titan Industries, Bestseller Retail and Adidas. He is currently the Country Manager for the fashion brand ‘Forever New’ in India. ‘Grit, Gravel and Gear’ is his maiden book. Subsequently, he has written a second book on his Himalayan adventures on a bicycle – called ‘Away’. Dhruv wrote Away in 40 days during the intial Lockdown in India to inspire people to embrace the outdoors and nature.

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