The whine and dine story

Written in 2012:

These rides are social ACTC rides. Typically we ride then dine and share wine at a local eatery where we celebrate friends, cycling and many laughs!

Our Wheelsmith roots
The whine and dine rides (it is “whine and dine” not “wine and dine”) were started in 2000 as mountain bike rides following the demise of the Wheelsmiths Mountain Bike rides after Wheelsmiths closed their Los Gatos store. Tyler French and I led the Whine and Dine mountain bike rides. These mountain bike rides were very successful. Our rides were co-listed with ROMP and we had over 30 mountain bike riders at some rides. The idea was to have a challenging ride and a mellow ride to accommodate riders of various levels in a single venue.

The Whine and Dine “brand”
Tyler is a real wine aficionado and John Morgan is as well. (John is one of the original charter riders on this ride.) After a short time we started bringing a bottle or two of wine to the dinners after the ride. Tyler and I wanted to brand our rides. They started out as the “Remember the Wheelsmiths Ride” and then they were listed as “Summit Bikes Ride.” The concept of ride branding is in keeping with the ACTC tradition (I was quickly educated about) of ride leaders to brand their rides that have a common theme like Marcia Wire’s wonderful Tortoise Rides and Bob Yeomans’ Almaden Explorer rides that were then led exclusively by Betty Olsen. We were looking for a name to brand our rides with. We wanted the name to indicate the social nature of our rides. We later chose “Whine and Dine” for our then mountain bike rides. The word whine was meant to represent the ride part with the dine being the social dinner after. We always do hills on a whine and dine ride and whining has been known to occur. Also, the word “whine” is a sounds-like word as the word “wine,” so it seemed like a perfect fit for our rides. The whine and dine rides were and are a partnership. After we started doing the road rides in 2003 we called these the whine and dine road rides. Tyler chose “Quick Spinners” to differentiate his version of the whine and dine road ride. I chose “Mellow Ride” for mine.

We start road rides
On April 15, 2003 we had our first ever road ride. This ride was really a test of whether the concept would port over to road riding. For a couple of years we had both mountain and road rides. As the whine and dine road rides gained popularity the whine and dine mountain bike rides diminished and eventually stopped, for awhile.

What is old becomes new, and hikes too!
In 2008 Tyler brought back the whine and dine mountain bike rides and that year Tyler selected Ted Bonetti to become the leader of his challenging whine and dine quick spinner road rides. Also, there has been a weekly whine and dine hike, though there is no formal leader of the whine and dine hikes.

About the routes
Whine and dine ride routes and paces vary ride to ride, week to week. When you see a ride posting, and wonder what the numbers and letter mean, our whine and dine rides follow the ACTC Ride Categorization System.

Listing of rides and “credit”
Though our Tuesday regular season whine and dine rides are listed in the club newsletter, some whine and dine events are not listed in the ACTC Newsletter and these whine and dine events do not have ACTC ride credit. These are usually posted to the ACTC e-list so they are ACTC rides. There are some of the special edition whine and dine rides: the Russian River Rally Ride, extended season Whine and Dine Rides and special edition whine and dine rides on other evenings and weekends. You do not have to be a member of ACTC to attend a whine and dine ride.

Getting whine and dine ride information
In addition to the traditional ACTC information channels there is a whine and dine e-mail list that I maintain for sending out news about whine and dine rides and there is this blog. Before the blog there was this Web site.

I hope you enjoy our whine and dine rides.

The season
The regular season whine and dine rides start at 6 p.m. on the first ride day after the start of daylight savings time  (the day of the week varies from year to year) and typically end on the ride day closest to Fausto Coppi’s September 15, 1919 birthday. Sometimes there will be an extended season whine and dine ride that starts earlier in the evening and we have in the past have ended these as late as the end of October. There may also be special edition whine and dine rides on other days and weekends.

Being Mellow
The whine and dine mellow ride is modeled after Marcia Wire’s Tortoise Rides. The WnD mellow rides are meant to be slower paced, non competitive and social while still being challenging and always featuring a hill. It has been a thrill to be able to share these rides with you.

~Steve Sloan

PS – To be added to the whine and dine e-mail list simply send an e-mail to me and ask to be added. The e-mail list is started from scratch at the start of every year and requires an annual “opt-in”. My e-mail address is:


My cell phone is 408/605-0692


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