October 29 – November 3, 2017
June 3-8, 2018
September 30 – October 5, 2018
Treat yourself to a fabulous girls getaway in Sonoma Valley. We combine some of the best road cycling in the world, with the culinary delights and sensory indulgences of wine country, to bring you a powerful recipe for reawakening your passion for life. Learn new skills on the bike, explore food and wine, pamper yourself with a massage and soak in amazing Indian Hot Springs and reconnect with your higher nature through yoga, journaling, and our trademark Heart’s Desire process, designed to help you overcome obstacles and unleash the courage to live your dreams.
Ahhh, Sonoma County . . . home to world-class wineries, enchanting redwood forests, and the magnificence of the northern California coast. Together, we’ll ride on idyllic roads along budding vineyards, through coastal forests, and beside the wild Pacific Ocean, with it’s barking sea lions and untouched beaches. We’ll take our time, rolling into vineyards for a taste, and dawdling at the local gourmet bakeries along our route.
All levels are welcome. Whether you’re an accomplished cyclist, or haven’t been on your bike in a while, our guides tailor each ride to ensure you’re pedaling beside kindred spirits on matched terrain.
For beginners, we’ll teach you gearing, climbing, descending, and cornering. If you haven’t been on a bike in a while, don’t worry, you won’t be alone. We’ll help you get your wheels under you again with supportive instruction from our experienced staff. Most beginning riders leave with a rekindled dedication to themselves and to cycling.
For intermediate and above riders, we’ll help you with efficient climbing, cornering at speed, riding in groups, drafting, and fueling for long rides. Most experienced cyclists leave with a renewed confidence in their abilities, and refined bike-handling skills.
We’ll supplement our saddle time with hikes in the luscious Sonoma Valley, through impressive redwood forests, and along secluded beaches. We’ll also partake in daily yoga, meditation, journaling, massage, dancing, and creative activities like our Heart’s Desire process, to get you connected with your highest potential. This retreat is as much an adventure for your body as it is your soul, and both will be at their best during our six inspired days together. Join us on this well-deserved reward for your senses and we’ll send you home revitalized, with a new zest for life.
What to Expect:
You’ll wake up happy at Bishop’s Ranch, located on a sunny knoll nestled among the forests, farms, and vineyards of Sonoma County. Each day begins with morning yoga, designed to unfold the body for biking, followed by a healthy, hearty breakfast prepared at the ranch. Then we’ll split into small groups to explore wine country on our road bikes and stopping at wineries for lunch. After lunch, there is plenty of free time to get a massage, bond with new friends, or take a stroll on the gorgeous trails surrounding the ranch. Afternoons involve a different excursion each day. Some days we’ll hike in the redwoods, or at the beach. Others, we’ll head into town for shopping, or to a vineyard for wine tasting and education. Dinner is served at the ranch, featuring fresh, seasonal produce, with vegetarian options as well as chicken, beef, and seafood. After dinner, it’s time to tap into our creative vision with lectures, demonstrations, dancing, and creative exercises, including our trademark Heart’s Desire process. The evening ends by 9:00 p.m., to ensure you’re refreshed and ready to roll the next morning.
•Two-three days of road bike cycling, on some of the most beautiful routes in the world.
• Trails for running, jogging, or hiking right out our front door at Bishop’s Ranch plus two magical days of hiking in the redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods
• Daily yoga instruction, including meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques.
• Three delicious, healthful meals per day, made from scratch using local seasonal ingredients. One lunch is on your own to explore Calistoga
• Two wine tastings and tours
• Boutique shopping in the quaint town of Healdsburg.
• Creative activities, lectures, discussions, and our Heart’s Desire process, designed to set your dreams in motion.
• Expert health, wellness, and training tips from the pros on staff.
• Lots of laughter, friendship, and relaxation.
Included in the Price:
• Six days, five nights lodging at Bishop’s Ranch (see FAQ for details on accommodations).
• Professional cycling instruction and guidance, for all ability levels.
• Hiking in the redwoods
• Yoga instruction (please bring a yoga mat with you)
• Fresh, delicious meals made from scratch, and all snacks. (one lunch on your own)
• Wine tasting and education.
• Women’s Quest journal and creative materials.
* Airfare and transportation to and from the airport, extra massages and bike rentals is not included in the cost.
What are the accommodations?
We will be staying at The Bishop’s Ranch. The Bishop’s Ranch is located on a sunny knoll nestled among the forests, farms and vineyards of Sonoma County with amazing road riding just outside our doors. We stay at a wonderful lodge called the Kay Qvale Ranch House at Bishop’s Ranch. It is a very large house with 17 rooms, a beautiful yoga room, 2 kitchens, a large dining room and unbelievable gardens with roses and jasmine right out the door. Each room has its own bathroom with shower and bathtub. There are running trails on the property and also a swimming pool to use during your free time. While the Bishop’s Ranch is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of California, ours is not a religious retreat but a spirit-filled retreat.
Single Rooms are available at an additional cost of $350.
What is a typical day?
Most days we will get an early start (7am) with Awakening the Senses yoga. And in Sonoma there is much for your senses to take in. After morning yoga we enjoy a wonderful breakfast and afterwards split into riding groups based on experience to explore the wine country on our bike rides. We have routes and instructors for ALL levels of experience – you will be supported in either a gentle or challenging ride – it’s up to you! After biking we enjoy a healthy energy-boosting lunch, often at a winery followed by some down time during which you can stroll the grounds of Bishop’s Ranch, take a swim, or soak in the view and some sun in an Adirondack chair overlooking the Russian River valley. We regroup in the late afternoon for a more traditional yoga class to stretch our bodies and find inspiration and peace. One afternoon we will do a beautiful hike in the woods. We’ll also spend some time strolling beautiful Healdsburg where you can enjoy anything from shopping in quaint boutiques to wonderful freshly made ice cream to wine tasting.
We also have two great wine tastings planned:
Comstock winery and Millsite winery
After a delicious dinner we gather for a talk or presentation with creative activities to rekindle your inner kid and open up your creative vision. We finish in the evening around 9:00 pm.
Our days are full but please keep in mind that you do not have to do everything! We support and encourage you to find the level of activity that is right for you. We will send you a list of the wineries we will be visiting during the week so you can pace yourself.
What will the food by like?
The kitchen at Bishops Ranch is a real wine country treat. The kitchen is a scratch kitchen which means all of our meals are made from scratch, sourced from the highest quality local ingredients. This means the warm scones you enjoy with breakfast are made that morning from scratch and just for us.
Breakfast is a wonderful way to start the day. Freshly made warm scones, fresh fruit, hot cereal, eggs and or French Toast awaits us after our morning yoga. Dinners are a true treat as the kitchen pulls out the stops to provide a delicious and nutritious meal. All entrees include protein (usually chicken or fish) and we always have a vegetarian entrée available as well. Meals are served buffet style and tables are reserved for our group.
Please indicate any dietary restrictions. We will do our best to accommodate your special needs. The food is one of the BEST parts of the retreat-“YUM!” Bishops Ranch prides itself on making everything from scratch so the cookies, breads, and entrées are out of this world great!
Am I in good enough shape to do the retreat?
Most Likely! We adapt to all levels of fitness. Since we break into riding groups we can accommodate just about any skill and fitness level. We teach you practical skills for biking-useful for both beginners and experienced riders. We have a variety of route options for biking, and for walking/hiking/running. Groups are formed according to each woman’s level of fitness, experience, and desire to challenge herself. We do suggest that you start a training or workout program before you come so that you can get the most out of the retreat. Your training does not need to be a hard-core program…just get out, play and be active several days a week.
Do I have to participate in everything on the schedule?
You do not need to participate in everything; you can pace yourself so that it is the perfect amount of activity for you. We fully support you in doing as much or as little as is right for you in the moment. The schedule gives you a sense of the flow of each day. It is subject to change, depending upon the needs of the group, weather, etc. We will go over the schedule each day at breakfast.
Tell me about the yoga?
We begin each adventure-filled Women’s Quest day with Colleen’s unique “Awakening the Senses Yoga.” This gentle but powerful practice draws inspiration from Gyrokinesis, Qigong, and Tai Chi, and is a perfect way to prepare the mind, body and senses for the activities of the day.
In the afternoon, we practice a yoga sequence that moves from a dynamic flow to restorative postures—designed to stretch out the body from the days’ adventures. We balance solid alignment techniques and playful sequences with opportunities for innovative self-discovery. As we work with a focus on core integrity and the connection between movement and breath, our stiff shoulders melt, our hamstrings lengthen, and our spines find greater flexibility. Most importantly, our smiles widen as we nurture our self-compassion and gratitude for “our one wild and precious life.” The practice blends the specificity of Iyengar yoga with a delight in flowing sequences (vinyasa) and poetic imagery. We end each afternoon practice with relaxing restorative yoga and guidance in mindfulness meditation.
During the activities of the day we will cultivate a yogic focus—bringing with us awareness developed in the daily yoga. We’ll take mini “yoga breaks” during the day, finding opportunities to feel suppleness and receptivity of the body as we draw the beauty of the environment into our cells.
The yoga practice on this retreat is designed to be accessible for all levels—both fresh beginners and experienced practitioners will deepen their practice according to individual needs and desires. Variations will be offered, and the instructors work with the principle that each person can find relationship with an “inner voice” that guides the balance of challenge and ease.
What is the riding like?
The riding is some of the best in the US. The Sonoma wine country is absolutely beautiful and we ride through the heart of it all. We’ll ride by manicured vineyards, along well-shaded quiet country lanes, over tree-covered knolls and along the historic Russian river.
All rides will be staffed by our expert, knowledgeable and inspirational guides. All rides will also be sagged so you’ll never be far away from a bottle refill, a snack, or a jacket to put on or take off.
We have 2 ride days planned for this retreat, however, if you love riding and want to skip the Redwoods hikes you can ride these days with one of our guides. We’ll need to see how many want to skip the other activities to see if we can adjust the schedule and make guides available. Please let us know ASAP if you think you may want to ride the extra days so we can plan accordingly.
Can I rent a bike?
Absolutely. We will be renting Trek Pilot road bikes or Trek hybrid bikes. These are good bikes and if you don’t want the hassle and or expense of shipping your bike you can rent and still have a great ride. If you intend to rent, please specify if you would like a road or hybrid bike and let us know your size as early as possible so we can ensure you get the bike you want in your size. Bike rental fees are not included in the retreat fees and run approximately $65.00 per day for each of the two to four days of riding.
How is the hiking?
In a word, amazing. We will do a glorious hike in the Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve. The Reserve is home to a spectacular grove of Coast Redwoods. We’ll get up close with these natural wonders, including both the Parson Jones Tree which is the tallest tree in the grove, measuring more than 310 feet in height and the Colonel Armstrong Tree which is the oldest tree in the grove, estimated to be over 1,400 years old.
The trails in the Reserve are not overly technical so you should be fine with light-weight hiking or trail running shoes. Walking among these giants is a special treat and one that will stay with you long after the camp is over.
What weather can I expect?
The weather in October is mid 70’s to mid 80’s during the day and 50’s and 60’s at night. Rain is always a possibility in any season so please bring a rain jacket just in case.
Make sure to bring layers that you will start with in the morning and take off as the day warms up. Bring a rain jacket you can ride in just in case. You will be able to leave clothes in the sag vehicle as the day warms up.
What is the average age on this retreat?
We have a wide range of women who attend our retreats, from 15-70 years young. Each retreat will vary. Please contact us if you have questions about the ages on a specific retreat.
What if I am coming alone?
The majority of the women who attend our retreats come by themselves. This makes for a great trip as everyone is open to meeting new people and sharing an amazing week together. Although you may come alone, you will leave the retreat with new, lifelong friends!
Tell me about the staff
The staff is an inspiring and spirited group of women!!! You will have the chance to play with women who are both phenomenal athletes and articulate teachers. You will receive cutting-edge instruction with heartfelt support and encouragement. The high staff-to-camper ratio allows opportunity for individual guidance, safe supervision of all activities, and personal attention to your feelings and needs. We organize the groups to accommodate all fitness levels and levels of experience.
When does the retreat begin and end?
Registration for the retreat starts at 3:00 pm but we’ll be waiting for you at Bishop’s Ranch when you arrive on either the Women’s Queset shuttle or by car. We will conclude by 11:00 am so everyone on the shuttle will be at the airport no later than 1:00 pm.
Cancellation policy for domestic camps:
• If you must cancel, a $250 deposit is NOT REFUNDABLE*
• Full refund, less deposit, will be given with at least 61 days notice *
• Within 60 day to 31 days of your camp, 50% of the total (less deposit) will be refunded *
• Within 30 days of your camp, sorry but absolutely no refund will be given
*no exceptions will be granted to the above policy.*
Please note: We are sorry but injury and illness do not disqualify you from any of the above cancellation policies. We are UNABLE to transfer deposits or any payments from one year to the next.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest, in which case all money paid to Women’s Quest will be refunded. Women’s Quest CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.