Thanks to row2k.com for a link to this article in the Sonoma County Press-Democrat about rowing in Petaluma, California. I rowed there for about 10 years, did the original website for North Bay Rowing Club, and can testify that it really is an ideal, and often overlooked, place to row. The first thing you need for a rowing club is good water, and Petaluma has the best and longest rowable water of anywhere I’ve ever rowed, on par with the Connecticut River at Dartmouth. I love that Greg Sabourin, who founded the North Bay Rowing Club, is now trying to develop an all-around small craft center for rowing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. When I visited last month, I not only got to row, but also to SUP, on the Petaluma River. Great water, almost no boat traffic, and an ideal climate make it a great location for pretty much any kind of athletic training, especially for rowers who like to cross over into cycling. Plus, as mentioned in the article, it is one of the few places where you can do a 26.2 rowing marathon with only one stake turn, and flat enough water to do it in a racing single. I’ve done that race in the days before it became the “Petaluma River Marathon” on Labor Day weekend, when it used to just be an unofficial mass scrimmage for all kinds of human-powered watercraft, and it is a blast. Let me tell you, after a bad winter on the east coast, an earthquake last week, and now a hurricane which has shut down Passaic River rowing most likely for 2 weeks, I am missing being in “Eden!” At this point I’d settle for just the quake risk, because at least out west they are prepared for it! If you are ever visiting the Bay Area, take a run up to Petaluma, rent a kayak or SUP board from Clavey, or meet the friendly folks at North Bay Rowing Club for a spin on the river. If you need a contact there, ping me on the blog and I’ll hook you up!
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