Does anyone know tell me what the bike events in October in California, or some place that offers a great setting and backdrop for some biking?
Wine country of Sonoma and Napa has great biking. I am a fan of the Silverado Trail, and the biking out of Healdsburg to surrounding wineries and back roads are lovely, especially in Fall ( though we are currently seeing a lot of rain and collet temperatures!) dry creek road, Dutcher creek Rd looping back to Healdsburg via Geyerserville Rd is a great day trip loop in Healdsburg.
Here's a calendar that may be helpful: http://www.bikeride.com/calendar/events.asp?state=WE&category=all
Try contacting some bike shops in parts of California you are interested as typically they are dialed into their local bike events and informal ride groups. about 5 years ago