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HomeRide Info

Saturday, August 5

Marin County Fairgrounds
10 Avenue of Flags
San Rafael, CA

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Ride Information

Location

The ride starts and ends at the Marin County Fairgrounds.

What's Provided

Here's what comes with participation in the ride:

  • One of the West Coast's most scenic and best-supported rides
  • Fantastic rest stop food options and a hot post-ride feast at our celebratory expo
  • Route marked by color-coded arrows
  • SAG support and assistance from the Marin Amateur Radio Club
  • CHP-patrolled course and assisted lane closures for rider safety
  • Water-resistant color map and water bottle

Routes

Ride Event Miles # of Rest Stops Total Climbing (approx.) Experience
Half Metric 36 1 1,370 Novice/Recreational
100 km Marin Metric Century 63 3 3,830 Recreational/Experienced
220 km Double Metric + 136 6 10,000 Experienced
170 km Marin Century (Traditional) 107 4 7,000 Recreational/Experienced
Mt Tam Century 99 4 9,800 Experienced
Mt Tam Double Century 200 9 18,000 Experienced

With the exception of the Mt Tam Century, all routes are designed to allow riders to shorten their ride back to the finish.

Maps

To download and print your map at home, use the link corresponding to the route you intend to ride:

Course Markings

Routes will be marked with (road) route arrows. However, the most reliable directions can be found on the reverse side of the map. The color of your route map and cue sheet will match the color of the course markings for your particular route. The tentative course colors (please check posted maps on ride day)are as follows:

Route Arrow Color
50 km Blue
100 km Yellow
220 km Orange
Marin Century Green
Mt. Tam Century Purple
Mt. Tam Double Century Pink

Additionally, changes in direction will be marked with white signs at intersections. In 2011 & 2012 we found someone had removed a number of signs on the course. Signs are only an aid.

Lane Closures

For rider safety, CHP officers will be enforcing the following temporary lane, not road, closures to allow cyclists to pass:

  • 6:30-9 AM: Westbound lane on Lucas Valley Road from west of Westgate to Big Rock
  • 7:30 -10 AM: Northbound lane on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road from north of Nicasio Valley Road to the top of Rocky Hill

Safety

This is not a race. There is no winner.  Any rider seen to be operating their bike unsafely in any way, can and will be pulled from the ride and disqualified. Riders must have safe control of their bike at all times and must

  • Wear helmets at all times during the ride.
  • Be responsible for the safety and condition of their bicycle and cycling equipment.
  • Carry the following:
    • Driver's license or other form of ID
    • Medical release
    • Spare tube
    • Patch kit
    • Pump
    • Tire levers
    • Tools
    • Water bottles
    • Cell phone
    • Personal clothing
  • Sign the release form before starting the ride. Those under 18 years of age must have the form signed by a parent or guardian and must carry the medical release authorizing any needed treatment.
  • Be courteous to local drivers and respectful of traffic.
  • Obey all California vehicle code laws, including all stop signs and signals. Local authorities may cite violators.
  • Ride single file and stay right.
  • Announce “on your left” to all riders being passed.
  • Exercise extreme caution near all pace lines.
  • Safely stay as far right as possible or pull off the road if necessary to allow faster riders to pass.
  • Affix their rider number to their helmet and  bicycle and wear their wrist band for entry to the rest stops and the post-ride party.
  • Not attempt to have a private SAG vehicles. Riders with private sags will be disqualified.

Route Descriptions

50K/35-MILE COURSE

Cyclists should be experienced and reasonably fit to attempt this ride.  Although not as long or difficult as the other courses, the 50K does have ONE SIGNIFICANT CLIMB ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD, a climb made challenging by its narrow shoulder and steep grade.

It begins on flat-to-rolling terrain before a 1.5-mile, 430-foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley and a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. The route then winds north through relatively flat terrain past the small town of Nicasio. The first rest stop is located at the Nicasio School (opposite side of the road) at mile 12.

The route continues alongside Nicasio Reservoir to the turnaround point at the junction of the Pt. Reyes–Petaluma Road at mile 16. Riders are welcome to stop again at the Nicasio School Rest Stop before beginning the climb back up Lucas Valley Road to Big Rock.

Riders should exercise caution on the DEMANDING DESCENT FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD. This descent has several sharp left-hand turns with a decreasing radius. The remainder of the route is almost all downhill to the finish at the Marin County Fairgrounds.

100K/63-MILE COURSE (METRIC CENTURY)

THIS COURSE INCLUDES STEEP CLIMBS AND TECHNICAL DESCENTS.

It begins on flat-to-rolling terrain before a 1.5 mile, 430-foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley and a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. The route then winds north through relatively flat terrain past the small town of Nicasio--site of the first rest stop--and alongside Nicasio Reservoir.

A 1.4-mile, 380-foot climb up the Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road and a gentle descent leads riders past the famous Cheese Factory and to the “Red Hill” climb, followed by a quick and curvy descent into the outskirts of Petaluma to the second rest stop at Petaluma High School (mile 29). Relatively flat terrain takes riders to the biggest challenge of the day-- Wilson Hill. This steep, 700-foot climb offers riders an exhilarating descent ending at a 90-degree left turn onto Hicks Valley Road. Rolling hills and sparsely traveled roads bring riders through ranch country and open space, where the route turns west on the Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road, passing the Cheese Factory a second time. A slight climb and then a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Road ends in a relatively flat stretch to the third and final rest stop in the town of Nicasio (mile 45.9).

A few miles later, riders  begin the climb back up Lucas Valley Road to Big Rock. Riders should exercise caution on the DEMANDING DESCENT FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD. This descent has several sharp left-hand turns with a decreasing radius. The remainder of the route is almost all downhill to the finish at the Marin County Fairgrounds.

170K/107-MILE COURSE (TRADITIONAL MARIN CENTURY)

THIS COURSE INCLUDES STEEP CLIMBS AND TECHNICAL DESCENTS.

It begins on flat-to-rolling terrain before a 1.5 mile, 430-foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley and a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. The route then winds north through relatively flat terrain past the small town of Nicasio--site of the first rest stop--and alongside Nicasio Reservoir.

A 1.4-mile, 380-foot climb up the Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road and a gentle descent leads riders past the famous Cheese Factory and to the “Red Hill” climb, followed by a quick and curvy descent into the outskirts of Petaluma to the second rest stop at Petaluma  High School (mile 29).  Riders continue on to the rolleurs of Chilleno Valley Road to Tomales-Petaluma Road to Tomales. A left turn onto Dillon Beach Road leads to a moderate climb along Whitaker Bluff and remote Franklin School-Valley Ford Road, up and over one last ridge north, past the halfway point to the third rest stop at Valley Ford (mile 57.4).

The ride continues over scenic and sparsely traveled roads to the short but steep Middle Road climb and back to Tomales and seven miles of rolling terrain on Highway 1 alongside Tomales Bay. A sharp left turn onto the unmarked Marshall-Petaluma Road (mile 71.8) immediately takes riders on a steep 700-foot stair step climb up the infamous Marshall Wall ridge with spectacular views of sweeping grassland hills. The steep descent down the east side of the Marshall Wall leads to a more gradual descent to the fourth rest stop at Walker Creek (mile 77.9).

The route continues along the rolling hills of Hicks Valley Road before turning west on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road, taking riders past the Cheese Factory to a slight climb and a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Road. A relatively flat stretch lead to the fifth and final rest stop in the town of Nicasio (mile 92.6).

A few miles later, riders  begin the climb back up Lucas Valley Road to Big Rock. Riders should exercise caution on the DEMANDING DESCENT FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD. This descent has several sharp left-hand turns with a decreasing radius. The remainder of the route is almost all downhill to the finish at the Marin County Fairgrounds.

220K/136-MILE COURSE (DOUBLE METRIC +)

THIS COURSE INCLUDES STEEP CLIMBS AND TECHNICAL DESCENTS.

It begins on flat-to-rolling terrain before a 1.5 mile, 430-foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley and a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. The route then winds north through relatively flat terrain past the small town of Nicasio--site of the first rest stop--and alongside Nicasio Reservoir.

A 1.4-mile, 380-foot climb up the Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road and a gentle descent leads riders past the famous Cheese Factory and to the “Red Hill” climb, followed by a quick and curvy descent into the outskirts of Petaluma to the second rest stop at Petaluma  High School (mile 29).  Riders continue on to the rolleurs of Chilleno Valley Road to Tomales-Petaluma Road to Tomales. A left turn onto Dillon Beach Road leads to a moderate climb along Whitaker Bluff and remote Franklin School-Valley Ford Road, up and over one last ridge north, past the halfway point to the third rest stop at Valley Ford (mile 57.4).

ALL DOUBLE METRIC RIDERS MUST SIGN IN AT THE BAY HILL COLEMAN LOOP CHECKPOINT.  THE HARD CUTOFF TIME IS 3:30 p.m. AFTER 3:30 p.m., RIDERS WILL BE DIVERTED SOUTH.

Riders next tackle the climb up Bay Hill Road, which offers a grand Pacific Ocean vista from the crest. A quick descent on rough road leads to some highly scenic miles of coastline before the route turns onto Coleman Valley Road and a long and steep climb with false summits and stunning views. (Look south from the top for a far-off Mt Tam.)

At the top of the Coleman Valley Loop (mile 73.8), riders will find a small rest stop stocked with water, Gatorade, and energy supplements (gels, bars, etc). A  400-foot descent leads to yet another climb and a long and technical descent on Joy Road. USE EXTREME CAUTION on this winding and potholed stretch, which eventually leads to wide-shouldered roads and the fourth rest stop in Valley Ford (mile 87). BE SURE TO SIGN BACK IN.

The ride continues over scenic and sparsely traveled roads to the short but steep Middle Road climb and back to Tomales and seven miles of rolling terrain on Highway 1 alongside Tomales Bay. A sharp left turn onto the unmarked Marshall-Petaluma Road immediately takes riders on a steep 700-foot stair step climb up the infamous Marshall Wall ridge with spectacular views of sweeping grassland hills. The steep descent down the east side of the Marshall Wall leads to a more gradual descent to the fifth rest stop at Walker Creek.

The route continues along the rolling hills of Hicks Valley Road before turning west on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road, taking riders past the Cheese Factory to a slight climb and a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Road. A relatively flat stretch lead to the fifth and final rest stop in the town of Nicasio.

A few miles later, riders  begin the climb back up Lucas Valley Road to Big Rock. Riders should exercise caution on the DEMANDING DESCENT FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD. This descent has several sharp left-hand turns with a decreasing radius. The remainder of the route is almost all downhill to the finish at the Marin County Fairgrounds.

200-MILE COURSE (DOUBLE CENTURY)

THIS COURSE INCLUDES STEEP CLIMBS AND HIGHLY TECHNICAL DESCENTS.

All riders on the Mt Tam Double Century (MTDC) course must check in at each of the course’s three checkpoints as well as start at 5 a.m. and finish by 10:00 p.m. to receive credit for the California Triple Crown Series of Double Centuries: http://www.caltriplecrown.com/index.htm. To help enforce the cutoff, riders who do not reach the Valley Ford checkpoint by 3 p.m. will not be allowed to start the Coleman Valley Loop. If you can’t ride the MTDC in the allotted 17 hours, we recommend that you volunteer for the Marin Century so that you can participate in the free workers’ ride (usually a week or two later), which has no time limit but excellent support for doubles riders.  
With 15,000 feet of climbing, the MTDC course is challenging but less difficult than the Alta Alpina challenge, the Devil Mountain Double, and the Terrible Two. The steepest grades are found at mile 130 on the Coleman Valley climb, where pitches are as high as 16 percent. Those who find the ride a little too challenging can avail themselves of several bailout options afforded by the century and double metric century courses.

The MTDC begins on flat-to-rolling terrain before a 1.4 mile, 430-foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley and a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. Here the route parts ways with the other courses, wending its south and east to the town of Fairfax and the ascent to the top of Mount Tamalpais (Tam), which begins on Bolinas-Fairfax Road. The narrow and twisting road levels out as it approaches a golf course and begins to climb again to the top of Pine Mountain, site of the first rest stop (mile 25) and the only one without a checkpoint.
 
From the here the road descends in a series of tight left turns with a decreasing radius to four miles of rolleurs ending at a dam at Alpine Lake. A three-mile ascent takes riders to a left-hand turn onto Ridgecrest Road, which offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and golden grass hillsides for the six miles of rolleurs, some with challenging grades, up to the top of Tam. At the very top is a checkpoint and the turnaround.
 
Riders now descend three miles that they just ascended and must take care to avoid riders finishing their climb to the top of Tam. They continue descending south to Pantoll and onto Panoramic Highway—roads with sharp technical turns that require extreme caution.
 
The road flattens out at Muir Woods and features rolleurs all the way to Santos Meadows, site of the second rest stop (mile 50.5) near Highway 1.
 
The course turns north on Highway 1 from Muir Beach and offers several climbs as it passes the Bolinas Lagoon toward Olema and Pt. Reyes Station, where riders find their third rest stop. The course continues north on Highway 1 to a right on Point Reyes-Petaluma Road, following the flat creek bed inland to Nicasio Reservoir. After a short climb (1.4 miles and 380-foot gain) and gentle descent past the Nicasio Cheese Factory, the course continues onto to Petaluma, site of the fourth rest stop (93.1 miles). Leaving Petaluma, riders find the entrance of beautiful Chileno Valley Road, which takes them to a left turn on Tomales-Petaluma Road. The course continues to Highway 1 and the small town of Tomales. At town center, the course turns left on Dillon Beach Road and continues to Valley Ford-Franklin School Road and a right turn on Highway 1 (away from Bodega) that takes riders to Valley Ford, site of the fifth rest stop (121.5 miles).
The course continues on Bodega Highway west to Bay Hill Road, which offers a grand Pacific Ocean vista from the crest. A quick descent on rough road leads to some highly scenic miles of coastline before the route turns onto Coleman Valley Road and a long and steep climb with false summits and stunning views. (Look south from the top for a far-off Mt Tam.)

At the top of the Coleman Valley Loop (mile 137.8), riders will find a small rest stop stocked with water, Gatorade, and energy supplements (gels, bars, etc). A 400-foot descent leads to yet another climb and a long and technical descent on Joy Road. USE EXTREME CAUTION on this winding and potholed stretch, which eventually leads to wide-shouldered roads and the sixth rest stop in Valley Ford (mile 150.7).

The ride continues over scenic and sparsely traveled roads to the short but steep Middle Road climb and back to Tomales and seven miles of rolling terrain on Highway 1 alongside Tomales Bay. A sharp left turn onto the unmarked Marshall-Petaluma Road immediately takes riders on a steep 700-foot stair step climb up the infamous Marshall Wall ridge with spectacular views of sweeping grassland hills. The steep descent down the east side of the Marshall Wall leads to a more gradual descent back to the rest stop at Walker Creek (mile 171.2).


The route continues along the rolling hills of Hicks Valley Road before turning west on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road, taking riders past the Cheese Factory to a slight climb and a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Road. A relatively flat stretch leads to the final rest stop in the town of Nicasio (mile 186).


A few miles later, riders begin the climb back up Lucas Valley Road to Big Rock. Riders should exercise caution on the DEMANDING DESCENT FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD. This descent has several sharp left-hand turns with a decreasing radius. The remainder of the route is almost all downhill to the finish at the Marin County Fairgrounds.

 

Disclaimer

The Marin Cyclists Bike Club and the Marin Century ride director reserve the right to refuse entry, disqualify, or remove anyone from the course for reasons of the their own safety, for the safety of others, for violation of any rules above or of the California vehicle code or for any other reason including the well being of the rider, other riders, the ride, or the Marin Cyclist Club. The decision of the ride director is final.