Marin Cyclists Club
Connecting cyclists since 1963

 

MC_3-Color_Logo_Large_Black_BG.gif

Route Descriptions

Route Description page links:



Marin Century Route Comparison

Mileages and climbing are approximate.
Ride Event
Miles
# Rest Stops
Total Climbing (approximate) 
Rating
Experience Level
 Half Metric 35 1
1,370
3
Novice/ Recreational
Marin Metric Century 63
3
3,830
4
Novice/ Recreational
Double Metric + 136
6
10,000
5
Experienced
Marin Century (Traditional) 107
4
7,000 
4
Recreational/ Experienced
Mt Tam Century (Climbing) 98.64
9,000 
5
Experienced 

Mt Tam Double Century 200 8  15,000 5 Experienced














RATING CHART - Terrain Difficulty
1. Flat
2. Gentle Grades
3. Rolling Hills (west bound Lucas Valley is steep)
4. Mostly rolling hills, some steep climbs
5. Steep hills, long climbs
 
All routes (with the exception of the Mt. Tam Century) have an option to bail out so riders can shorten their ride back to the finish. We say this so you know there is a parachute. However, we encourage you to ride the furthest distance you feel you can in order to give you a sense of achievement.

All of the Marin Cyclist Century rides are among 
California ’s most beautiful and unique bicycle tours. All courses begin and end at  the Marin County Fairgrounds in  San Rafael . The courses travel the rural roads of West Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties. The terrain varies from gentle rolling hills along the coast to a few very challenging climbs. There are 6 courses offered.  Please select one that is appropriate for your experience and level of conditioning...because we want you to have fun!

We offer a ride to challenge everyone. You must be fit and trained to complete any of the rides. A route sheet will be provided at registration, and the route will be well marked. The rest stops are incredibly well supported by club volunteers and great food. Detailed ride descriptions of all the courses are below.


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 course colors are as follows:
Color (this is tentative - please check posted maps on ride day)
 Route Arrow Color 
 50K  Blue
 100K  Yellow
 220K  Orange
 Marin Century Traditional  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 (tentative):


To improve rider safety, CHP will be conducting lane closures (where cars are temporarily held to allow cyclists to pass).  These are not road closures.  Please follow the officer's directions.
  • 6:30-9 AM - Westbound lane on Lucas Valley Rd. from west of Westgate to Big Rock
  • 7:30-10 AM - Northbound lane on Pt. Reyes Petaluma Rd. from north of Nicasio Valley Rd. to the top of Rocky Hill

Route Descriptions 
NOTE: Preliminary course descriptions below.   Maps can be found here: Maps.  Final maps will be posted in July. 

50K - 35 MILE COURSE

PLEASE NOTE:  YOU SHOULD BE EXPERIENCED AND REASONABLY FIT TO ATTEMPT THIS RIDE.  Although not as long or difficult as the other courses available, the 50k does have ONE SIGNIFICANT CLIMB ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD WITH NARROW SHOULDERS AND STEEP GRADES.  IF RIDING WITH YOUNGER MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY, PLEASE EXERCISE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT REGARDING THEIR ABILITIES.  While we attempt to provide a challenging course, we do not guarantee the road condition on the day of the ride.  THERE CAN BE GRAVEL, ROCKS AND GLASS ON THE ROAD.  YOU MAY BE RIDING WITH CARS AND OTHER BIKES THAT ARE BEING OPERATED RECKLESSLY.  Any rider seen to be operating their bike unsafely in any way, can and will be pulled from the ride and disqualified.  You must have safe control of your bike at all times.  EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DESCENDING ON YOU RETURN ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD.

The Marin Half Metric Century route begins on flat to rolling terrain before you are greeted with your first challenge of the day, a 1.5 mile and 430 foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley. This is followed by 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 . Just past Nicasio Square is the 1st Rest Stop at the Nicasio School (opposite side of the road) at mile 12.
 
The route then continues alongside Nicasio Reservoir to the junction of the Pt. Reyes –
Petaluma Rd. at mile 16 where the course turns around and backtracks to the finish. Of course, you are welcome to stop again at the Nicasio School Rest Stop before you begin your climb back up Lucas Valley Rd. to Big Rock.
 
The course finishes by reversing
Lucas Valley Rd (it is an easier climb this direction). BE VERY CAREFUL DESCENDING FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD . THIS DESCENT HAS SEVERAL SHARP LEFT HAND TURNS WITH A DECREASING RADIUS – GO VERY SLOWLY!! It is almost all downhill from there until you arrive back at the Start/Finish at the MARIN COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS.
 



  
100K - 63 MILES (METRIC CENTURY)
PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD BE TRAINED AND FIT TO ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE RIDES. THIS COURSE INCLUDE STEEP UPHILL CLIMBS AND STEEP TECHNICAL DESCENTS. WHILE YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT CYCLIST, THESE COURSES ARE NOT FOR BEGINNERS. WHILE WE ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE A CHALLENGING COURSE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ROAD CONDITION ON THE DAY OF THE RIDE. THERE CAN BE GRAVEL, ROCKS AND GLASS ON THE ROAD. YOU MAY BE RIDING WITH CARS AND OTHER BIKES THAT ARE BEING OPERATED RECKLESSLY. ANY RIDER SEEN TO BE OPERATING THEIR BIKE UNSAFELY IN ANY WAY, CAN AND WILL BE PULLED FROM THE RIDE AND DISQUALIFIED. YOU MUST HAVE SAFE CONTROL OF YOUR BIKE AT ALL TIMES.  EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DESCENDING ON YOUR RETURN ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD.

The Marin Metric Century route begins on flat to rolling terrain before you are greeted with your first challenge of the day, a 1.5 mile and 430 foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley . This is followed by 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 and alongside Nicasio Reservoir.
 
The 2nd climb of the day (1.4 miles and 380 foot gain) rolls up the
Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. over a summit and past the famous Cheese Factory.  You then continue to your 3rd climb up “Red Hill”, followed by a quick and curvy descent into the outskirts of Petaluma to the 2nd Rest Stop Petaluma Junior High School (Mile 29).    Hydrate and calorie up at this rest stop. After resting your bones on the sunny grass, you will roll along relatively flat terrain to the biggest challenge of the day-- Wilson Hill. This climb is steep, 700’ high and the descent down the west side exhilarating.  But control your speed, as you will make a 90 degree left at the bottom, as the ride continues along Hicks Valley Rd. This is remote west Marin at its best. Rolling hills and sparsely traveled roads bring you through ranch country and open space to where the 100K route turns west on the Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. , as you return past the Cheese Factory.  Enjoy another slight climb and then a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Rd. This relatively flat stretch will lead you a couple more miles to your 3rd and final rest stop in the town of Nicasio at mile 45.9
 
The course finishes by reversing
Lucas Valley Rd (it is an easier climb this direction). BE VERY CAREFUL DESCENDING FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD . THIS DESCENT HAS SEVERAL SHARP LEFT HAND TURNS WITH A DECREASING RADIUS – GO VERY SLOWLY!! It is almost all downhill from there until you arrive back at the Start/Finish at the MARIN COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

MARIN CENTURY - 107 MILES (TRADITIONAL COURSE)

PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD BE TRAINED AND FIT TO ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE RIDES. THIS COURSE INCLUDE STEEP UPHILL CLIMBS AND STEEP TECHNICAL DESCENTS. WHILE YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT CYCLIST, THESE COURSES ARE NOT FOR BEGINNERS. WHILE WE ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE A CHALLENGING COURSE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ROAD CONDITION ON THE DAY OF THE RIDE. THERE CAN BE GRAVEL, ROCKS AND GLASS ON THE ROAD. YOU MAY BE RIDING WITH CARS AND OTHER BIKES THAT ARE BEING OPERATED RECKLESSLY. ANY RIDER SEEN TO BE OPERATING THEIR BIKE UNSAFELY IN ANY WAY, CAN AND WILL BE PULLED FROM THE RIDE AND DISQUALIFIED. YOU MUST HAVE SAFE CONTROL OF YOUR BIKE AT ALL TIMES.  EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DESCENDING ON YOUR RETURN ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD .

The Marin Century route begins on flat to rolling terrain before you are greeted with your first challenge of the day, a 1.5 mile and 430 foot climb to the Big Rock summit of

Lucas Valley . This is followed by 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 and along side Nicasio Reservoir.
 
The 2nd climb of the day (1.4 miles and 380 foot gain) rolls up the
Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. over a summit and past the famous Cheese Factory.  You then continue to your 3rd climb up “Red Hill”, followed by a quick and curvy descent into the outskirts of Petaluma to the 2nd Rest Stop at Petaluma Junior High School (mile 29)

Refuled, you will roll out to

Chilleno Valley Road . This road is one of the club favorites. The remote terrain is great for pace lines too. Ride on through relatively flat terrain (ok, it’s really more rollers…) and country roads to Tomales Petaluma Rd to Tomales. A left turn onto Dillon Beach Road takes  you to moderate climb along Whitaker Bluff and leads you onto the remote Franklin School – Valley Ford Rd., up and over one last ridge north, past the halfway point for the day, to your 3rd Rest Stop at Valley Ford at mile 57.4 The Valley Ford Rest Stop is well stocked to sate your hunger and quench your thirst.


The ride resumes over scenic and sparsely traveled country hills and roads (the short but steep

Middle Road climb will get your attention), as you make your way back to Tomales and 7 miles of rolling terrain on highway 1 alongside Tomales Bay .  Watch for the sharp left turn undefined be sure to check for cars in both directions--onto Marshall-Petaluma Road (mile 71.8) and immediately begin a steep 700 foot stairstep climb up the infamous “Marshall Wall” (the “back way”).   From the ridge you will be treated to spectacular views back down into the sweeping grassland hills of Marin. Behind to the west, the world drops away to Tomales Bay , Pt. Reyes National Seashore and the Pacific Ocean. The descent down the east side of the Marshall Wall is steep and exhilarating, leading you to the well deserved Walker Creek rest stop at mile 77.9  

The way back is fast and fun, as the ride continues along

Hicks Valley Rd. This is remote west Marin at its best. Rolling hills and sparsely traveled roads bring you through ranch country and open space before the route turns west on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road, as you return past the Cheese Factory, making another slight climb and then a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Rd.
This relatively flat stretch will lead you a couple more miles to your 5th and final rest stop in the town of
Nicasio at mile 92.6.
 
The course finishes by reversing Lucas Valley Rd (it is an easier climb this direction). BE VERY CAREFUL DESCENDING FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD . THIS DESCENT HAS SEVERAL SHARP LEFT HAND TURNS WITH A DECREASING RADIUS – GO VERY SLOWLY!! It is almost all downhill from there until you arrive back at the Start/Finish at the MARIN COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
 
MT. TAM CENTURY - 99 MILES (CLIMBING COURSE)
PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD BE TRAINED AND FIT TO ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE RIDES. THIS COURSE INCLUDE STEEP UPHILL CLIMBS AND STEEP TECHNICAL DESCENTS. WHILE YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT CYCLIST, THESE COURSES ARE NOT FOR BEGINNERS. WHILE WE ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE A CHALLENGING COURSE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ROAD CONDITION ON THE DAY OF THE RIDE. THERE CAN BE GRAVEL, ROCKS AND GLASS ON THE ROAD. YOU MAY BE RIDING WITH CARS AND OTHER BIKES THAT ARE BEING OPERATED RECKLESSLY. ANY RIDER SEEN TO BE OPERATING THEIR BIKE UNSAFELY IN ANY WAY, CAN AND WILL BE PULLED FROM THE RIDE AND DISQUALIFIED. YOU MUST HAVE SAFE CONTROL OF YOUR BIKE AT ALL TIMES.  EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DESCENDING ON YOUR RETURN ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD .

The Mt Tam Century covers the first 80 miles of the Mt Tam Double, and the last 10 of all the courses. On the map, it is the major Yellow loop to the South.

The Mt Tam Century course starts on flat to rolling terrain before you are greeted with your first challenge of the day, a 1.5 mile and 430 foot climb to the Big Rock summit of
Lucas Valley . This is followed by a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. The route then departs from the other courses as you head for the “sleeping beauty”, Mt Tamalpais. The route winds south and east with a couple small climbs and descents until you reach the town of Fairfax . Fairfax is one end of the famous Bolinas Fairfax Rd. , which is the epitome of Marin Road rides. Within sight of town center, the road begins to wind up into the hills of the lake country on the north side of Mt. Tam . The road is narrow and twisting but relatively un-traveled. There is a brief respite at the golf course and then you climb again to the top of Pine Mountain and your 1st Rest Stop at mile 25. This is a popular mountain bike jump off point but you will have to return for that another day.
 
The descent down to the lakes is very fast in a series of tight left turns with a decreasing radius. BE CAREFUL, GO SLOW INTO THE TURNS! The entire road twists with lots of technical turns and small fun rollers for 4 miles. You will love this road. All this ends at Alpine Dam. You ride across the dam and climb, and climb and climb. You reach the ridge; turn left off the
Bolinas Fairfax Rd onto Ridgecrest and climb some more, and more. Welcome to Mt Tam.
 
If the
Bo Fax Rd. is beautiful (and it is), West Ridgecrest is stunning. You have seen this before, probably in a car commercial. Yep – this is the place. In the early morning light, you will have a grand sweeping view of the Pacific, the coastal mountains and inland lakes. Coastal oaks, evergreens and redwoods will contrast with the golden grass hillsides and deep blue ocean waters. All this is, of course, assuming it is clear. It can be foggy, raining, blowing 50 and you might as well be in Siberia!
 
West Ridgecrest climbs in a great series of rollers turning into East Ridgecrest that climbs in another set of giant rollers for the remaining 3 miles to East Peak and the top of the mountain. At the very top is a checkpoint and the turnaround. Only the Double Century Riders need to check in at this point. Be careful on the descent. It is very easy to go too fast and other riders will still be riding up. This is an out and back scenario. The descent has almost 300 feet of climbing in it before turning south to Pantoll and onto the Panoramic Hwy. All these roads are twisting with sharp technical turns that require extreme caution. If these roads are wet from morning fog, they will be very slippery. PLEASE EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION.
 
From Panoramic, you drop steeply to Muir Woods and on to your 2nd Rest Stop at Santos Meadows at mile 50.5 just before reaching Hwy 1.
 
Several good climbs wait as you turn north on Hwy 1 from
Muir Beach and again as the course passes the Bolinas Lagoon toward Olema and Pt. Reyes Station. Our course turns off Hwy 1 at the north end of Pt Reyes Station. The 2007 route will bypass the main section through town on Mesa Road to the far side of town and back to Hwy 1. The route continues traveling the flat creek bed inland to Nicasio Reservoir . At the junction of Nicasio Valley Road , turn Right and proceed to the Nicasio Rest Stop at mile 77.9.   After that, continue on the road to Lucas Valley and turn Left. This is the road that you came down hours earlier. Climb Big Rock Summit and descend Lucas Valley.   Use EXTREME Caution here, the turns are tighter then they look and you will be going fast. It is almost all downhill from there until you arrive back at the Start/Finish at the MARIN COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
 
220Km - 136 MILES (DOUBLE METRIC +)

PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD BE TRAINED AND FIT TO ATTEMPT ANY OF THESE RIDES. THIS COURSE INCLUDE STEEP UPHILL CLIMBS AND STEEP TECHNICAL DESCENTS. WHILE YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT CYCLIST, THESE COURSES ARE NOT FOR BEGINNERS. WHILE WE ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE A CHALLENGING COURSE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ROAD CONDITION ON THE DAY OF THE RIDE. THERE CAN BE GRAVEL, ROCKS AND GLASS ON THE ROAD. YOU MAY BE RIDING WITH CARS AND OTHER BIKES THAT ARE BEING OPERATED RECKLESSLY. ANY RIDER SEEN TO BE OPERATING THEIR BIKE UNSAFELY IN ANY WAY, CAN AND WILL BE PULLED FROM THE RIDE AND DISQUALIFIED. YOU MUST HAVE SAFE CONTROL OF YOUR BIKE AT ALL TIMES.  EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DESCENDING ON YOUR RETURN ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD .

The Marin Double Metric Century route joins the Marin Century route for the first 58 miles. The route begins on flat to rolling terrain before you are greeted with your first challenge of the day, a 1.5 mile and 430 foot climb to the Big Rock summit of 

Lucas Valley . This is followed by 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 and alongside Nicasio Reservoir.

The 2nd climb of the day (1.4 miles and 380 foot gain) rolls up the 

Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Rd. over a summit and past the famous Cheese Factory.  You then continue to your 3rd climb up “Red Hill”, followed by a quick and curvy descent into the outskirts of Petaluma to the 2nd Rest Stop Petaluma High School at mile 29. Refueled, you will roll out to  Chileno Valley Road . This road is one of the club favorites. The remote terrain is great for pace lines too. Ride on through relatively flat terrain (ok, it’s really more rollers…) and country roads as you cross highway 1 just north of Tomales.  A moderate climb along Whitaker Bluff leads you onto the remote Franklin School – Valley Ford Rd., up and over one last ridge north, past the halfway point for the day, to your 3rd Rest Stop at Valley Ford at mile 58. The Valley Ford Rest Stop is well stocked to sate your hunger and quench your thirst.

ALL DOUBLE METRIC RIDERS NEED TO SIGN IN AT THE BAY HILL COLEMAN LOOP CHECKPOINT AFTER LEAVING THE VALLEY FORD REST STOP. HARD CUTOFF TIME IS 3:30.  We do not want to go looking for you on the loop if you are happily on your way to Petaluma RIDERS MUST DEPART THE VALLEY FORD REST STOP BY  3:30PM TO BEGIN THE COLEMAN VALLEY LOOP.  AFTER 3:30PM, RIDERS WILL BE DIVERTED SOUTH.  

While the century riders are starting to head back south, you are about to taste some of the best hill climbs anywhere. The climb up 

Bay Hill Rd. is beautiful with grand vistas of the Pacific once you have earned the crest.  It is a quick descent (rough road) to Hwy 1 for some very scenic miles of coastline before turning onto Coleman Valley Rd. Coleman Valley Rd. is the big climb of the 200 K course. With 68 miles on your legs, the climb is long and steep with false summits and huge views. Be sure to look south from the top. At the edge of the horizon you will see Mt Tam! This is one for the books. Remember to smile! This will forever be one of your favorites!

At the top of the Coleman Valley Loop, mile 73.8, you will find a “Mini Rest Stop” stocked with water, Gatorade and energy supplements (gels, bars, etc). This stop will not have the usual array of fruit and other foods you may be used to but you will find those down the road a few more miles at Valley Ford.
 
The top of the Coleman Valley Loop undulates with a 400 ft descent in the middle before climbing right back up (gotta love that!). The final descent on remote 

Joy Rd  is very big and long, and the two lane road narrows in places, so watch for the occasional oncoming vehicle as you negotiate some fast curves. Wide shouldered roads take you back to your 4th Rest Stop in Valley Ford (Déjà vu) at mile 87. BE SURE TO SIGN BACK IN.

The ride resumes over scenic and sparsely traveled country hills and roads (the short but steep Middle Road climb will get your attention), as you make your way back to Tomales and 7 miles of rolling terrain on highway 1 alongside Tomales Bay.  Watch for the sharp left turn - be sure to check for cars in both directions--onto Marshall-Petaluma Road and immediately begin a steep 700 foot stairstep climb up the infamous “Marshall Wall” (the “back way”).   From the ridge you will be treated to spectacular views back down into the sweeping grassland hills of Marin. Behind to the west, the world drops away to Tomales Bay , Pt. Reyes National Seashore and the Pacific Ocean. The descent down the east side of the Marshall Wall is steep and exhilarating, leading you to the well deserved Walker Creek rest stop at mile 107.2  

The way back is fast and fun, as the ride continues along 

Hicks Valley Rd. This is remote west Marin at its best. Rolling hills and sparsely traveled roads bring you through ranch country and open space before the route turns west on Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road, as you return past the Cheese Factory, making another slight climb and then a very fast descent to Nicasio Reservoir and Nicasio Valley Rd.  This relatively flat stretch will lead you a couple more miles to your 7th and final rest stop in the town of Nicasio at mile 121.8.

 
The course finishes by reversing 

Lucas Valley Rd (it is an easier climb this direction). BE VERY CAREFUL DESCENDING FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD . THIS DESCENT HAS SEVERAL SHARP LEFT HAND TURNS WITH A DECREASING RADIUS – GO VERY SLOWLY!! It is almost all downhill from there until you arrive back at the Start/Finish at the MARIN COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS,



 
DOUBLE CENTURY - 200 MILES

Welcome to the Mt Tam Double Century.
Please read the following before signing up for the MTDC.

The Mt Tam Double Century has a mass start at 5AM nobody is allowed to start before that time, failure do conform to this rule will get you DQed. The cut off time is 10:30PM anyone on the course after 10:30PM will get a DNF status, WILL NOT get Triple Crown credit and will be SAGed in, no exception.

 The MTDC starts at 5AM and closes at 10:30PM. Start and finish times are strictly enforced.
This means you will have 17hrs 30min to complete the course, you should consider whether or not that is enough time for you BEFORE you sign up for the event.
 If you feel it is not enough time for you we advise you to choose an easier Double Century to participate in. We do not like to give "DNF" status with NO Triple Crown credits to riders finishing after the 10:30pm cut off time but if you are on the course after 10:30PM we will.
There is also a cut off time in Valley Ford whereas riders will not be allowed to start the Coleman Valley Loop after 3:30PM. You will have little chance to finish the course on time if you have not cleared Valley Ford before 3:30PM therefore we ask you to not push forward after the said cut off time.
However if you desire to participate in the MTDC but cannot make the cut off times, we invite you to volunteer for the event, then come and join us for the workers ride which is catered with great care to all volunteers wanting to try the 200 miles course. We will be there for you and allow you to complete the course, there will be no timing on the volunteers ride.

PLEASE NOTE: YOU SHOULD BE TRAINED AND FIT TO ATTEMPT ANY OF THIS RIDE. THIS COURSE INCLUDE STEEP UPHILL CLIMBS AND STEEP TECHNICAL DESCENTS. WHILE YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EXPERT CYCLIST, THE MTDC IS NOT FOR BEGINNERS. WHILE WE ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE A CHALLENGING COURSE, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ROAD CONDITION ON THE DAY OF THE RIDE. THERE CAN BE GRAVEL, ROCKS AND GLASS ON THE ROAD. YOU MAY BE RIDING WITH CARS AND OTHER BIKES THAT ARE BEING OPERATED RECKLESSLY. ANY RIDER SEEN TO BE OPERATING THEIR BIKE UNSAFELY IN ANY WAY, CAN AND WILL BE PULLED FROM THE RIDE AND DISQUALIFIED. YOU MUST HAVE SAFE CONTROL OF YOUR BIKE AT ALL TIMES.  EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN DESCENDING ON YOUR RETURN ON LUCAS VALLEY ROAD .

The Maiden voyage of the Mt. Tam Double Century was August 7, 2004 and received rave reviews. This is part of the prestigious California Triple Crown Series of Double Centuries. Not sure if you can ride it? There are those of you that know you can ride 200 miles with 15,000 feet of climbing and then there are most of you that question such a challenge. While the Mt. Tam Double is not an easy Double Century and will challenge even the experienced veteran riders, do not be too intimidated.

  The Mt. Tam Double will qualify as one of the three doubles you need to complete in one calendar year to qualify for your California Triple Crown. (Link to website) http://www.caltriplecrown.com/index.htm
 
This difficult double has become a Northern California Classic. Climb beautiful canyons and challenging ridges up Mt Tam (birthplace of mountain biking) with stunning views of the Pacific Coast, the San Francisco Bay and all the mountains in between. This ride has lots of fast technical riding and descents to challenge the most experienced riders yet offers bailout options for those that want to give it a try but are not quite sure. Most of the steep climbing is over by mile 130 but there are plenty of rollers to challenge you on your way back to the Finish!
 
 This course is very challenging but certainly a step below the “most” challenging doubles such as the Alta Alpina challenge, the Devil Mountain Double and the Terrible Two. In fact, it might be the ideal test ride if you are not sure you are ready for the most difficult doubles out there. The Mt Tam Double has 15,000 ft. of climbing but the grades are not consistently that steep. The steepest grades are found at mile 130 on the Coleman Valley climb where grades will be as high as 16%.
 
Because we run the Mt Tam Double in conjunction with our Marin Century, there are several bailout options available if the course just proves too much or you are just having a bad day. these options will allow you to finish under your own power and the bailout routes are fully supported.

The Mt Tam Double Century course starts on flat to rolling terrain before you are greeted with your first challenge of the day, a 1.5 mile and 430 foot climb to the Big Rock summit of Lucas Valley. This is followed by a thrilling descent through the redwoods into the ranches and grasslands of West Marin. The route then departs from the other courses as you head for the “sleeping beauty”, Mt Tamalpais. The route winds south and east with a couple small climbs and descents until you reach the town of Fairfax. Fairfax is one end of the famous Bolinas Fairfax Rd., which is the epitome of Marin Road rides. Within sight of town center, the road begins to wind up into the hills of the lake country on the north side of Mt. Tam. The road is narrow and twisting but relatively untraveled. There is a brief respite at the golf course and then you climb again to the top of Pine Mountain and your 1st Rest Stop at mile 25. This is a popular mountain bike jump off point but you will have to return for that another day. There is NO CHECKPOINT at Pine Mountain Rest Stop. This is the only rest stop on the course without a checkpoint.
 
The descent down to the lakes is very fast in a series of tight left turns with a decreasing radius. BE CAREFUL, GO SLOW INTO THE TURNS! The entire road twists with lots of technical turns and small fun rollers for 4 miles. You will love this road. All this ends at Alpine Dam. You ride across the dam and climb, and climb and climb. You reach the ridge; turn left off the Bolinas Fairfax Rd onto Ridgecrest and climb some more, and more. Welcome to Mt Tam.
 
If the Bolinas Fairfax Rd. is beautiful (and it is), West Ridgecrest is stunning. You have seen this before. Either in half the car commercials ever made or maybe in a Lance commercial. Yep – this is the place. In the early morning light, you will have a grand sweeping view of the Pacific, the coastal mountains and inland lakes. Coastal oaks, evergreens and redwoods will contrast with the golden grass hillsides and deep blue ocean waters. All this is, of course, assuming it is clear. It can be foggy, raining, blowing 50 and you might as well be in Siberia!
 
West Ridgecrest climbs in a great series of rollers turning into East Ridgecrest that climbs in another set of giant rollers for the remaining 3 miles to East Peak and the top of the mountain. At the very top is a checkpoint and the turnaround. FAILURE TO CHECK IN HERE RESULTS IN A DNF!!!
 
Be careful on the descent. It is very easy to go too fast and other riders will still be riding up. This is an out and back scenario. The descent has almost 300 feet of climbing in it before turning south to Pantoll and onto the Panoramic Hwy. All these roads are twisting with sharp technical turns that require extreme caution. If these roads are wet from morning fog, they will be very slippery. PLEASE EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION.
 
From Panoramic, you drop steeply to Muir Woods and on to your 2nd Rest Stop and Checkpoint  at Santos Meadows at mile 50.5 just before reaching Hwy 1.
 
Several good climbs wait as you turn north on Hwy 1 from Muir Beach and again as the course passes the Bolinas Lagoon toward Olema and Pt. Reyes Station. Our course turns off Hwy 1 in Point Reyes Station on 1st street and a quick left on Mesa Road for rest stop  and  Checkpoint#3 and 73.5 miles in.

Take a right back on Hwy 1 north and a right on Point Reyes Petaluma road, the route continues traveling the flat creek bed inland to Nicasio Reservoir where you are greeted by a short climb (1.4 miles and 380 foot gain). Over a summit and past the Nicasio Cheese Factory before continuing on D Street toPetaluma. A left turn on 10th St which turns into Fair Ave. and left on Western Ave will bring you to Petaluma Junior High School at Bantam St. and our Rest Stop and Checkpoint 4 at 93.1 miles.

Leaving Petaluma with a series of quick turns you will find yourself at the entrance of beautiful Chileno Valley road that you will follow all the way to a left turn on Tomales Petaluma road. Continue to Hwy 1 and turn right to the small town of Tomales. At town center turn left on Dillon Beach Rd and continue to Valley Ford/Franklin School Rd.   Arrive to a right turn on HWY 1 (away from Bodega) and reach the rest stop #5 in Valley Ford at roughly 121.5 miles.  Leaving the Rest Stop be sure to stop at the Checkpoint #5 before continuing on Bodega Hwy west to Bay Hill and the Coleman Loop.


While the century riders are starting to head back south, you are about to taste some of the best hill climbs anywhere. The climb up Bay Hill Rd. is beautiful with grand vistas of the Pacific ocean once you have earned the crest.  It is a quick descent (rough road) to Hwy 1 for some very scenic miles of coastline before turning onto Coleman Valley Rd. Coleman Valley Rd. and a big climb on the double century course. With 130 miles on your legs, the climb is long and steep with false summits and huge views. Be sure to look south from the top. At the edge of the horizon you will see Mt Tam! This is one for the books. Remember to smile! This will forever be one of your favorites!
 
Relax and hydrate up at the top of the Coleman Valley Loop. This small Rest Stop at Coleman Valley is at about mile 137.8 and is a Checkpoint. The stop will be stocked with water, Gatorade and energy supplements (gels, bars, etc). This stop will not have the usual array of fruit and other foods you may be used to but you will find those down the road a few more miles at Valley Ford.
 The top of the Coleman Valley Loop undulates with a 400 ft descent in the middle before climbing right back up (gotta love that!). The final descent on Joy Rd is very big and long. Wide shouldered roads take you back to your 6th Rest Stop in Valley Ford (Déjà vu) at mile 150.7.
 
Hydrate and calorie up at this rest stop. After resting you will follow signs that ultimately will bring you to quiet and scenic Middle road. Dillon Bech road and to Tomales. At this point go south on HWY 1 to Marshall. Just before entering Marshall you will take a SHARP left turn on Marshall Petaluma road. Be very careful there as you are making a left turn crossing traffic from sometimes busy HWY 1. Then up the Marshall wall from the coast for about 700 feet of climbing. Descend to Walker Creek and Rest Stop/Checkpoint #6 at 171.2 miles in.

From Walker creek it is a short but beautiful 17 miles (if still in daylight) to the final rest stop in Nicasio at 186 miles in.  No Timer/Checkpoint at Nicasio

 
The course finishes by reversing Lucas Valley Rd (it is an easier climb this direction). BE VERY CAREFUL DESCENDING FROM BIG ROCK AT LUCAS VALLEY ROAD. THIS DESCENT HAS SEVERAL SHARP LEFT HAND TURNS WITH A DECREASING RADIUS – GO VERY SLOWLY!! It is almost all downhill from there until you arrive back at the Start/Finish at the MARIN COUNTRY FAIRGROUNDS

Check in upon completion at the desk in front of the Marin Center Auditorium That is the OFFICIAL finish/timing spot.



Safety / Rules of the Road
  
This is not a race and there is no winner.
• ANSI/Snell-approved helmets must be worn at all times during the ride.
• All riders must carry a driver's license or other form of ID.
• All riders are responsible for the safety and condition of your bicycle and its equipment
• Riders must carry:

• Spare tube

• Patch kit

• Pump

• Tire irons

• Tools

• water bottles

• Telephone money

• Medical identification

• Personal clothing

• All riders must check-in at start.
• Double Century riders must check-in at start, at checkpoints along the course and at the finish for CTC credit.
• All riders must sign the release form before starting the ride.
• All riders under 18 years of age must have the form signed by a parent or guardian and carry the medical release authorizing any needed treatment.
• Please be courteous to local drivers and respectful of traffic.
• Bicyclists must obey all California Vehicle code laws, including all stop signs and signals. Local authorities may cite violators.
• Ride single file and stay right.


Pace lines

• All pace line leaders should announce “on your left” to all riders being passed.

• Riding in a pace line is inherently dangerous. You assume all liabilities for riding in a pace line.

• Exercise extreme caution near all pace lines.

• Riders impeding other riders shall safely stay as far right as possible or pull off the road if necessary allowing faster riders to pass.

• You must wear your assigned rider bib number on your back so it can be seen from cars behind you. You may not be allowed into Rest Stops without your bib number visible.
• Your bib number is the same color as your course arrows.
• Private sag vehicles are prohibited. Riders with private sags will be disqualified.

 
Disclaimer

The Marin Cyclist Bike Club and the Marin Century Ride Director(s) 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.

 

 


 

Marin Cyclists Club   P.O. Box 2611   San Rafael, CA 94912

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management