2019 Tour de MALT Rider Notes
By Peter Fugazzotto,
July 10, 2019
We can’t wait to see you on July 20 for another great Tour de MALT to benefit our work to protect Marin’s amazing farms and ranches forever.
Below please find rides notes from Ray Fort, a Tour de MALT
veteran and MALT’s Director of Operations. Earlier this month, Ray hopped on
his bike and rode the course so he could share with you what to expect on the
ride as well as offer some pro tips.
Early Morning Start
Starting from the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company head north, enjoying a three-mile warm up on the wide, flat shoulder. If there’s going to be any wind affecting the ride, you’ll notice it here and see it on the choppy surface of Nicasio Reservoir.
Pro Tip 1: Start early to avoid traffic and strong winds and so you can get back in time to fully enjoy the lunch.
After turning left onto Point Reyes-Petaluma Road, you’ll enjoy another
stretch with a wide shoulder and relatively flat to downhill terrain. Turn
right at the bridge to continue on Point Reyes – Petaluma Road and ride over a handful
of rolling hills over the next three miles before you turn right on Highway 1.
Steep Climb and the First Rest Stop
As you ride north on Highway 1, keep to the right of the white shoulder line to avoid a stretch of rough pavement. Continue about 3.5 miles to reach the first rest stop at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese.
Pro Tip 2: Use a blinking red tail light for visibility.
Before you can enjoy the offerings of this rest stop, you’ll have
to conquer the very steep half-mile climb up the paved ranch road at an average
grade of 9%. Be careful of other riders coming down and make sure to enjoy the
views of Tomales Bay from this unique vantage point, 300 feet above the
Pro Tip 3: After your breakfast, be careful coming down the steep hill.
Returning to Highway 1, you’ve now got six miles of rolling hills along Tomales Bay to cover before the right turn in Marshall, opposite Hog Island Oyster Co. As always, these rolling hills are best managed by carrying as much speed from the downhills to the following uphill sections.
Marshall Wall and the Second Rest Stop
If you’re wearing a layer to fend off any morning fog or wind,
you’ll want to shed it before beginning the climb up the infamous Marshall
Wall. This uphill is going to be some work.
It’s about 1.5 miles at a 6% grade, (a category 4 climb) up to the next rest stop at Barinaga Ranch, which is perfectly situated between the two challenging climbs on this road.
After the break, you’ll encounter another mile at 6% grade until you
reach the top. If you get to the top without stopping, you’ve accomplished a
category 3 climb. Congrats either way! You’ve conquered the Marshall Wall and
the rest of the ride will be relatively easy.
Pro Tip 4: Be sure to keep an eye to the right for sweeping views of Tomales Bay.
Scenery and the Third Rest Stop
Meander along Marshall – Petaluma Road and Hicks Valley Road (eight
miles to the third rest stop) for the most pleasant riding of the tour, with
beautiful scenery and very little traffic. If there’s any wind, it will be at
Soon you’ll arrive at the Hicks Valley Cattle Company for the third
Roll to the Finish Line
After your final break at Hicks Valley Cattle Company, turn right
on to Point Reyes – Petaluma Road.
Pro Tip 5: There isn’t much shoulder here, so be careful and courteous to drivers.
You’ll face one final small climb before a big descent down to the
Nicasio Reservoir and a left turn onto Nicasio Valley Road – watch carefully
for oncoming traffic.
From here it’s just three flat miles left to finish strong or savor
slowly. A wonderful farm-to-fork meal awaits you at the finish line!