Events, Food

2019 Tour de MALT Rider Notes

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.

The 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. 

Tour de MALT riding

A 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 water. 

Tour de MALT rest

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.

The 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. 

Tour de MALT views

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.

Amazing 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 your back.

Tour de MALT rest

Soon you’ll arrive at the Hicks Valley Cattle Company for the third rest stop.

The 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!

Tour de MALT food