Marin 100’s

I say centuries, as in plural, as there was a great turn out for both the Marin Century and the Double Metric Century (130 miles) by Different Spokes and friends. Tony M and Roger H, Bill B, Bart N, Erika H, Anne Z and Chris L, Scott S, Kevin T, Don D and Gabriel, Doug D, Rico N and myself were among those seen on Saturdays ride.

Erika H was spotted riding out at 6:30, right as Rico and I rode up to the school on our bikes, and she was never seen again. Bill and Bart headed out next on the Double Metric, followed by Tony and Roger on the tandem, opting for a bit of a head start.

The first climb of the day is Lucas Valley Road, while only 8/10ths of a mile, it averages an 8.4% grade. From there on to Nicassio and out Pt. Reyes-Petaluma and past the Cheese Factory to the first rest stop on Hicks Valley Road at Lincoln School. Doug missed us at ride out, but caught up to us here.

Chris opted for the metric at this point, and turned off after the first rest stop, as an injury was bothering her. Not long after leaving the first rest stop, we began the second climb of the day, the infamous Marshall Wall, a 1.3 mile climb with a 6% grade and a false summit. The down hill had a few bad patches of road, most were marked, and it was not as bad as the descent down Coleman Valley Road was on the Wine Country. From there we head north along Highway 1 to Tomales, then on to Valley Ford and the second rest stop at mile 49.

You couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. In fact, the only thing we did ask for was less headwinds. But then again, when one expects tailwinds on Chileno Valley Road on the way to Petaluma, and you have headwinds, one might get a bit cranky. At least it wasn’t in the 100s when we arrived in Petaluma in the afternoon at rest stop 3 at 77 miles.

The climb at Red Hill after you leave Petaluma can be quite brutal when it is 100 degrees, even in the mid 80s it was still a nice break with the water/ice stop at the top of the hill. From here, we retrace the route back, past the Cheese Factoryand to the last rest stop in Nicassio. From there, it was 12 miles, and the return climb up Lucas Valley Road while only a 2% grade, it is 3.7 miles.

Marin Cyclist definitely put on one of the most well run organized rides, and the post ride meal is outstanding; salad, choice of four different pizzas, pasta, lasagna, grapes and watermelon, cake or brownies and ice cream.

Details of the ride can be see at, where you can export the file to view on Google Earth, if your interested.

By the way, Tony and Roger are back from two weeks of cycling in the French Alps, including climbing l’Alpe d’ Huez on the tandem, no less!!