During the past couple of months, the Dream Ride staff has been wrapping up the reconnaissance and most of the planning for year’s tour. Except for a few more tweaks, the route and overnight hotels are set! However, please be aware that some details may change between now and October, so stay tuned to this blog or contact ride director Debbie Brubaker ([email protected]) for the latest details.
Day 4 of the 2017 California Dream Ride begins with a descent from the redwood forest that surrounds the overnight stop in Occidental, through Valley Ford, and then on to a rest stop in the crossroads town of Tomales. The vineyard countryside of Days 2 and 3 gives way to rolling green pasturelands, where cows, sheep and goats are raised on protected farmlands, their organic milk processed into the artisanal cheeses that are increasingly popular and pair well with the wines produced by the vineyards of the Napa and Sonoma valleys.
Just south from there on Highway 1, at a wide spot in the road known as Ocean Roar, the route vectors south and a little east to the shores of Tomales Bay. Contrary to the Ocean Roar’s name, the Pacific Ocean can’t be heard (or seen) from here, but almost. The salt air and breezes off the water will be part of the cycling experience for the next dozen or so miles along the Bay, past numerous eateries that serve fresh-from-the-bay oysters, crab and other seafood.
After a midday break in Point Reyes Station (with lunch at Cowgirl Creamery, a purveyor of some of those locally-made cheeses and other tasty treats), the Dream Ride hits the California Redwoods again as it passes through Samuel P. Taylor State Park. Through these big trees, the tour will use the Sir Francis Drake Bikeway/Cross-Marin Trail, a quiet, shaded bike and pedestrian path winding through forest, open spaces, and across streams on wood and steel truss bridges. This bikeway is another one of California’s rails to trails projects—this one using the old roadbed of the North Pacific Coast Railroad that once connected Larkspur on the San Francisco Bay with Occidental and Cazadero.
The final segment of Day 4 follows Sir Francis Drake Boulevard east through Lagunitas (named after a ruthlessly delicious IPA), San Rafael, and finally Corte Madera. Along the way, the Tour will have an extended rest stop at the Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. This is a must-see for those passionate about cycling. The Museum documents the birth and the many Golden Ages of bicycling. As its name indicates, the building also houses the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Among its inductees are Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher, and many more. These are the men and women who pioneered mountain biking on Mount Tamalpais (“Mt. Tam”), in Larkspur Canyon, Repack, and other settings in Marin County. From the Museum, it is a short urban ride to the overnight hotel in Corte Madera.
The California Dream Ride was conceived of by CalBike’s Dave Snyder and brought to life by Debbie Brubaker, our ride director. It is a fundraiser to support the California Bicycle Coalition’s statewide advocacy efforts and to raise awareness by showcasing the successes of statewide and local efforts to enhance bicycle infrastructure and to increase bicycle safety. The tour is fully supported—all riders do is ride! This year’s Dream Ride begins in Folsom on October 8th (rendezvous and meet ‘n greet) and ends on October 13th in Oakland (last day of riding and end-of-ride festivities).