Mt. Tam Double Century
October 4, 2003 Test Ride
I rode the test ride and it is absolutely fantastic. This year I've done the Solvang, Davis, Eastern Sierra and Terrible Two doubles and this one is easily up there with the very best parts of those. In fact, I can only really compare its beauty to the TT. Yet, unlike the TT, it is not a bake-fest and the climbing, while totaling 87% as much as the TT, is a kinder, gentler type.
The delicious quiet of the redwood canyons in the dark; sublime sunrise colors while climbing Mt. Tam; climbing out of the blanket of fog for the amazing view on the ridge leading to the top of Tam; seeing the Pacific in four, discrete, sections of the ride...the crashing surf, contrasted with the flat calm of the estuary with its abundant bird life and the unique Tomales Bay were all sensory delights. The pastures; the ancient redwood barns; the multiple ecological zones with unique flora, fauna and weather were amazing.
The course is extremely well thought out with 60, easier miles coming at the end with a nice tail wind. Marin Cyclists have risen to the challenge and equaled the superb support offered on the TT. Unlike most doubles, my bike went south on me on several occasions...not a problem as a friendly SAG was always right there to help! Plus the MC's went over board on safety with course monitors at every conceivable danger spot to warn and advise.
I would say this was one of the most picturesque DC I've ever ridden in the great state of California. I think the course is splendid representation of what riding in Northern California is all about. It also gives visitors outside of Marin County great way of seeing what this unique area has to offer since most of us are not fortunate enough to live in the county. It had a nice balance of climbs that are challenging but not overwhelming with sprinkling of rolling pastures, redwoods, quaint towns and of course the beautiful coastline. I think the ride could end up to be the premier DC in California which could be enjoyed by riders with different skill level and for newcomers to discover that DC is not just a suffer fest. There were many time that I just got lost in the scenery and the miles just disappeared. Needless to say, I would not change anything about the course and already looking forward to Aug. next year.
Please accept my sincere gratitude and honor to have ridden in the inaugural ride that may become a classic DC like the Davis and TT. I also want to thank you for the tremendous time and effort putting the ride together despite your preparation for Furnace Creek 508 next week. I also want to thank the volunteers of Marin Cycling club for putting on such a great event and making my high mortgage payment worthwhile in Northern California.
The ride was a total blast. I have yet to see so much diverse scenery on a ride. You have the hills, inland trees, coastal winding roads, farm animals, small towns rural and urban areas. I experienced a new California that I never knew existed. I loved the challenge of the fog. The climbs and descents were tough but not brutal and I enjoyed working for each summit. Every one was so great. Again thank you for a wonderful ride and letting me be a part of history. I am truly grateful for the invitation and all you kindness.
This course was tougher than I first thought. As is, it should easily qualify as one of the 3 stage race rides. It has more climbing than the Central Coast double, and provides ample opportunity for technical skills.
The rest stops were indeed well portioned and spaced. Most of the riding is extremely rural. The majority of the climbing is early (save Coleman Valley). The terrain and views are worthy of a Triple crown event.
Thanks for the invite, and for hosting the "test" ride.
I did the Marin Double test ride yesterday. It is a beautiful course. The scenery is breathtaking and the terrain is challenging. There was 14,501' of climbing and I got about 198 miles (actually 208 but I made a wrong turn, I've gotten spoiled having a van behind me telling me where to turn). The support was very good and the rest stops were spaced well. Very little urban riding and traffic was very light, though in August the tourist traffic on Hwy 1 could get busy.
This ride would make a great addition to the triple crown series as well as a part of the stage race.
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