Distance: 36 miles
Difficulty: 9 out of 10, experienced riders (4 out of 10 for E-Bikes)
Terrain: Paved road with steep climbs
Type: Road bike, electric bike
Elevation: 3,500 ft climbing
Join us for a ride through Marin's Alpine Dam Loop - a route famous for its breathtaking views and challenging terrain. The ride will start at Sausalito, go through Fairfax and take us up to Alpine Dam, across the Seven Sisters, and finally to the summit of Mount Tamalpais. We’ll then have an optional self-hosted lunch in Mill Valley. In addition to human-powered cyclists, we welcome e-bike cyclists to join as well.
For human-powered bikes, we recommended this ride for experienced cyclists who are able to ascend a 2,000 foot climb. For electric bikes, this is quite doable even for recreational riders — provided you have sufficient battery range for the entire mileage when fully charged. Either way, you will experience some of Marin's most beautiful scenery so we hope you'll join us!
The Alpine Dam loop is considered by many to be the crown jewel of Marin County rides. The classic 36 mile road route tours a little bit of everything the area has to offer, from it's varied microclimates, unique neighborhoods, and of course a trip up and over our beloved Mount Tamalpais.
Rolling out of Mike’s Bikes Sausalito, the ride begins with a casual northbound cruise. Save for the quick Camino Alto bump, the first ten or so miles are relatively flat, taking you through the quaint Marin County neighborhoods of Mill Valley, Ross, and San Anselmo; serving as a perfect warm up for the climbing that lies ahead. Once we reach the town of Fairfax, it will be our last chance to refill our water bottles and grab a final snack and espresso shot (Coffee Roastery). Then we'll go up Fairfax-Bolinas Road, you'll notice the buildings dissipate in exchange for more trees. We'll now face the first real climb of the day. Over four miles we'll scale a steep and twisty ascent, passing the Meadow Club golf course before finally enjoying a well deserved descent. The road follows on, rolling and weaving around Alpine lake until you finally hit the dam itself. To the east, a serene view of Alpine Lake. To the west, look down the stomach-dropping plunge of the dam itself. Enjoy it, it's about to get steep and brutal again.
The road up and out of the dam is a tight and twisty one, surrounded in tree coverage. You'll find yourself rounding a series of incredible switchbacks as you make your way to the top.
As we arrive at the ridge, we'll enjoy a quick break because the climbing is not over yet. Continuing south over the ridge of Mount Tam, we'll tackle the beloved Seven Sisters. Seven punchy rollers over the course of about three miles. They hurt, especially after all the climbing we've put in to get there, but at least we'll have one of the best views of the Pacific Ocean to keep us distracted (so long as Stinson Beach isn't caked in fog).
Finally, it's all downhill from here. Hang a right down Pantoll road but proceed with caution, some of the corners can get a little greasy. Keep following the road down, take one last left onto Shoreline Highway, and we'll land in Mill Valley, where we’ll enjoy a celebratory lunch before cruising down the bike path back to Mike’s Bikes Sausalito.
The MIT Club of Northern California and organizers do not assume any responsibility for any personal injuries or property damage suffered during this event. Cycling is a sport that has inherent risks. Each participant is entirely responsible for being aware of these risks and taking necessary precautions. Every cyclist must wear a helmet. We require that all cyclists submit a signed liability waiver, which we will provide to those who RSVP.
Because this event is in person, you acknowledge the below by coming to this event.
I acknowledge and understand that: (i) I am not required to participate in this event; (ii) my participation is voluntary and at my sole risk; and (iii) I am responsible for my own protection against Covid-19, including, without limitation, following all health and safety protocols communicated to me or posted at the event venue.