The weather is finally warming up, and the dirt conditions are prime, so it seems like the perfect time for our first ride event of the year, the OSBR Gravel Edition 2023. Set for Sunday, July 16th, we start and finish at Above Category. Meet time on the 16th is 7:30 am, and the ride should take 3-5 hours to complete. There will be coffee and pastry before the ride, and we will provide food, drink and a stellar raffle afterwards. The entry fee for this event is $75, which includes food, drink and the opportunity to walk away with one of several raffle prizes, which total $7500 in value. Here are the details:
Date/Time: Sunday, July 16th, from 7:30 am-3:00 pm
Wheels roll at 8 am sharp from Above Category in Sausalito. The ride will cover 48 miles with just under 4800 ft of vertical that will justify your choice of gravel bike with a 40/60 split of dirt to road. Our route will take us on bike paths, town roads and fire roads that will wind and climb through redwood groves, coastal grasslands and picturesque lakes.
We will take the bike path out of Sausalito and climb up Camino Alto, leading to our first dirt section. The Lower Summit Fire Road, chased by Crown Road Fire Road, will allow you to get reacquainted with your gravel bike's setup and fitness. Crown Road eventually dips us back down on pavement into Kentfield, where we will ride north to Ross before heading west on Lagunitas Road towards our next section of dirt that winds and wends around Phoenix Lake.
At this point, the gravel roads will start to point upward as we ascend Shaver Grade to Meadow Club Road, past a pristine golf course. With this excellent warm-up in the bag, we will jump onto the pavement on Fairfax Bolinas Road to climb above Alpine Lake, where the air freshens, and we find ourselves above the fog line. Just before the tarmac descends to the lake, we will head north on Pine Mountain Fire Road, where you will encounter something special.
The wooded, paved climb gives way to ruggedly beautiful gravel backcountry roads on Pine Mountain, Oat Hill and Kent Pump Fire Roads. We will descend to Alpine Dam via the Kent Pump Fire Road and take in a rarified view of the Alpine Dam from the North. Once we're back at the Alpine Dam, a long paved climb begins up Fairfax Bolinas Road, which leads to Ridgecrest Road, where we will turn south and climb to Mt. Tam. Here we will climb the "Seven Sisters" while surrounded by coastal grasslands and views of the Pacific. After about eight miles of climbing, we will reach the West Peak of Mt. Tam, the perfect spot to take hero photos of your progress so far. However, there's more to come, as we will continue to the East Peak before turning around and heading home.
Quick aside: We will have a small competition to see who can climb from the Dam up to the top of West Peak the fastest. These 9 miles will be the only competition segment during the ride, and we will collect your times from your Strava profile at the end. The top 25 fastest riders in this segment will be eligible for a special raffle prize provided by CeramicSpeed. All other parts of this ride should be considered non-competitive and ridden with deference for hikers, animals and other cyclists.
Boomeranging back down will find us on the Railroad Grade Fire Road, where the spectacular views and speeds build quickly. Particular attention should be paid to the speed and control of your bike during this section, particularly around hikers and other cyclists. Railroad Grade will lead us back to downtown Mill Valley where we will start our cool-down home on West Blithedale and Sycamore Ave. Tired, dirty and ready to party, we will return to Above Category on the Mill Valley/Sausalito Bike Path.
WHAT TO BRING
- Gravel bike equipped with at least 700 x 38 tires (or 650 x 42 tires) to help smooth the rougher sections of the day's ride.
- Flat repair kit
- Two water bottles - parts of this ride can be remote enough that you do not want to run out of hydration. Two bottle refill stations will be provided along the route.
- Snacks to keep you pedaling
- A positive attitude that prioritizes respect for others, along with a willingness to push through the challenging parts of the ride.
Starting at about 1:30, we will have a special raffle with over $7,500 of prizes. Raffle tickets will be awarded for:
- Attending the ride
- Best photos of the day (this could be a pretty shot or a goofy shot depending on your photography ilk)
- Best story of the day
- Good Samaritan of the day (the person who chose to take care of others)
Just some of our raffle prizes:
- ENVE wheelset
- Form Cycling saddles
- Schwalbe G-One R tires
- KASK helmets
- KOO optics
- Q36.5 Apparel
- DMT Shoes
Special Climber's Raffle: The top 25 fastest riders up from the Alpine Dam to the top of Mt. Tam's West Peak enter the raffle for the below prizes:
- Choice of CeramicSpeed OSPW or Bottom Bracket
$75 per rider - Includes coffee, pastry before the ride, one raffle ticket, food and beverages post-ride.