The SFR Adventure Series
Ever dream of Passo Gavia? Khardung La? Paso Agua Negra? Some of us certainly do. But it's not easy to cut a month out of life to explore mountain roads on the far side of the globe.
The good news is that there is much beauty and wildness right on our doorstep. The Adventure Series organized by the San Francisco Randonneurs visits some of the more spectacular country within a day's ride of San Francisco and strings those sights and smells into epic rides.
We offer a full brevet series of 200-600Km brevets homologated by the Audax Club Parisien and run under the auspices of Randonneurs USA. All of them feature remote roads, a mix of pavement and dirt, and unusually large amounts of climbing.
- Marin Mountains 200K (RUSA route 1301): a technical course that visits Mount Tamalpais, Pine Mountain (the birthplace of mountain biking in the 1970s), and Mount Vision. You'll find big rocks, single-track, and over 3,700m (12,200ft) of climbing. Time limit: 13h30m.
- Old Cazadero 300K (RUSA route 958): the original SFR “adventure” ride, first held in 2010. A counter-clockwise loop through Marin and southern Sonoma counties, with about 5,000m (16,500ft) of climbing. Enjoy rolling pastures, forests, coastal cliffs, and even a river ford. Time limit: 20h.
- King Ridge 400K (RUSA route 1302): a clockwise variation of Old Cazadero that adds the western shoulder of Mount Tamalpais, Sweetwater Springs, and, of course, spectacular King Ridge. One of the toughest one-day rides we know, with approximately 6,000m (20,000ft) of climbing. Time limit: 27h.
- Orr Springs 600K (RUSA route 1513): an epic sampler of northern California scenery, from the Sonoma coast to the steep grades of the Mayacama Mountains. Many miles of gravel roads and about 8,800m (29,000ft) of climbing. Time limit: 40h.
Per-mile, the Marin Mountains 200K is probably the hardest course. It is difficult to finish within the time limit, since RUSA and ACP timing rules assume paved rides and make no provision for rugged terrain. King Ridge and Orr Springs, however, are much tougher overall. Their length, remoteness, and scenic beauty make them experiences you will not soon forget!
These brevets occur after other full brevet series in the area, and they are scheduled from longest to shortest distance to take full advantage of long summer days. The dates for 2016 are as follows:
- Orr Springs 600K: Saturday, 16 July, 04:00
- King Ridge 400K: Saturday, 27 August, 05:00
- Old Cazadero 300K: Saturday, 17 September, 05:30
- Marin Mountains 200K: Saturday, 15 October, 06:00
This year, Old Cazadero and Marin Mountains are delayed by a month relative to their traditional dates in order to accommodate Paris-Brest-Paris in August. For registration, waivers, and fees, please see sfrandonneurs.org.
All four routes are also available as RUSA permanents.
These courses were designed by Max Poletto with help from many others. Thanks to David Strong for inspiration and course suggestions, Rob Hawks and Kara O'Keefe for encouragement and support, and Chip Coldwell, Russ Fairles, Jesse Gibbs, Brian Koss, Vidas Placiakis, and David Strong for exploring several ride segments with me.