Only A few spaces remain! Wildflower Mountain Bike Ride on Mt. Tam

Enjoy the stunning spring wildflowers from the saddle of your bicycle! Join the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and the California Native Plant Society as we present the 2017 Wildflower Ride on Mt. Tam.  It takes place this Saturday, April 15 – free!

Ride Leaders: Bruce Homer-Smith, Joe Breeze, Christina Toms and Phil Greer

The ride will make a clockwise circuit around Mt. Tam, including Mountain Home, the West Peak, turning north and east behind Mountain Theater, onto Rock Spring Road, down Rocky Ridge Road to Bon Tempe Dam, along Bull Frog Road, up the paved road to Lake Lagunitas, up Eldridge Grade, down Indian Fire Road and Hoo Koo Y Koo Fire Road to Old Railroad, to Gravity Car and back to Mountain Home. The route is 20 miles long with 3,200 feet of elevation gain and multiple stops and will result in a 5 hour ride.

Stops along the way will include Double Bow Knot (large Fir, 3 kinds of Manzanita, Chinquapin), the base of Fern Canyon (Redwood, undergrowth plants, Chain Fern), chaparral shrub flowers on Railroad Grade (Yerba Santa, several ceanothus, Chaparral Pea), serpentine Chaparral on Rocky Ridge Road (Leather Oak, Tamalpais Manzanita), the seep at Lake Lagunitas (Oracle Oak, Shooting Star, California Saxifrage, Mistmaiden , Spoon-Leaved Sedum), and Eldridge Grade(California Nutmeg).

CLICK HERE to register, it’s free!

Here’s a quote from ride leader Joe Breeze to inspire you to get out and discover wildflowers!

“I can attest that the very beginnings of mountain biking included wild flower rides. Big, burly, lovable Fred Wolf (founder of Repack) was super knowledgeable about Marin flora and especially wildflowers. The birth of mountain biking coincided with one of the worst droughts in Marin history. Light winters meant more riding throughout the year. By 1976, more riding spawned a need for Repack, the very crucible of the sport, and those two dozen races would send the movement beyond Marin. When the drought ended with big rains in winter 1977/78, the replenished watershed burst alive with a springtime wildflower display like never before in our lives. Out on Tam it was impossible to ignore the show and we were soon finding books like Sharsmith’s, then Peterson’s, and even Munz. Keying out flowers became part of the social scene of mountain biking. Knowledge of the flora only heightened our love of the mountain. We were Tam lifers seeking lifers. Wildflowers ignited a Tam learning and loving that carries on to this day. Marin Museum of Bicycling is planning a Wildflower night soon to get riders up to speed for the season.”

Mt. Tam Plant Checklist

Railroad Grade Plants – chaparral

  • Madrone
  • Manzanita
  • Indigo Bush Ceanothus
  • Douglas Iris
  • Sticky Monkey Flower
  • Vine Morning Glory
  • Fremont’s Star Lily
  • Douglas Fir
  • Coast Live Oak (often shrubby)
  • Indian Paintbrush
  • Huckleberry
  • Bear Grass
  • Blue Blossom Ceanothus
  • Bush Poppy
  • Yerba Santa
  • Buck Brush Ceanothus
  • Shrubs not in bloom – Coyote Brush, Chamise, Chaparral Pea, Coffeeberry, Golden Fleece

Fern Canyon Waterfall – a redwood valley

  • Coast Redwood
  • California Bay Laurel
  • Tanbark Oak
  • Bracken Fern
  • Chain Fern
  • Elk Clover
  • Western Sword Fern
  • Bracken Fern

Rocky Ridge – serpentine rock area

  • Toyon
  • Leather Oak
  • Jepson Ceanothus
  • Mt. Tamaplais Manzanita
  • Dwarf Sargent Cypress

Lake Lagunitas

  • California Poppy
  • Modesty
  • Buttercup
  • Minder’s Lettuce
  • Milkmaids
  • Shooting Star
  • Saxifrage
  • Sedum

Treasure Hunt – find a nutmeg on Eldridge Grade

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