Road biking bliss meets epicurean indulgence on the classic Cheese Factory ride in west Marin. This 34-mile loop begins and ends at the Marin French Cheese Factory (the oldest cheese manufacturer in the country). The two-lane road rises, dips, and curves through Irish-green countryside, with some intensely quiet sections where cows and redtail hawks are more common than cars. Halfway through the ride you’re guaranteed to hit a wall; “Marshall Wall” that is—a solid 2-mile climb cresting to a worth-the-sweat view of Tomales Bay and Point Reyes. From there the road descends to the shoreline cottages of Marshall, where riders can stop and refuel at the Marshall General Store. Catch a tailwind for 9 miles of fun dips along Highway 1 and the western shore of Tomales Bay before reaching Point Reyes Station. Take a detour through town and wind back to where you started. The Marin French Cheese Factory has sprawling grass picnic grounds, deli sandwiches, and, of course, artisan award-winning cheese. Bon appétit!
Start and finish the ride at the Marin French Cheese Factory (directions on their site). Go left (northeast) on Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd. for 1 mile. Make a left onto Hicks Valley Rd. and ride 3 miles. At Marshall-Petaluma Rd., turn left and go 11 miles to Hwy. 1 (aka Shoreline Hwy.). Turn left (south) and go just over 9 miles to Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd. and turn left (or head into the town of Point Reyes, which is another .3 mile and return the way you came). Go 3 miles to the Platform Bridge intersection and turn left; ride 6 miles on the busiest stretch of the route to your car.