AdventureCORPS, Inc. an athlete-run firm producing and promoting ultra-endurance and extreme sports events, lifestyle, and media, hosted the Rough Riders Rally in July, 2010. This multi-surface cycling festival based in Marin County celebrates the "Any Bike, Anywhere" ethos.

The Rough Riders Rally included a Friday afternoon road ride (Alpine Dam Loop) and the Friday evening pizza party catered by Stefano's Solar-Powered Pizza and hosted at Tam Bikes in Mill Valley. Saturday was the big day: an up to six hour ride in spectacular terrain. Later that afternoon the bikes were assembled for a bike show. (To enter a bike in the show, it must have been ridden on the full route. No "for looking only; not for riding" bikes may be shown.) At the Saturday night Rough Riders Annual Shindig, all the bikes were on display, a tasty dinner was catered by Punjabi Burrito, and awards were presented. It was a fantastic, fun evening of story-swapping and camaraderie. Sunday morning, Rally participants rode Railroad Grade to the summit of Mt. Tam. After the ride, riders congregated in Mill Valley for a social hour or two at The Depot Café, officially concluding the Rough Riders Rally.

The Rough Riders Rally is based in Mill Valley, CA in Marin County, the birthplace of mountain biking. Marin County offers truly superb cycling, with fantastic views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, the Marin Headlands, Mt. Tamalpais ("Mt. Tam"), Tiburon, Mill Valley, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and dramatic, rugged Northern California coastline. Marin County is cycling paradise, a region unparalleled for its beauty, diversity of scenery and riding surfaces, and its cycling-friendly trail signage and local population! It always promises to be a very fun weekend in an absolutely spectacular cycling paradise.

The host hotel for the Rough Riders Rally is Acqua Hotel of Mill Valley. The official bicycle shop, and venue for the pizza party, is Tam Bikes of Mill Valley. The official nutrition sponsor is Hammer Nutrition of White Fish, Montana. The Rough Riders Annual Shindig will take place at Tam Valley Community Center. Brew for both social events is generously provided by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

A “live” webcast of the Rough Riders Rally was produced by AdventureCORPS throughout the event. Additionally, all participants, and all participants' bikes, were photographed for the webcast and permanently archived online.

Rough Riding and the Rough Riders Rally in the News

Adventure Cycling blog feature: Click Here! feature: Click Here!

Adventure Cyclist feature: Click Here!

Endurance News feature: Click Here! feature: Click Here!

2010 Images, Roster, and Report

Click here for links to seven slideshows, a full roster, and much more

Special Guests in 2010

Charlie Kelley, co-creator of the sport of mountain biking, will be attending! Charlie was partners with Gary Fisher in the the first "Mountain Bikes" company (with the frames made by Tom Ritchey). Charlie was also first mountain bike race promoter (creator of the infamous Repack Downhill). He was also the first mountain bike magazine publisher (Fat Tyre Flyer). Charlie and Chris Kostman first met at the Iditabike in Alaska in 1988. Read More.

Jacquie Phelan, one of the best known and most recognizable faces of mountain biking, will participate. Read More. Read Her Blog.

Owen Mulholland, one of the first American journalists to cover cycling in Europe, and to write about the fledgling new sport of mountain biking, will participate. Owen is the author of "Uphill Battle: Cycling's Great Climbers" and "Cycling's Golden Age: Heroes of the Postwar Era, 1946-1967." Read More.

Schedule of Events

NOTE: All cycling is optional and is held on open, public roads and trails. All traffic and safety laws, and trail regulations, must be obeyed. All cycling is done at one's own risk. All cycling will be done as if on a personal ride. Rides will not be timed, results will not be posted, we will not be racing, and common sense and road/trail etiquette will rule the day. Registration for the Rally includes participation in the social events, meals, bike show, and goodie bags contents. ALL RIDING IS OPTIONAL, not supported, and entirely self-guided.

Photo ID is required to check-in for the event. Entry includes: Friday evening Pizza Party, Saturday evening Awards Dinner, the opportunity to enter your bike in the Bike Show, Rough Riders water bottle, Rough Riders patch, Rough Riders pin, AdventureCORPS tote bag, Hammer Nutrition samples, plus discounted services from Tam Bikes.

Photos, Elevation Profiles, Maps and Garmin Mapping Links: Friday Route | Saturday Route | Sunday Route (more details to be added for thsi route)

Friday (Images)
(1200-1245pm, or 530-600pm for late arrivals, at Tam Bikes): Check-in for the Rally, get your goodie bag, and more. Meet fellow Rough Riders
Ride (100pm SHARP start for optional ride from Tam Bikes, Mill Valley): Alpine Dam Loop: App. 31 very hilly to mountainous miles with 3500 feet of elevation gain. All pavement. Ride will take 3 to 4.5 hours to complete.
Pizza Party (6pm-8pm at Tam Bikes, Mill Valley): Pizza will be catered by Stefano's Solar-Powered Pizza. We're looking for a local brewery to supply the beer. Time to socialize and meet fellow Rough Riders!

Saturday (Images)
Coffee and Bagels (800-900am at Tam Bikes, Mill Valley)
Ride: (830-900am start for suggested ride from Tam Bikes, Milll Valley): Epic Marin Headlands Route: The route is 36.5 miles with 5800' of elevation gain and features single track, double track, fire road, gravel road, abandoned paved road, and newly paved road. Some consider this "mountain bike territory," but this route is 99% rideable by an accomplished Rough Rider on a road bike with 32mm cyclocross tyres (or on a cyclocross bike). PLEASE: Riders who will take longer should leave first. We'll roll out in groups of 12 or so every 10 minutes. Don't be fooled by the "short" distance: The ride will take 5 to 7 hours to complete.
Rough Riders Annual Shindig and Bike Show (Images)
(500 to 900pm at Tam Valley Community Center, 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley):
500-530pm: Bikes put on display
530-645pm: Bike viewing, brew drinking, and social time
645pm: Dinner Served, catered by Avatar / Punjabi Burrito
730pm: Program
900pm: Everyone cleared out!

Sunday (Images)
Ride: (745am start from Tam Bikes or 800am start for suggested ride from The Depot, Mill Valley): Railroad Grade up Mt. Tam (and much more): "All Good Things Must Come To An End, with a Great Ride Up a Mountain," so we'll ride Railroad Grade to the summit (East Peak) of Mt. Tam, enjoy the view, then drop down onto the north side of the mountain for more miles and exploration. Eventually, after climbing back up over the mountain, we'll all meet and linger at The Depot. In 2010 the route was just 20 miles with 2800 feet of elevation gain and took two to three hours to complete. In 2012 we plan on about 40 miles and five hours of cycling.
Social Time at The Depot: Noon to 100pm approximately, then Farewell, until next time!

Locations and Links

The Rough Riders Rally will be hosted in and around Mill Valley, CA, in Marin County, CA (just north of San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge.) The nearest airport is San Francisco, while the Oakland airport is only slightly further away, much smaller, and usually easier to navigate.

Tam Bikes: 357 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Map | Info
Tam Valley Community Center: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Map | Info
Punjabi Burrito: 15 Madrona Street, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Map | Info.
Stefano's Solar-Powered Pizza: 11 East Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Map. | Info.
The Depot: 87 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Map.
Host Hotel: TBA

Rough Riders Jerseys by Hincapie

If you would like to order a Rough Riders jersey, please note that the jerseys are available for pre-order only. We do not order hardly any "extras." If you want one, please order it when you register for the event. You will not be able to email us later to order or request one.

Please reference the Hincapie Sports Sizing Charts to be sure you know your correct size before you order the new gear.Remember, these are "race-cut" and we offer both men's and women's styles.

Wear the jersey with pride and style!


Where To Stay

The official host hotel of the Rough Riders Rally is Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley, with special rates also available at Acqua's nearby sister properties Mill Valley Inn (in downtown Mill Valley) and Water's Edge Hotel (in Tiburon). All are within short cycling distance of the Rally's ride starts and events, especially the two Mill Valley properties. To see all three hotels, click here. Below is an outline of the special rates we have obtained at Acqua Hotel for participants in the Rally. A 10% discount will also be offered at their two sister properties. Please note it pays to make your reservations early; the rates go up as we get closer to the event. Register for the event, AND make your reservations now! (Actual registrants for the Rally will be provided with the special web-link to make reservations at our discounted rate. Our block of rooms, at our special prices, are ONLY available to those who register for the Rally.)

Please note that we have researched hotels in this area thoroughly. It is a VERY popular tourist destination located in one of the nation's most expensive places to live. The Acqua is a beautiful hotel in a very convenient location; it is freeway-close and just a short bike path ride from the Rally venues. Much lesser hotels, some practically next door, charge much, much more. Please stay at Acqua! Map.

It's just 1.7 miles from our host hotel to the start / finish of each of the three rides. Acqua Hotel is not only perfectly located, it's also a lovely hotel with a fantastic breakfast buffet. Though it's located right off the 101, it's absolutely quiet. The view of Mt. Tam is to die for, too!

Room Type # of Rms Rates: Through 4/15 Rates: 4/16 - 6/15 Rates: 6/16- 7/23
Standard Queen 6 $139 $149 $159
Deluxe - King or Queen/Queen 16 $149 $159 $169
Junior Suite 15 $179 $189 $199
Junior Suite with fireplace - 3rd flr. 11 $189 $199 $209

The Acqua Hotel features 49 guest rooms; 25 rooms are the premium, Junior Suite rooms. These rooms are larger and take full advantage of the western views of Mt Tamalpais and Richardson Bay. Each room has a balcony or patio as well as an oversized bathroom and entry parlor. The balance of the guest rooms are more traditional in size, and have a bit more southern orientation. Regardless of room type, all guests will enjoy the following benefits:
• Continental Breakfast Buffet with waffle station and espresso Bar
• Evening wine service
• Parking; WiFi Access
• Complimentary access to Mil Valley Health Club (off-site)

Rates do not include 11.065% occupancy tax. For a virtual tour of the Acqua, click here.

Click Here to reserve Acqua Hotel Accommodations for Rough Riders Rally Preferred Rate.

Rough Riders Rally preferred Hotel rates are also available at:

Mill Valley Inn • 165 Throckmorton Street, Mill Valley 94941 • 415-389-6608 • 800-595-2100
Click here for Rough Riders Rally Preferred Rate.

Waters Edge Hotel • 25 Main Street, Tiburon 94920 • 415-789-5999 • 877-789-5999
Click here for Rough Riders Rally Preferred Rate.

Carpooling and Hotel Room Sharing

We encourage carpooling to and from all our events. With Rough Rders coming to Marin County for the July 23-25 Rough Riders Rally from across California and beyond, there must be somebody who lives near you, or along the route you'll be driving, or perhaps someone who just needs a ride to and from the airport in San Francisco or Oakland if they are flying to the event. Please use this section of the Rough Riders blog to connect with other riders. Share the ride! Save gas! Save money! Save the earth! Maybe find a roommate, too!

What to Bring

All riders are on their won while riding. There is no support provided on the rides. All riders must come prepared for any possible mechanical failure or contingency. At the very least, all riders should carry a spare tube, tire (yes, an actual tire), pump, patch kit, basic tools, water bottles, food, money, personal and medical identification, cell phone, money, credit card, and a good attitude. Although we anticipate great weather in late July, any weather is possible in the San Francisco Bay Area. A vest, arm warmers, and sunscreen are recommended, at the minimum, besides traditional cycling attire. As for footwear, some riders may need to "hike-a-bike" here and there, so trail-worthy shoes are recommended. Wearing a Rough Riders jersey is HIGHLY recommended!

Twilight, Sunrise, and Sunset

Twilight begins 5:36; Sunrise is 6:06; Sunset is 20:27; Twilight ends 20:57.

Important Registration Details and Policies

  1. All entrants are required to sign the Accident Waiver at check-in (before beginning the event). The waiver may not be modified in any manner.
  2. Entry fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  3. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
  4. Photo ID is required to check-in for the event.
  5. The minimum age for participants and volunteers is 13. Riders under 18 must have their Accident Waiver signed by a parent or guardian who attends the event.
  6. These events ALWAYS sell out way in advance! There is no registration at the event.
  7. There will be no mailing via postal service of any info, results, or entry confirmation before or after the event, however will email you confirmation of your entry when you complete the application process through their website. Keep that email on file as proof of your registration. We will keep you up-to-date via our email newsletter, but only if you choose to sign up for it. Please also register for the RSS, or email, feed from the Rough Riders blog (see the top of the right-hand column).
  8. The event will be held rain or shine.
  9. Rally participants acknowledge that all cycling is optional and is held on open, public roads and trails. All traffic and safety laws, and trail regulations, must be obeyed. All cycling is done at one's own risk. All cycling will be done as if on a personal ride. Rides will not be timed, results will not be posted, we will not be racing, and common sense and road/trail etiquette will rule the day. Registration for the Rally includes participation in the social events, meals, bike show, and goodie bags contents. ALL RIDING IS OPTIONAL, not supported, and entirely self-guided.
  10. Disaster Policy.

Below: a few previews of the recon slideshow of the Saturday ride!

Special thanks to my long-time friend and local guide, Ed Levinson, a Furnace Creek 508 veteran who owned and operated a bike shop here for over ten years. (Our host shop for the Rally will be Mt. Tam Bikes at 357 Miller Avenue, as pictured in the slideshow.)








Since shortly after publishing the controversial - and still oft-discussed - article "Mountain Bikes: Who Needs Them?" in the February, 1993 issue of Bicycle Guide - when the "love letters" starting pouring in - AdventureCORPS' Chris Kostman has dreamed of hosting a rally to celebrate the "Any Bike, Anywhere" ethos and lifestyle. Chris believes in riding any distance, in any conditions, over any terrain, at any time of day or night. That sounds really hard-core, perhaps, but mainly he and his fellow Rough Riders enjoy getting "out there" by riding roads, dirt roads, trails, and paths on whatever bike they happen to be on or have handy. Rough Riding is nothing new, however: Before "mountain bikes," cyclists routinely rode all manner of bicycles on all manner of riding surfaces. The oldest known mixed-surface cycling club is the Rough Stuff Fellowship, formed in the United Kingdom in 1955. Chris, AdventureCORPS, and the Rough Riders hope that representatives of the Rough Stuff Fellowship will attend the Rough Riders Rally

Rough Riding is not defined by the type of bicycle or type of riding surface. Rough Riding is a state of mind, a riding style with limitless freedom and an all-pervasive sense of adventure. The Rough Riders slogan is "Any Bike, Anywhere" and the general idea is to use as little technology as possible while traversing a variety of riding surfaces and terrains. Hence, one of the Rough Riders' mantras is "technique beats technology." For some Rough Riders, that means riding a "road bike" with 25mm tyres on "mountain bike trails." For others, it means tackling any and all surfaces while riding a cyclocross bike, an old-school mountain bike, a 70s or 80s era road bike retrofitted with 650B wheels, a classic touring bike, or a world tour-ready 29er rig. The current bicycle industry, from major manufacturers to boutique frame builders, is also beginning to address this niche market, creating bicycles, or even lines of bicycles, under such monikers as "All Road Bikes," "All-Rounders," and "Adventure Bikes."

Regardless of bicycle choice, the goal of Rough Riding is to tackle any and all possible combinations of trails, fire roads, gravel roads, paved roads, singletrack, and any other possible riding surface - all within one ride, on just one bike. Perhaps the greatest beauty of Rough Riding is that any possible ride route can be created and enjoyed: Rough Riders do not choose between "road biking" and "mountain biking" and subsequently let the bicycle determine the route and terrain of any given ride. Instead, creative, "first ascent-style" rides can be strung together in one epic route which involves all manner of riding surfaces, sights, sounds, and scenes. The Rough Riding goal, perhaps? To see it all and do it all, to truly have an adventure.