August 4, 2013, Coyote Point Park, San Mateo
Start/Finish location in the Eucalyptus Picnic Area near the Coyote Point Marina
Live music by the Tribal Blues Band
56-mile Simon Says ride option
Event Overview and Schedule
The San Mateo County Parks Foundation, TdP Honorary Chairman Supervisor Carole Groom, and Honorary Tour Host and Dirty Shirt legend Mark Simon welcome you to the Tour de Peninsula, a perennial highlight of the Bay Area’s social calendar for outdoor recreationists. This family ride offers a variety of bicycle routes on beautiful courses designed to suit everyone from young children and first time riders to serious cyclists. After the rides, a day of family fun activities takes place in Coyote Point Park, which contains an award-winning children’s playground, CuriOdyssey, barbecuing and picnic facilities and live entertainment by the 'Tribal Blues Band'.
Apart from providing a great day outside in beautiful scenery, the main purpose of the Tour de Peninsula is to raise funds for the San Mateo County Parks Foundation and Bicycle Sunday – car-free biking on Cañada Road. The San Mateo County Parks Foundation funds projects that restore habitat, provide environmental education, improve trails, support volunteer efforts, and encourage recreational use of parks. Since its founding in 1998, the Foundation and its members have provided millions of dollars for San Mateo County Parks.
Fiction becomes fact and here we are 22 years later. Having unexpectedly grown out of Mark Simon’s newspaper columns about an imaginary bike ride, the Tour de Peninsula was founded circa 1991 by Mr. Simon and his friend Rick the “Abominable”. With catch phrases such as “no pain, no pain,” and, “It’s not a race, it’s a ride,” the event was a semi-spoof of the Tour de France and ran through the campus of Stanford University. An instant success, 150 riders showed up with beaten-up old bikes and were told cheating is OK. People took short cuts and made frequent stops for donuts, taking up to three hours to ride a 15-mile course. Over the years, the ride continued to grow and in some ways became more reverent (although some people still dust off their old clunkers for it), but the jovial spirit has continued. Original 1991 Dirty Shirts are still seen among all the spandex and sport-wool.
The genesis of the Dirty Shirt was an occurrence on the first Tour de Peninsula when Mark Simon was attempting to repair a flat tire on his old clunker bike… and somehow Mark's shirt got filthy. The Dirty Shirt was adopted on the spot as official clothing—a gentle dig in the ribs of the pristine yellow jersey worn back then by Greg LeMond in the Tour de France.
* Caution: the above story is partly apocryphal!
BTW, shortcuts are still a key feature of the Tour de Peninsula, they are a way of making the ride manageable for some while keeping it challenging for others. Cheaters aren’t cheaters at TdP; we consider them distance-conservationists.
2013 welcomes new presenting sponsor Whole Foods Market and the return of the Webcor Cycling Ambassadors. TdP's home base will again be the Eucalyptus Picnic Area near the Coyote Point Park Marina alongside the San Francisco Bay in San Mateo - one of the most popular cycling destinations in the Bay Area. There are four different ride options:
- Kids - 2-6 miles
- Beginner - 20 miles
- Intermediate - 31 miles
- Advanced - 100k/63 miles (or consider the 7-mile Simon Says Shortcut, 56-mile option)
These courses take riders on popular Peninsula bike routes that visit numerous San Mateo County Parks with breaks at rest stops and scenic sites along the way. After the rides, participants can gather, enjoy live music, munch on lunch, watch the boats sail by, or visit CuriOdyssey – “a sweet way to spend the day.”
Event Day Schedule
6:00 - 8:00 am: Event Day Registration at the Eucalyptus Picnic Area
7:00 am: 100k/56 mile Rides begin
8:00 am: 31/20-mile Rides begin (except Kids/Family Rides, see below)
10 am onwards: Fun and festivities in the park
12 pm: Kids/Family Rides in the park
The Tour de Peninsula is more than just a ride - it's an outdoor experience for the whole family. Attractions include:
- Live blues-funk-jazz-rock music begins at 11am. The Tribal Blues Band will get those tired cycling legs moving again. www.tribalbluesband.com
- CuriOdyssey (Coyote Point Museum) will be open at no charge to all TdP participants and their families (rider with the bib number as proof and his/her family - up to three other people). The museum educates visitors about the diversity of California's natural environment through exhibits, gardens and live animals. www.curiodyssey.org
- Magic Mountain Playground, with 6 slides and play features for toddlers through teens. Magic Mountain and Coyote Point Park won gold medals for best playground and outdoor recreation area in the "Best of the Best 2008" issue of Bay Area Parent magazine.
- Picnic tables and grills (bring your own food and beverages, or purchase from concessions on site)
- Kick back, have fun and enjoy lively conversation with your friends, old and new, from around the Bay Area.