Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tour de Peninsula 2009

SAN MATEO, CALIF. (May 20, 2009) – After a one-year hiatus, the Tour de Peninsula recreational bike ride and family social gathering will return to the Bay Area on Sunday, August 2, in scenic Coyote Point Park, San Mateo. 
A highlight of the Bay Area social calendar for nearly 20 years, the Dirty Shirt ride is back with a great new location, a variety of bicycle routes to suit every type of cyclist and full day of family outdoor activities. Proceeds benefit the San Mateo County Parks Foundation and Bicycle Sunday – car-free biking on Canada Road.
Registration is now open at
The Tour de Peninsula offers four fully-supported route options on beautiful courses designed to suit everyone from young children and first time riders to serious cyclists. The rides – Kids, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced – will 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. Route options include: 

  • Kids/Family Route – 1-3 miles on bike trail in Coyote Point Park
  • Short Route for beginner to intermediate cyclists – 20 miles
  • Long Route for intermediate to experienced cyclists – 31 miles
  • Metric Century for advanced cyclists – 63 miles   
Family Events and Activities
The Tour de Peninsula is more than just a ride – it’s a fun, social outdoor experience for the whole family. After the rides, participants will gather at Coyote Point’s Captain’s House Picnic Area, a beautiful location nestled in a shaded eucalyptus grove, for a day of family activities including: 

  • The Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education, open at no charge to all TdP participants and their families.
  • MagicMountain, an award-winning playground with 6 slides and play features for toddlers through teens
  • The Bike Skills Demo Area, a short course of entry-level bike challenges for kids, provided by San Francisco Urban Riders 
  • Live band entertainment
  • Picnic tables and grills (bring your own food and beverages, or purchase from concessions on site)
  • Networking and lively conversation with other Bay Area residents and families


Apart from providing a great day out 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 Canada 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.
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 Sutton (Sea Otter Classic founder). 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. Dirty Shirts are still seen among all the spandex and sport-wool.
Rates: Kids 11 and under are free. 13-16 year olds are $20. Adults 17 and over are $40. Registration includes TdP t-shirt (no t-shirt for complimentary registrations 11 and under). 
Deadline: Participants are encouraged to register online by July 31, by visiting  Ride-day registration is also available for an additional $5, beginning at 6:30 am.


  1. This charity ride is always controversial. The money from the bicyclists supposedly supports San Mateo County Parks even through bicycles are banned from most San Mateo County park land and the park managers are strongly opposed to any changes to this policy. In response to numerous complaints and threatened boycotts in past years, they made up some story about the money supporting bicycling on Canada Road, but how much does that really cost? Most bicyclists in San Mateo County would much rather see more park land opened up to bicycling.

  2. Thank you for that extra info, Anon.

  3. I ride in San Mateo county all the time, and I don't feel that a charity ride necessarily needs to support bicycling, for it to be valid.