2015 Mt. Tamalpais Hill Climb

The Mt. Tam Hill Climb returns on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Online registration is now closed. The first Cat 5 field is full, but there's plenty of space in the second field and the Public field so we should be able to accommodate all racers who show up.

The Tam Hill Climb is an event in the NCNCA Premier Series. Snag some points while that annoying skinny guy who always beats you is off at Nationals!

With the hot weather we've gotten a couple questions about the possibility of cancellation because of fire risk, as happened once before. There have been no red flags in CA so far, and the forecast has the fog back by Friday night.



The Mt. Tam Hill Climb is one of the oldest bike races in the west. Registration and Start Line are at Stinson Beach Park, US Highway 1, Stinson Beach, CA. The race begins with four flat miles along Bolinas Lagoon as you head north up Highway 1. Then the climbing starts, shortly after a right turn onto Bolinas-Fairfax Road. After the twisting climb up BoFax, you'll turn right on Ridgecrest and do the rolling climb up the "seven sisters." The finish is at the Rock Spring parking lot on the West Peak of Mt. Tam. Results will be posted at Stinson.

As a hill climb, Tam is a great "first race" for new racers. All racers will get some great schwag with their entry, courtesy of our sponsors - an event water bottle from Bespoke Cycles, cycling socks by Ornot, and banana bread by Jane on Fillmore at the finish line.

Registration will open at 7:30, and close 20 minutes before each race.

Note:Event size may be limited based on permits issued. Pre-register online (link at top of page) to secure a spot. The fee goes up $5 on September 6, and a $10 fee applies for race-day registration, so sign up early!

Category Start Time Early Reg Fee Prizes Field Limit (see note)
Cat 1/2/Pro men 9:00 $30 6 50
Masters 45+ 1/2/3 9:05 $30 3 50
Juniors 10-16 & 17-18 9:10 $15 3 + 3 50
Cat 3 men 9:15 $30 3 50
Masters 35+ 1/2/3 9:20 $30 3 50
Masters 40+ Cat 4 9:25 $30 3 50
Cat 5 - group A 9:35 $25 3 50 - FULL
Women 1/2/3/Pro and Women 4 (picked separately) 9:40 $30 3 + 3 50
Masters 55+ 1/2/3/4 9:45 $30 3 50
Cat 5 - Group B 9:50 $25 3 50
Cat 4 9:55 $30 3 50
Public Men & Women 10:00 $25 3 50


Valid 2015 USA Cycling license required for all events. One-day licenses are available to race in Category 5 and Women's Category 4 events (including Public). All other events require an annual license.

Should I race Public or Cat 5? Tam is the first race for many cyclists, and some just like to ride the course in a more relaxed field than the regular Cat 5 field, which can be pretty competitive. The Public field is meant for those racers. If you have an annual USA Cycling license, or if you are a member of a racing club, you should probably enter one of the Cat 5 fields. We run two groups of Cat 5, as well as the Public event, to give as many people as possible a chance to race.


We'll be giving out copies of The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in California, thanks to a generous donation by the author. One copy to each of the Cat 5A, Cat 5B, and Public fields.






Marshals will direct you to the parking area - please obey them as well as the rangers on site. Our permit allows parking only in limited areas at Stinson.

We've been asked to keep Stinson Beach town as clear as possible and for that reason, marshals will direct you to warm up by heading north on Highway 1 until 10 minutes before the first race start - after that the starting area will be tied up with race staging and you won't be able to exit. You may want to bring a trainer or rollers to warm up in the parking lot.

After the finish, please descend to Stinson where we'll post all results by approximately noon. Officials will not post any results at the finish line. If you stay in the Rock Spring area, stay off the road and follow marshals' instructions - it's essential that we keep Ridgecrest and the intersection clear.


As a hill climb Tam can be a very safe race, because the pack quickly spreads out on the climb and it's more like a time trial. But here are a few course-specific tips to keep in mind in addition to the general principles of safe racing;

  1. Pavement is generally good and Highway 1 was resurfaced in the area that had a lot of potholes.
  2. Don't take risks on Highway 1, it just doesn't matter. Think of Hwy 1 as the warm-up before the climb and don't bother fighting for position - that's been the area of the handful of severe crashes in this event. Every group usually stays together and your positioning matters very little to your result - it's a hill climb after all. Officials, motos and follow vehicles will enforce a strict centerline rule both along Highway 1 and on Ridgecrest. That means if you go over the centerline, even accidentally, you will immediately be disqualified from the race.
  3. Foggy? Watch for greasy pavement in the trees near the BoFax/Ridgecrest junction, and possibly during that last fast stretch before the finish line. And if the fog is in heavy, consider bringing a shell or vest for the descent.
  4. The Cattle Grate is still there right after the turn off Highway 1 onto Bolinas-Fairfax Road. The main risk is that the rider in front of you slows down, not knowing the general rule on cattle grates (just ride straight over them).

Course map - same as always: