Tour of Novato and Community Fair Rides Back Into Town

Last year the Tour of Novato and Community Fair raised almost $120,000 for Novato’s schools and over $500,000 has been raised since the event began.

The following was submitted for publication on behalf of Tour of Novato:

School Fuel’s Tour of Novato and Community Fair are back on May 3, 2014 with route improvements, an enhanced 100K Metric Century through West Marin, and the option for participants to form teams. The 5K walk is also back for non-cyclists down Grant Avenue and up several side streets.  The annual bicycling and family fun day event will be held again at last year’s location on Sherman Ave., in front of Novato City Hall, so everyone can enjoy our historic downtown.

Last year the Tour of Novato and Community Fair, sponsored by Novato’s Foundation for Public Education, School Fuel, raised almost $120,000 for Novato’s schools and over $500,000 has been raised since the event began. All are welcome to come downtown and learn more about our schools and local businesses at the Community Fair – even those who are not riding or walking – plus see some great performances by Novato’s students.

In response to the feedback from prior year's participants, some of the new improvements to this year’s event include:

  • The option for participants to sign up as a member of a team for the West Marin Metric Century, Tour of Novato rides (40K and 13K) and the 5K walk! If you are interested in organizing a team, please contact Tour of Novato organizer, Dale Kline at together@tourofnovato.org
  • A Novato Police Dept.-sponsored bicycle safety training and bicycle obstacle course for the little ones.
  • The 5K walk through downtown Novato featuring an organized start time of 10 am and several new business participants for supporters (and their pets).  Like last year, each walker will receive a "passport" to be stamped by participating businesses along the route. Participants who collect all of the stamps will be eligible for some great prizes announced during the Community Fair.
  • Open houses of the new City of Novato offices and The Novato Police Dept.
  • Over 52 community-sponsored booths to visit and enjoy at the Community Fair


Other exciting Tour of Novato highlights are back again this year, including:

  •  A police escort for the first two miles of the 13K Family Ride and a fire truck escort down Grant Avenue! There will also be a bicycle safety inspection and presentation prior to the ride.
  • Organized ride start times based upon the route chosen to add to the safety of the event.
  • Easier online registration and online store to purchase extra t-shirts, Community Fair passes, and extra food tickets.
  • Shopping cart “check-out” on TourofNovato.org so supporters can pledge multiple riders with one transaction.
  • Basic First Aid support at the start/finish lines and most rest stops and all the rest stops on the Metric Century route.
  • Registered riders and volunteers will enjoy a free after ride meal served from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  •  Exciting fundraising prizes such as an iPad mini, local gift cards, and a new bicycle courtesy of Bicycle Brüstop.
  • Community Fair Carnival with inflatables, games and unlimited access to carnival activities for one low admission fee of $10 per person or $25 per family.
  • Free Community Fair Showcase featuring performances by Novato Unified School District students.


Riders of all ages are welcome to participate, and there are several different courses available to accommodate a range of riding skills. Novato merchant Bicycle Brüstop will be onsite from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. providing a tune-up clinic for riders and repair kits for the Sag Wagons along the course. 

The day’s schedule is as follows:

  • 6:30 a.m. –West Marin Metric Century and Tour of Novato Check-in Opens
  • 7:00 a.m. – West Marin Metric Century (100K) Ride Official Start
  • 7:30 a.m. – Organized Stretch & Warm Up at City Green (Sherman Ave.)
  • 8:00 a.m. –Classic Ride (40K) Official Start
  • 8:30 am – Safety Inspection & Talk
  • 9:00 a.m. –Family Ride (13K) Official Start
  • 10:00 a.m. –5K Tour of “Downtown” Fun Walk Official Start
  • 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Community Fair Carnival, Showcase and Food Court Open

“Last year’s event was our most successful ever,” said Dale Kline, School Fuel board member and Tour of Novato coordinator. “Our downtown was buzzing with community spirit and amazing talent from the Novato Unified School District was on display for all to see.  We expect this year will be even better!”

As always, pledges and sponsorships go directly to the school (or schools) of the rider’s choice and are distributed through School Fuel. Each school is raising money for pre-determined educational needs at their site. All of the school sites’ goals are listed on the Tour of Novato website.  Donations are tax deductible. 

To sign up for the event, make a donation, sponsor a rider, volunteer, or just learn more about the Tour, and Community Fair activities, please visit: www.tourofnovato.org.

To volunteer, please visit our volunteer page and sign-up for your desired job. Both student and adult volunteers are welcome. Questions about volunteering can be directed to: volunteer@tourofnovato.org. 

For details on business sponsorship opportunities contact Sylvia Barry: Sylvia.barry@mindspring.com

About School Fuel:  School Fuel is the local education foundation for the Novato Public schools. School Fuel has contributed over $1.7 million to the Novato schools since it was founded in 2003. The mission of School Fuel is to support and enrich the education available to every student in the Novato Unified School District by providing funding, encouraging community engagement, and advocating for student needs.  


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