NorCal’s Mare Island PedalFest Offers Urban Cyclocross for Good Cause – Cyclocross Magazine

VALLEJO, Calif.—The Mare Island Brewing Co., in partnership with Ride Napa Valley and Musto Studios, announces the inaugural Mare Island PedalFest, Sunday, September 29, in support of the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation and the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition.

Inspired by Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05), who is focused on ensuring more people enjoy cycling as a way to get around, see the sights and get healthier, the event will feature three family friendly components: an urban cyclocross race for all levels called “The Wet Mile Urban Cyclocross”; a family oriented bike tour named, “Lap of the Shipyard”, showcasing the historical landmarks of the island; and a youth BMX bike rodeo with Olympian Donny Robinson.

“When we heard Congressman Thompson — who has been a huge supporter of the legacy of Mare Island — was an avid cyclist and had this idea for a bike festival, we were instantly all in,” stated Kent Fortner, founder of the Mare Island Brewing Co.

“The PedalFest is an experience that really can’t be found elsewhere; our Wet Mile Urban Urban Cyclocross is a 3-mile multi-lap race through the island which will have our registered cyclists riding through 142 years of naval shipyard history including through and around shipbuilding gantries, alleys, winding trails, buildings, twisted staircases, railroad tracks, inspiring historic and bay views, jumps and a few bumps. And all this starts and stops at the Brewery to make sure nobody is going thirsty!”

The historic Mare Island shipyard will provide a backdrop for the Urban Cyclocross event. photo: Ride Napa Valley

The historic Mare Island shipyard will provide a backdrop for the Urban Cyclocross event. photo: Ride Napa Valley

PedalFest races are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced cyclocross categories. A team relay race called the “Lonesome Louis” relay will also be held. According to local historians, when the Island was shuttered in 1996, one bike—eventually dubbed “Lonesome Louis”—remained chained to a fence for over a decade. PedalFest organizers will feature the actual over fifty-year-old Lonesome Louis, on loan from the Museum. The winning team will have their name engraved on the “Lonesome Louis” trophy to be housed at the Mare Island Brewing Co.

Click here to register for the event

Along with the urban cyclocross race and family bike tour, a BMX kids rodeo will be hosted by local (Napa) Olympian Donny Robinson, winner of the bronze medal in BMX at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as an ongoing, all-day event that is free to all comers.

Festivities start and finish at the Mare Island Brewing Co. beginning at 10 am to 4 pm. All urban cyclocross races require advance registration with fees ranging from $20 to $40 dollars.

The family bike tour, Lap of the Shipyard, is $20 with proceeds going directly to the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation. (No cost to attend as a spectator; the BMX kids bike rodeo is free as well.) Schedule and details can be found at

“We’re excited to test out an event as such which celebrates the artisanship and history of the island,” stated Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan, “And I appreciate the event organizers’ efforts creating a family friendly experience such as the guided bike tour including West Coast’s first dry docks, the historic core, the officers mansions, St. Peter’s Chapel and the haunted armory.”

About the Mare Island PedalFest

Produced in partnership with the Mare Island Brewing Co, Musto Studios and Ride Napa Valley, event organizers bring forth a unique day of motion and memories as guests can ride as fast or slow as chosen, enjoy the flavors of beer and nourishment offered by the Mare Island Brewing Co, and listen to the sounds of fans and cyclists during this multi-activity bike affair.

The event benefits the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation (Museum), as well as the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition (a non-profit organization dedicated to building a 47-mile bike and walking path from the Vallejo Ferry to Calistoga). September 29th, 2019 is the inaugural PedalFest, with a focus on community, fun, and an eye towards an even more competitive race in the future.

Click here to register for the event