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Pedal for Preservation 

Tour de MALT takes to the roads for land trust

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For the last 34 years, the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) has been a leading force in the protection of the natural landscapes that define the West Marin County. Preserving family-run farms and open spaces from development, MALT's coalition of ranchers and activists is still hard at work.

Of the many events the nonprofit organization holds throughout the year, the annual Tour de MALT offers the most compelling argument for agricultural protection. It's also one of the most popular, as Marin County is a hub of adventurous cyclers. After all, the mountain bike was invented here.

This year, the tour features two routes, each winding through western Marin's Nicasio Valley. A 40-mile tour offers views of Tomales Bay and historic parks, and a 60-mile trek takes you through the same sights and goes even farther north. Along the way several ranches and family farms will offer stops with refreshments and entertainment. At the end of the journey, a fresh, farm-to-table meal is provided. Registration is limited to 300, so get in on it before it's too late.

The Tour de MALT takes to the road Saturday, July 12, starting at 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio. 8am. $85/$125. 415.663.1158.

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