Road Rides
| Mountain Bike Rides


ROAD RIDES

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Pacifica from SF
(20 - 24 miles, depending on ride origin) This is a
nice, short ride that doesn't necessitate the crossing of any bridges,
but offers some nice ocean views.

I like to do this ride by leaving from my house near twin peaks, riding
to GG park and out to Great Hwy. At the end of the park, go left
(south) along Great Hwy. Follow Great Hwy to it's termination at Hwy 35
(Skyline blvd.) and go right. Follow 35 south past Fort Funston and the
Olympic Club (there are some nice ocean views here). Just past the
stables on your right, you begin a moderate climb to Pacifica. I like
to stay on 35 until the 3rd traffic light, just past the Hwy 1
interchange. You can flip a U turn here and back track to GG park. (or
just keep gon south until you tire) For those of you on the south/west
wide of the city, you can opt to take 35 to Sloat, Sloat to Portola and
Portola to Market and all points beyond.

Presidio Loop
(15 miles or so, depending on origin) This is a good loop
for those of us on the south side of the City. If you live closer to
the Presido, you can do multiple loops through the Presidio to add
milage.

Take Arguello Blvd west across the city and into the Presidio. After
entering the Presidio near the golf course, continue about a 1/4 mile or
so to Washington Blvd., go left. Stay on Washington as it winds through the
Presdio and turns into Kobbe Ave. Take Kobbe to Lincoln Blvd. Go right
on Lincoln and descend fast under Hwy 1 and around a big right curve
(woo hoo!) stay on this road as it winds through Monterey Pines and
past the Presidio National Cemetary. The road continues into the parade
grounds. At the second stop sign, go right, back on to Arguello Blvd.
Arguello climbs back to Washington Blvd., where you can do another loop, or
take Arguello back home.

Rides from the Bridge:


Leaving from the SF side of the GG bridge. This assumes you know how to
get to the SF side of the GG bridge; if you don't know how, some
suggested routes are below (from the west side of the city):

Take Arguello Blvd west across the city and into the Presidio. After
entering the Presidio near the golf course, continue about a 1/4 mile or
so to Washington Blvd., go left. Stay on Washington as it winds through the
Presdio and turns into Kobbe Ave. Take Kobbe to Lincoln Blvd and go
right to Merchant Rd and go left on Merchant and under the freeway
through the tunnel to the GG bridge.

An alternate route is to take 25th Ave. across (west) the city to
Lincoln, go right to Merchant Rd and go left on Merchant and under the
freeway through the tunnel to the GG bridge.

Mill Valley Bike Path (25-30 miles, depending on ride origin). This is
a fairly tame ride with about as little climbing as is possible for a
ride near SF.

Go across the bridge to Alexander ave. Alexander winds its way down
into Sausalito and turns into Bridgeway. Continue on Bridgeway until it
deadends at the 101 N on ramp. Just to the right of the on ramp is the
Bike Path. Continue on the path until it dead ends in Mill Valley at
Blithdale Ave. Turn around here and back track to SF.

Paradise Loop
(45-50 miles, depending on ride origin). Probably the
most ridden route among SF road cyclists with rolling hills, and
potentially nasty winds sometimes.

Go across the bridge to Alexander ave. Alexander winds its way down
into Sausalito and turns into Bridgeway. Continue on Bridgeway until it
deadends at the 101 N on ramp. Just to the right of the on ramp is the
Bike Path. Continue on the path until it dead ends in Mill Valley at
Blithdale Ave. Cross Blithdale at the light immediately to the right of
the bike path and go left on Blithdale to Camino Alto, go right. Up an
over Camino Alto (Camino Alto is the biggest climb of the day) and down
into Corte Madera. At the stop sign, go right. Wind through a quick S
turn and continue towards, up and over the 101 to Paradise Drive, go
right. Take Paradise all the way around the back side of Tiburon,
through the town of Tiburon and finally back into Mill Valley (Paradise
Drive transitions into Tiburon Blvd., and finally back into Blithdale
Ave.) Take the Mill Valley bike path back into the city.

Muir Beach / Muir Woods Loop
(40-45 miles, depending on ride origin).
This ride packs in some serious climbing for such a moderate distance.

Go across the bridge to Alexander ave. Alexander winds its way down
into Sausalito and turns into Bridgeway. Continue on Bridgeway until it
deadends at the 101 N on ramp. Just to the right of the on ramp is the
Bike Path. Continue on the path – a minute or so after you go under the 101 over pass, the path makes a noticeable turn to the right – this is where you will exit the path onto Almonte Rd, which turns in to Miller Ave. Take Miller Ave. into downtown Mill
Valley (watchout for zealous drivers in Hummers, Range Rovers and Volvo
XC station wagons). Turn left on Throckmorton and follow Throckmorton
to Josephine, go left. Josephine leads into Marion and Marion ends at
Edgewood, go right on Edgewood - it turns into Sequoia Valley. Up, up,
up on Sequoia Valley to the intersection at Panoramic Hwy. Go left on
Panoramic Hwy and follow it down to Hwy 1. Go right on Hwy 1 - a short
climb and a fun, long downhill with kickass views of the Pacific all the
way down to Muir beach. At the bottom of the hill, continue past the
Pelican Inn about another 1000 ft to the Muir Woods turn off and go
right. Continue on this road for several miles to and past Muir Woods
National Monument. As you pass through Muir Woods, remember to
appreciate what you are riding through and to reflect that this is why
you write that fat check for housing to live in the Bay Area. Shortly
after Muir Woods the long climb out begins. This climb takes you back
to the crazy intersection at Panoramic Hwy. Go across it and continue
straight back on to Sequoia Valley (through multiple stop signs) back
down into Mill Valley and Miller Ave. Back track to the bike path and
SF.

Alpine Lake / Ridgecrest Loop
(65-70 miles, depending on ride origin).
This is a Mac Daddy ride with some super dee duper climbs, stunning
views of the Pacific, and fast descents through the forest.

Go across the bridge to Alexander ave. Alexander winds its way down
into Sausalito and turns into Bridgeway. Continue on Bridgeway until it
deadends at the 101 N on ramp. Just to the right of the on ramp is the
Bike Path. . Continue on the path – a minute or so after you go under the 101 over pass, the path makes a noticeable turn to the right – this is where you will exit the path onto Almonte Rd, which turns in to Miller Ave. Take Miller Ave. into downtown Mill
Valley (watchout for crazy drivers in Hummers, Range Rovers and Volvo XC
station wagons). Turn left on Throckmorton and follow Throckmorton to
Josephine, go left. Josephine leads into Marion and Marion ends at
Edgewood, go right on Edgewood - it turns into Sequoia Valley. Up, up,
up on Sequoia Valley to the intersection at Panoramic Hwy. At Panoramic
Hwy, go right and climb another mile or so until you get a short break
while descending past the Mt. Tam parking lot and Mountain Home inn.
Not long after you pass Mountain Home Inn you start climbing again.
Climb to the Pan Toll ranger station and go right on Pan Toll . Take
to Ridecrest Blvd and go left. Now the fun begins. Checkout the views
of the Pacific from here (look familiar? - this where many commercials
are filmed for cars). The last part of Ridgecrest is a fast descent to
Bolinas Fairfax road. Go right and follow Bolinas Fairfax road back
into Fairfax. Follow the bike route signs (Center Ave and Lansdale
Ave.) back into downtown San Anslemo and San Anselmo Ave. Pass through
downtown San Anselmo to Bolinas Ave, go right, an then left on to Shady
Lane. Follow Shady Lane to Lagunitas, go left, then right on to Poplar
Ave (becomes Kent Ave.) through Ross to Magnolia Ave, go right.
Follow Magnolia back through Larkspur and finally into Corte Madera
(Corte Madera Ave). At the intersection with amalpais Dr. in Corte
Madera, go straight, up and over Camino Alto to Mill Valley and
Blithdale Ave. Go left on Blithdale and back to the Mill Valley bike
path and back to SF (see Mill Valley bike path ride above for more
detail).

San Geranimo Valley
(55-60 miles, depending on ride origin). Most of
this ride is flat, with the exception of Camino Alto and White's Hill
outside of Fairfax

Go across the bridge to Alexander ave. Alexander winds its way down
into Sausalito and turns into Bridgeway. Continue on Bridgeway until it
deadends at the 101 N on ramp. Just to the right of the on ramp is the
Bike Path. Continue on the path until it dead ends in Mill Valley at
Blithdale Ave. Cross Blithdale at the light immediately to the right of
the bike path and go left on Blithdale to Camino Alto, go right. Up an
over Camino Alto and down into Corte Madera. At the stop sign, go
straight and continue into and through downtown Larkspur (Magnolia
Ave). After downtown Larkspur, there is a bike path you can utilize for
a mile or so on the right of the road. At the stop sign at the
intersection with Kent Ave., go left and continue into the and through
the town of Ross. At Lagunitas, go left and then a quick right on to
Shady Lane. Shady lane ends at Bolinas Ave. Go right and then left at
the light (San Anselmo Ave). Go through San Anselmo to to Center Lane.
Look for and follow the bike route signs that take you into the Taliban
stronghold of Fairfax. Once in Fairfax, I suggest jumping onto Sir
Francis Drake Blvd (the main drag that parallels Center Ave). Take SFD
blvd out of Fairfax up and over White's hill for a fast descent into San
Geranimo Valley. Once you pass the golf course, look for San Geranimo
Valley Road on your left. Take san Geranimo valley road back around to
SFD blvd. San Geranimo Valley Road will rejoin SFD blvd at the base of
White's Hill. Back track to SF. The highlight of this ride is San
Geranimo Valley Rd. It is a quiet road through a stunning redwood
forest that makes the ride worthwhile.

Marin Headlands Loop

(20 - 27 miles depending on ride origin). A shortish ride with some good climbing.

Go across the bridge and go left, into the Marin Headlands on Conzelman
Rd. Take Conzelman up and up and up to the top. At the top, the road
becomes one way down (you'll understand why when you get there). From
the top it is a white knuckler descent down to Rodeo Valley. Take a
right on Field Ave., towards Fort Berry (look for the Nike Missiles), then another
right on Bunker Rd. Follow Bunker Rd through Rodeo Valley and through
the tunnel to Alexander Ave. go right on Alexander back to the bridge
and SF.

Mountain Bike Rides


Marin Headlands
for some good riding, close to the city, the Marin Headlands offers some stunning views. Although the riding is somewhat lacking in technical challenges, the views of the ocean and the city are inspiring. The Headlands makes up for it’s lack of technical challenge with big climbs! (although, even the beginner can hang here with a properly geared bike).

Access off road rides on the Coastal trail at the intersection of Conzelman Road and McCullough Road.

Somewhat easy loop
(approx. 10 miles) – Coastal down, cross the road to Rodeo Trail – take Rodeo to Bobcat, go right and ascend Bobcat to Marincello Vehicle Road. Down Marincello to the Stables. Walk or slowly ride through the stables to Old Springs. Climb Old Springs to Miwok. Take Miwok back down to Rodeo, across the road and back to Costal for the climb out.

A harder loop (about 15 miles) – Coastal down, cross the road to Rodeo Trail – take Rodeo left then quick right to Miwok. Take Miwok up to Old Springs. Old Springs down to the stables. Take the road (left) out towards the ocean to Coastal trail. Take Coastal up, and up and up and up – ouch! To Miwok. Follow Miwok back down to the stables, then backtrack on Old Springs to Miwok and Coastal.

An even harder loop (about 18 miles) – Coastal down, cross the road to Rodeo Trail – take Rodeo left then quick right to Miwok. Take Miwok up to Old Springs. Old Springs down to the stables. Take the road (left) out towards the ocean to Coastal trail. Take Coastal up to the intersection with Coyote – follow it down towards Muir Beach, to Green Gulch Trail. Green Gulch is a fun, but lengthy double / single track climb back to Miwok (before it starts climbing – it passes through an organic farm). . Follow Miwok back down to the stables, then backtrack on Old Springs to Miwok and Coastal.

Mt. Tam

There are a number of good rides on Tam – I’ll share one of my favorites with you with a recommendation to get a Mt. Tam map and do some exploring on your own.

Downtown Mill Valley to Muir Beach and back via the Marin Headlands – about 25 miles with good climbs – a ride for those who are relatively fit
.
Start in downtown Mill Valley on Throckmorton. Take Throckmorton (south/west) it turns into a narrow street (Cascade). Follow Cascade up about a _ mile or so and look for the Tenderfoot Trails sign on the left. Take Tenderfoot up (stay on the main trail) about a mile or so to the pavement and go right. Follow the pavement to Panoramic Hwy (Mountain Home Inn) and go right. Take the trailhead right after Mountain Home Inn (just before the fire station entrance). This is Gravity Car- take it to Railroad Grade and Follow Railroad Grade up to West Point Inn (a good place to have an energy bar, refill your water bottles and take in the view). From West Point Inn, take Bootjack to the Pantoll Ranger station. Go through the Pantoll Ranger station (pass through the garage areas) to the Deer Park Fire Road. Deer Park is a kick ass fire road descent along the ridge that boundaries Muir Woods. Some consider this the best fire road descent in Marin. Follow Deer Park to Muir Woods road and go right. Follow Muir Woods to Hwy 1 and go Left. Go right after the Pelican Inn and out to the Muir Beach parking lot. Head left through the parking lot and across the bridge over the creek to the Green Gulch Trailhead. Green Gulch is a fun, but lengthy double / single track climb to Miwok trail in the Headlands (before it starts climbing – it passes through an organic farm). . Follow Miwok back down to the stables and go left. Take the road out – go left when the road dumps out of the valley. Follow this road back to Downtown Mill Valley.

Purisma Creek Redwoods State Park
(short ride, about 8 miles – but with a kick’n climb out). Access the park from Hwy 35. Take 280 south out of SF to Hwy 92 west to Hwy 35 (Skyline). About 10 minutes down the road, look for the country store on the right and the park parking lot. This is a super fun ride if your looking for a quick dose of classic Redwood singletrack. From the parking lot, follow the main train signs for Whitmore Gulch trail. Follow Whitmore down and down and down through kick’n singletrack covered with Redwoods and ferns. Take the trail all the way to the bottom, across the bridge to the lower parking lot. Take the Purisma Creek trail back up to Hwy 35 (Skyline) an take a left back to your car.

Santa Cruz

one of my all time favorites is Wider Ranch, just off Hwy 1, north of Santa Cruz. Wilder is like a singletrack terrain park for mountain bikes. There are lots of trails you can loop together at Wilder. Make sure that whatever ride you do, you include the Enchanted Loop trail

China Camp State Park
San Rafael. This is another mountain bike friendly state park. All of the trails are single and double track and at a gradient even those of you with less than optimum fitness can handle. The best place to access the park is the North San Pedro Rd (East) exit off Hwy 101 in San Rafael. A good place to get a trail map and access the parks trail is at the Backranch Camground on your right shortly after you enter the park. One of my favorite trails is Bayview. It is a nice loop of about 15 miles or so, depending on how you choose to do it.. BACK TO TOP


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