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From: (Jobst Brandt)
Subject: Re: FAQ: Riding in Marin Co.
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 00:27:03 GMT

Arnoud Morsink writes:

> I'll be in the Bay Area the beginning of May, and hope to have my
> MTB with me. Can anyone give me some info on riding there, or tell
> me where I can find it? I'm specifically interested in Marin Co./Mt.
> Tam, and anything around Sunnyvale.

I take it you will be visiting in Sunnyvale and want to ride Mt.
Tamalpais.  To do that, I recommend driving north to the SF side of
the Golden Gate bridge, taking the exit directly before the Toll Gate
(LAST EXIT).  Take a left in the parking lot and cross under the
bridge approach and take a right, up the hill to park (off the
"employee parking" pavement).  Unload your bike and go back under the
bridge approach, into the parking lot and over the bridge to Marin
County.  At the far side of the Bridge (on Sundays) take a right over
the narrow bicycle bridge, and ride on down to Fort Baker and onward
through Sausalito, taking the bike path when it starts.

The bike path, the old RR grade, crosses Richardson Bay and when you
are again parallel to the road, get on the road and ride into Mill
Valley to the center of town where the road ends at the book store
coffee house (old train station).  Take a right to the Mill Valley
market and then left past city hall and into the wrong way one way
street being careful to not obstruct the practically absent traffic.
This road becomes two-way and joins East Blithedale Ave on which you
continue until you reach the trailhead right side of the road with its
closed gate and motor vehicle barriers.

This is the RR right-of-way that goes to the top of the mountain and
is a beautifully scenic ride.  At West Point Inn, you can take the
lower trail out of the "parking lot" to Pantoll junction on the return
trip, if you choose to return directly from the top.  Otherwise, ride
back on the paved road from the summit heading north along the ridge
that gives a breathtaking view of the Pacific and Farallon Islands.

Go past the next junction, where the road branches to Pantoll, and
northward for about two miles to the Bolinas Fairfax Road that crosses
the ridge.  You can take this road down to the west and return along
the lagoon to Stinson Beach, up the coast highway and back to
Sausalito, or you can take the Bolinas Ridge Trail that departs from
the road junction going straight ahead up into a dark redwood forest.

The Ridge trail winds its way in and out of the forest that has many
exposed roots that, when wet, present a substantial hazard (like RR
tracks) but are a great ride when dry.  The view over the second half
of the ridge presents a grand panorama as the trail heads down towards
Tomales Bay through meadows of wildflowers.  Take the left branch when
you are in sight of Sir Francis Drake highway and and take it west to
Olema.  There is a good grocery store in Olema with a bench to relax
and eat before heading back to Stinson Beach and the hill to Sausalito
and the GG Bridge.

As for Sunnyvale, there are plenty of roads and trails in the Santa
Cruz mountains.  No problem to find if you ask any local rider.

Jobst Brandt      <> 

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