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San Francisco - Tiburon

This ride is not truly a mountain bike ride, but I rode it on a mountain bike and had a good time so I thought I would share it. The ride is just as the title suggests, a ride from San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Sausalito and around to Tiburon. Given the right weather, this is a very enjoyable ride.

Park: San Francisco - Tiburon
Date: May 18, 2013
Distance: 32.0 miles
Ride Time: 2:43
Total Ascent: 1,176 feet
Maps: Route map
Overall Rating: 6

 

I was invited by a friend at work to join a small group ride starting in San Francisco. We arrived at Fort Mason at about 8:30 and already the parking lot was full but fortunately we found some free parking near the marina (free is even better). As we unpack, all of the other spaces were quickly filled, so the lesson seems to be to get there early if you want a parking space.

The ride started off with an easy warm up along the Marina Green and then we stayed along the waterfront all the way out to Fort Point. This path allows some nice views of the bridge and Fort Point gives a less often seen view of the pier footing and the underside of the bridge. We were impressed by the amount of concrete and steel used in the bridge construction. A short ride up the hill brought us to a bike lane under the bridge to come out on the west (ocean) sidewalk which is available only to bikes (the east side is only for pedestrians).

Riding across the bridge was quite easy since we were separated from the traffic and there is enough room for bike traffic in both directions. It seemed like the was a slight uphill grade most of the way as rode from San Francisco to the Marin County side but this was not enough to both anyone. We were passed by a few fast road bikers. We regrouped in a parking lot at the end.

We were going to ride out to the Marin headlands and comeback via a tunnel, but a workman informed us that the tunnel was closed for maintenance and discouraged some of the riders from the uphill road climb, so we headed back down to the parking lot and went through a auto barricade near a kiosk an onto a path under the bridge and out to Sausalito on the road. Sausalito was a quaint and charming town right on the water and we enjoyed the ride through town.

After getting through town, the route returns to a bike path that heads along the waterfront and several houseboats. At a stoplight, we went across E. Blithedale which turned into a dead end a mile down. We back tracked and turned west onto E. Blithedale (this would have been a right turn originally). After a bit of road riding, including crossing over Highway 101, we diverted back onto a bike path and smaller roads starting at Greenwood Cove Drive.

We followed this into Tiburon where we stopped for coffee and snacks at Caffe Acri which is a nice cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating and lots of bikes. The dock for the Blue and Gold ferry is just around the corner and there are two restaurants that seem to be very popular facing the water.

We had some time to burn before the ferry left so we rode out Paradise Drive until we saw the Richmond-San Rafeal Bridge. We turned around there to make sure we got on the ferry. This was a nice ride that was pretty easy.

We were on an early ferry, so after waiting for all of the people to get off of the arriving ferry (it was amazing how many people got off!), we boarded with no problem. We bought some beer on-board and settled in for a quick ride back to San Francisco. The ferry arrived at Pier 41 and we did a quick ride past Fishermen's Wharf, Aquatic Park, up the hill and down to Fort Mason and back to our cars in the Marina parking lot.

This was a fun ride. I don't remember that last time I rode that many miles with so little climbing. The weather was good and the views were fantastic. We all had a good time.

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