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Old 11-07-2008, 04:13 PM
GGSkater GGSkater is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 5
Default Northern California Bike rides illustrated

Here are a few great Bay Area rides illuminated by Open Road tv and another website, also GPS traces:
Mt. Hamilton
Pt. Reyes
Alpine Dam (Marin)

For more rides, I highly recommend Ann Marie Brown’s Northern California Biking book and the Marin Bicycle Map from the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

Below are links to both OpenRoad tv and to GPS trace information. Be sure to check out the motionbased Player page that shows a map of the ride superimposed over GoogleEarth. Note that the motionbased.com website is now owned by Garmin and is supposed to be migrated to GarminConnect in the coming month(s), so you may have trouble with the link.

Mt. Hamilton plus Mines Rd. to Livermore
(during weekdays, use the ACE train to get from Livermore to San Jose):




Pt. Reyes Visitor Ctr to Lighthouse


Alpine Dam


Last edited by GGSkater : 12-04-2008 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Fix titles
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:57 PM
johnnymac johnnymac is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 14

Cool, Alpine Dam, heard alot about the place but haven't found a good source though.
My Drive Holiday
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:21 PM
GGSkater GGSkater is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 5
Default More on the rides

Alpine Dam is definitely a great ride--I learned about it from an article in the newspaper where KTVU meterologist Bill Martin said its his absolute favorite ride. You can see why from the OpenRoad tv videos. The Garmin links show the distances, but I really recommend the book by Ann Marie Brown for gauging how hard a ride is, how long it will take, etc.

Here's Alpine Dam illustrated starting at Crissy Field in San Francisco. The big climbs begin about mile 20 just after turning onto Fairfax-Bolinas road in Fairfax. For this ride, I added a "spur" up the west peak of Mt. Tam, which is about 2500 ft. compared to 2100 ft. for the summit on Ridgecrest Ave.
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Last edited by GGSkater : 12-04-2008 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Need to provide caption for attached image
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:47 PM
GGSkater GGSkater is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 5
Default Cool Marin Headlands bike rides illustrated by OpenRoad tv

Mt. Tam Old Railroad Grade
This video shows some of Mt. Tam and environs (the end of the clip shows Ridgecrest Blvd), but most of the clip applies to a mountain bike trek from Mill Valley up (or down) Mt. Tam on the Old Railroad Grade trail, which isn’t steep nor is it technically challenging…its only hard if you go up it!


Marin Headlands road ride
Conzelman road just north of the Golden Gate bridge is featured


Miwok - Marincello trails to stables mountain bike ride
This is a classic, but the Miwok trail up the hill is steep!
(Show repeat aired Aug 23-24, try the Backroads link as the above may not work...play Marin Headlands...)


Note that when riding these trails, be wary of hikers and especially horses, and for the latter, slow to nearly a stop and communicate with the rider on horseback as some horses are very calm and collected while others can get very jumpy and spook when a mountain biker goes by--you actually may need to dismount your bike and let the horse(s) pass.

The good news / bad news about the trail--while it isn't a single track but a (mostly) wide fire road--the surface is mostly gravel, which drains well in the winter. (Besides slowing down for horses and hikers, another point of trail etiquette is not to ride trails if you might cause erosion and ruts on public trails--but note that these trails seem to drain pretty well in the rainy season so if they aren't saturated you can ride year round).

Last edited by GGSkater : 12-04-2008 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Formatting, needed to "bold" the title, link was bad, grammar bad
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:30 PM
GGSkater GGSkater is offline
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Location: San Francisco
Posts: 5
Default What's your favorite ride?

One of the videos that I linked to also had a segment on scenic rides in the East Bay. Any ideas?
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:24 PM
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roadie roadie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 58

Thanks for posting these great rides!
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:18 PM
GGSkater GGSkater is offline
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Location: San Francisco
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Default 49km (almost) scenic ride

The videos are here for the 49 Mile Scenic Drive:

A map of the official 49 Mile Scenic Drive is available here: http://www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com/maps/49miledrive.asp

The 49 mile DRIVE is way outdated and doesn't work very well as either a car tour or as a bike tour, because it takes a long time going through the congested downtown area and also sends the rider into an industrial area underneath I-280. However, a reworked 49 ride could be great, especially for tourists, because you can see nearly all the touristy highlights of San Francisco on a bike ride that takes as little as 2 hours riding it straight through on a bike at a decent touring pace or as long as all day at a more leisurely pace enjoying numerous stops at the many sights.

I've ridden the full 49 mile route on my own, as well as a possible "new and improved version". The shorter version was only 28.5 miles (45.8 km--add a loop somewhere and it could be 49km and the city could keep much of the existing street signage and then modify it over time to say 49 scenic ride). I chose the new route by following the 49 Mile Drive and then utilized bike lanes and bike paths as best I could.

The major changes are to omit the congested downtown section (for tourists to explore those areas I suggest a WALKING tour, the Barbary Coast tour is better than the 49 mile drive), omit the loop around Lake Merced (back in 1938 this section was really cool in that open-top Duesenberg but not so necessary now as we are all more traveled and a little jaded about beaches), and omit the Cesar Chavez to under-I-280 section (go down 17th more through the heart of the Mission instead). I kept the 49 mile drive highlights of the Palace of Fine Arts, Presidio, Legion of Honor, and the Cliff House; improved it in GG Park (added DeYoung, Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers and on a bike you see into Kezar Stadium better); and retained Twin Peaks, Mission Dolores, and the Embarcadero (featuring AT&T Park/Fisherman’s Wharf/Ghirardelli/Aquatic Park). I also added going through the Haight (on Ashbury, not beside it on Stanyan) and going by the Painted Ladies on Alamo Sq; this section has an optional 2-3 block detour to the Castro if desired.

Starting from the Marina Green / Ft. Mason, follow the 49 mile route with the following changes:
1) Omit the stretch looping around Lake Merced and instead turn directly into GG Park (JFK drive) off of the Great Hwy.
2) Follow 49 mile route through park on JFK and then follow route over to and around Stow Lake, but leave MLK Dr. and turn left on Councourse Drive by the Academy of Sciences (on the bike lane), right on JFK to right turn onto Kezar Dr. bike path and then over to 3rd to Hugo to 6th to Kirkham to rejoin 49 mile drive going south on 7th.
3) Coming downhill from Twin Peaks, turn off 49 mile route at Clayton and follow downhill and take Ashbury and continue to the Panhandle bike path. Turn right on the path to Baker, then left on Baker to right on Grove to Alamo Square, ride carefully through the park on the path to Steiner and turn and go south (downhill) on Steiner. Turn left at 14th and briefly rejoin the 49 mile route and go by Mission Dolores.
4) At 17th, again leave the 49 mile route and make a left and proceed through the Mission neighborhood. Make a left at Kansas after going under 101, proceed to Townsend and make a right. Go to 4th St., make a right and then a left onto Berry. Go around AT&T (assume there's not a game) on the bike path and continue north on Embarcadero.
5) Continue north on Embarcadero and then proceed down Jefferson to Hyde, then go 1 block to Beach and follow the path / road as it goes by Aquatic Park and cuts through Ft. Mason. Come out onto Marina Blvd. and briefly rejoin the 49 mile route for the 100 yds. or so to where you started.

A GPS of this is at motionbased.com, which will soon be transitioned to http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/8001777

Last edited by GGSkater : 05-06-2009 at 12:13 PM. Reason: grammar, link update
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