Following the road will lead you to a hill that looks deceptively short and easy. It encourages you to charge right up only to suck you in. Fatigue at this point in the ride only makes this worse. However the lack of traffic make it manageable if you need to take it slow and you have a nice downhill ahead of you.
Once you have crested this hill, there will be a fork in the road, head to the left, this will take you towards tennis courts and Strawberry drive.
After a few more hills you will reach a point where the road becomes one lane in either direction. Make sure to stay to the right and go in the same direction as the car traffic.
The next decision comes toward the end of Strawberry Drive, right after the road comes back together. At that point, you will see a very inviting SuperFast downhill!
If you choose to go this way, be warned, you will have to apply your brakes quite soon after you reach the bottom because the path you take around the small peninsula is very narrow and tends to have joggers and dog walkers along it.
f you do choose SuperFast Downhill, just keep following the path until you get to the parking lot, there just head toward the 76 gas station and make a right on Greenwood Cove Drive.
If you chose to forego SuperFast downhill and stick with Strawberry Drive, you will go down Strawberry Drive and then intersect Tiburon Boulevard at the stop light.
At Tiburon Boulevard, make a right and enjoy the downhill section of this trip. At the next light, make a right at the 76 gas station onto Greenwood Cove Drive.
I’ll finish the route on the other side of Option 2.
OPTION 2: The Quick Fix
If you are running a little short on time and you choose to stay on Route 5, then about half a mile from the Route 8 intersection you will come up on East Blithedale Avenue and a stop light.
The signs for the bike paths are a bit confusing, but just enter the road in the bike lane and follow East Blithedale Boulevard.
Be careful along this route as there are a few different intersections where cars will either be exiting the road onto a highway ramp, or just exiting the highway onto the road. Keep following the road as it goes over US-101. Once you have passed all of the intersections around the US-101 overpass, the rest of the ride is less dicey.
Keep straight on Tiburon Boulevard and you will intersect Strawberry Drive at a light. At the next light, make a right at the 76 gas station (Greenwood Cove Drive), the bike path sign signals Route 10 to the right, and the rest of the route is the same for everyone (pictured above).
Following Greenwood Cove Drive you will encounter another uphill area before gliding down to the end of the court.
To the left side of the court is an entryway for a path over to a parking lot.
This lot leads to Route 17 and the Tiburon bike path. When you first enter the bike path to the right of the parking lot, you’ll see the path fork to the left and to the right. If you head to the right, you better have a mountain bike! This is a gravel path that leads along the shoreline.
Your better option is to veer to the left and up the next hill. Once up the hill you will see the bike path and, more than likely, a whole lot of pedestrians! Just take it easy through this section and if you have a bell, use it!
Follow this nice and easy path all along the shoreline. Take in the beautiful scenery, take some pictures and just enjoy how much fun bike riding in this area can be!
The path will cross a road at a stoplight, so you’ll have to watch for cars coming around the bend. Cross the road and the path continues for a little long, or if you’re confident enough, go ahead and get back onto Tiburon Boulevard, the rest of us will be joining you soon.
If you stayed on the path, just keep going along the path. Eventually, you’ll make it to another intersection where you’ll have to make sure to stay to the right for the short split and just head down the path.
Just a bit down the way the path will end and you’ll have to merge back on to Tiburon Boulevard. Once you’re back on the road, it’s just a straight shot to the end of this run. No worries, as a bike lane is provided the whole way to the ferry terminal.
From the Ferry Terminal at the round-a-bout, you have a great view of Angel Island, San Francisco and the marina. Once you reach the ferry terminal, park your bike and enjoy one of the local restaurants before the ferry ride back to Pier 41.
Our favorite restaurant is Sam’s Anchor Cafe. Here, there is both indoor and outdoor seating. Be warned though, on a nice day in the spring and summer, the wait can be an hour and a half for a table outside, while you may be able to walk right in to one inside. Just be aware of how much time you have before your ferry arrives.
On nice days, you’re likely to run into a long line of tourists and cyclists. Beware that the Tiburon Ferry stacks bikes one top of one another because there is only one bike rack!! We call this the bike massacre! It also doesn’t help that the ferries from Tiburon stop in Sausalito as well most of the time. Even more bikes will be piled up in that mess. Just put your gears into 1-1 in an attempt to protect your derailers. For more on how to fend for your bike read about “The Hat Trick“.
Make sure you take plenty of pictures from Tiburon. You’ll pass by Angel Island, Sausalito, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
Once you make it back to Pier 41 at Fisherman’s Warf, you have a lot of restaurants to choose from. We enjoying going to the outdoor stalls for dungeness crab. When this becomes our dinner of choice, we go to Nick’s Lighthouse.
These guys have their fresh, live crab out at the steaming stall on the right.
It can be prepared either just steamed, or if you ask nicely at the counter, they also can prepare it in garlic butter, or our favorite, the spicy garlic butter!!!
Make sure to try not only the crab, but the crab chowder or lobster bisque as well!! Both are just amazing on a cold day. You can get them in either a cup or a Boudin Bread Bowl. They also serve beer and wine outside, you can see my Anchor Steam in the brown bag. Nick’s is a great place and the service is awesome!
You might ask, “Hey, what did you do with your bikes?” That’s a good question! The closest bike racks are down the street in front of the Boudin Bakery. That’s a bit of a hike when you’re hungry! So what we did to ensure that our bikes were not only safe, but visible, is to lock them to the anchoring chains around the parking lot across the street.
Using the U-Lock and cables, just run the sides of the U-Lock through the chain links and your cables after connecting your cables to your rear wheel, frame and front wheel. This is as secure as the bikes can get.
Just think of dinner as your reward for making it through the jaws of life!