Tips & Tricks: Riding in the Rays: Sun Protection While Cycling


BIKING, THE SUN AND YOU
Sun damage and wrinkles are never attractive, on or off the bike. Excluding beach vacations, cycling can easily be when we are most vulnerable to UV rays, as anyone who’s ever had a bad case of “sunglass tan” after riding would agree. We don’t cycle inside a toaster, so just because there’s cloud cover and cool temperatures don’t assume you won’t get burned. What you don’t see can hurt you.

FACE IT

For the face it is not essential that sunscreen be sweat or waterproof, as all sunscreen should be reapplied just as frequently: approximately every two hours, especially on an area where you perspire heavily. Waterproof creams and lotions can feel sticky, waxy and cause breakouts. Instead chose something comfortable that suits your skin type, is portable and easy to reapply. Sunscreen for the face and body are formulated differently and should be separate, just like soap – yes, gentlemen there is a distinction.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 70 has a lightweight formula that absorbs instantly without the telltale white residue left behind by conventional sunscreens with zinc oxide. It’s possible to layer small amounts along your ride without creating cakey build up and in a 1.4OZ bottle will barely make a dent in your back pocket.

Powder Sunscreen like Colore Science Pro Sunforgettable SPF 30 contains titanium dioxide, preferred by dermatologists because unlike chemical sunscreens it creates a physical barrier to the sun’s rays. A light coating of this super fine, water resistant powder stays put without the heavy load of waterproof lotions and is an excellent choice for oily and acne prone skin. The skin toned powder also buffs the complexion when applied with the brush applicator, especially handy when there’s no sink and soap available as it’s possible to reapply sunscreen without the potential of speeding grime or bacteria on the face from your hands.

The two kinds of products can used together for more complete protection.

BODY CONSCIOUS

Outside the obvious health benefits of wearing sunscreen, like preventing skin cancer, “cyclist’s tan” (a kin to farmer’s tan but derived from cumulative tannings in jerseys and shammy shorts) is never sexy at the beach or in the bedroom.

Sports oriented, spray-on sunscreens are easy, expedient and thorough. Avoid choosing a formula so bent on waterproofing that it coats like acrylic paint. Like shampoo it’s not about how much you use but about covering every area.

Look for products like Neutrogena Ultimate Sport SPF 100 that mists on in a fine spray, coats evenly using an effortless trigger, smells pleasant and leaves skin feeling soft. Always spray before you dress but after you butter up and be sure to air dry. You might want to close the blinds.

Scientists stress that there is no improvement in protection beyond SPF 30, yet manufacturers continue to make products up to SPF 100 because people are seduced by the allure of more protection even at greater costs. From personal experience, when forgetful about reapplication these higher protection factors seem to be more forgiving and the fairer skinned swear by it.

Ultimately if a product you like has an SPF of 30 you will be adequately protected.

DRESS UP

For those who want to avoid a sticky mess altogether, protective clothing with built in SPF is the best alternative. Arm sleeves with SPF, which fit like arm warmers but are lightweight and moisture wicking, like Gore Bike Wear OZON III SPF 50 Arm Protectors and Louis Garneau Matrix Arm Sleeve 50 UPF/SPF provide sun protection that unlike sunscreen on skin won’t wear off no matter how long the ride. Trendy, fashion oriented alternatives are made by companies like Canari for women.

However, these need to feel comfortable enough to wear for the duration of the ride without any sun protection underneath as a backup. Even though they are designed to keep you feeling cool, on a really hot day arm warmers aren’t intuitive for everyone.

Cyclists who want to eliminate the day-long discomfort of pinching from arm sleeves may prefer long sleeve Under Armour Heat Gear shirts with 30 UPF/SPF especially in the winter, which worn underneath jerseys provide an added layer of warmth using a high tech fabric that also wicks sweat away. These multipurpose shirts are a great investment when you can use them for other outdoor activities like running, hiking and skiing.

While not a replacement for facial sunscreen, used as added protection (and to accent your getup), cycling caps or visors fit nicely underneath helmets and the bill provides shade for the face without obstructing your view. Caps mask dreaded helmet head after riding in a way that’s stylish and wearing these caps in general makes a fashion statement that embraces bike culture whether or not you’re riding. HOWEVER, caps do not replace helmets. Shielding your face from the harmful rays of the sun means nothing if your brains are scattered across the road.

WHY CARE?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, accounting for half of all cancers in the US. In the US alone 68,130 died from Melanoma in 2010 compared to 630 bike fatalities on the road in 2009, most likely without a helmet. Considering the lengths we’ll go to as cyclists to steer ourselves out of danger and fight for our rights in traffic, why wouldn’t we take care of matters in our own backyard to save our skin?

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Trail: I’M SKY HIGH! — Marin Headlands


One of the most recognizable landmarks of San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge, especially the perspective from the Marin Headlands. The Marin Headlands themselves are beautiful sea cliffs with sweeping views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. The initial climb is a challenge and great training while the descent is extremely steep with sharp turns. It has the perfect mix of beauty and challenge. All of this excitement is accessible with a short ride just across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Three time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador riding the Marin Headlands                 PHOTO courtesy of Velodramatic.com and IamSpecialized.com

Try this ride out as a trainer for climbing or just as an introduction to cycling in the Bay Area like Alberto Contador did on October 4, 2011 with some friends from Mike’s Bikes.

This route is fully open again.  For more information regarding the recent improvements see Marin Headlands Closure Information for more details.

Distance: from San Francisco Ferry Building 15.18 miles

–Trail Starts at mile 7.7 of The Golden Gateway

–Trail Ends at mile 8.13 of The Golden Gateway — East Side Wee Fast Fun Route
Difficulty: The climbing is long and steep, but the initial descent is even steeper!

Climbing on Route: 925 feet (282 meters)

Descent on Route: 896 feet (273 meters)

Download your route sheet here: Directions – I’m Sky High

FOR A MORE DETAILED LOOK click here for the full Geoped Map provided by g-map-pedometer.com

Elevation Map for the Route provided by MapMyRide.com

This route starts in the parking lot on the northwest side of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is at the end of the bike side of the Bridge.

The beginning of this path just under 8 miles from the start of the Golden Gateway. The climbing starts immediately out of the parking lot.

At the top of the stop sign, make a left and head up the hill.

The first part of this climb is he steepest and the toughest. Just keep going and if you need a break, take it to admire the view at the first rest area.

Us taking in the view at the first rest stop

Though less steep, the climbing continues up to the round about.

If you take the first exit of the round about, you will go down McCullough Road toward Bunker Road and back to Alexander Avenue towards US 101 through the tunnel.

Keep going around the round about, and take the second exit to continue up the Marin Headlands.

Keep climbing to get to the top, you have just under one mile to the top.

Take in the scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco as you are now higher than the bridge’s towers.

The tunnels signal Hawk Hill, the top of the Headlands, where you can take a break and take in the views, wait for or catch up with the rest of your group before turning around, or prepare for the hair-raising descent down the back of the Headlands.

Miko and Jon take in the views from the top of the Marin Headlands

The narrow, one way road is just the beginning of the challenges that face you on the descent down the backside of the Headlands.

The backside of Marin Headlands is not for the faint of heart, cause it’s all downhill from here!

“Hill” is an understatement, but the 18% grade is dead on! You build up speed quickly and two of the first three turns are 90+ degrees! Keep your descending class rules in mind: stay in the drops; just touch your brakes to regulate your speed, don’t hold them; inside knee up to pull your body into the turn; and always keep your eyes up and looking where you want to go because that’s where the bike is going to take you!

After that second right hand turn, the grade reduces but the speed stays high, so make sure to stay on your game.

Though the remaining turns are not as sharp and the grade not as steep, the rest of the way down is still wicked fast!

The descending turns to a short climb as you pass by the lookout point near the Upper Fisherman’s Parking Lot.

The Point Bonita Lighthouse is just up the road past the bunkers.

It is just a short climb before you reach the bunkers and Lower Fisherman’s Parking Lot.

And a couple of more twisties before the main part of your descent is complete.

Turn right at the next intersection to head back to US-101 along Fort Barry Road.  If you want to visit the Point Bonita Lighthouse, keep going straight, the road is two-way traffic again past the intersection.

Then another right at the stop sign.

Follow Fort Barry Road down the hill and around the corner, notice the tidal pool and Sausalito Beach to your left.

You will then pass Simmond’s Road and the Marin Headlands Hostel on your right. Keep following Fort Barry Road as it becomes Field Road here.

Follow Field Road through the next intersection as it merges with Bunker Road toward San Francisco.

You are now on the Marin Headlands return route.  It’s a slight climb back out to Alexander Avenue towards US-101 from here.

At McCullough Road you can climb back up the Headlands and descend the front side towards the Golden Gate Bridge, or you can keep along Field Road towards Alexander Avenue.

A bit farther down the road is the Bunker Road Tunnel.  The tunnel is signal controlled by a stop light.

When the light turns green, head on through.

At the beginning of the tunnel there is a button to signal to the on-coming cars a biker is in the tunnel.

The tunnel is pretty dark, but the main obstacles are the water, mud and slime covering the bike lane.  It’s all downhill, but your tires are never totally planted on the road, so be careful going through here.

Once you exit the tunnel, you are just about to the intersection with Alexander Avenue.

If you haven’t gotten your fill of the climbing or descending yet, you can always head back up Alexander Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge and the beginning of the Marin Headlands to do it all over again by taking the fork to the right.

Or if you are ready to head on to other adventures, take the fork to the left and rejoin the Golden Gateway Trail for the descent to Sausalito.

The Marin Headlands is a challenging ascent and with an absolutely spectacular and breathtaking descent. This is a great route to work on both your ascending and descending skills when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, or don’t want to travel too far from the city. Keep hydrated on the way up and your head up on the way down!

Enjoy!

Bike4Breath Update — Training Ride and Routes


As Bike4Breath approaches we here at Team WeLikeToBike are getting ready for our 100k ride.  Part of getting ready for the ride is knowing the route and the total ascent we will encounter.

Distance from Life Technologies: 60.3 miles

Total Ascent: 1,532 feet (467 meters)

Difficulty: A few tough climbs with a lot of rolling hills and flats.

The route through the Peninsula will take us by the Bay on a bike path, over US-101, through neighborhoods, past Crystal Springs Reservoir and through parts of the Stanford University campus.

Team WeLikeToBike is getting ready for this ride in our local area over the next couple of weeks by training after work with 50k rides and full 100k rides over the weekend.

You can use a program like Map My Ride or Bike Route Toaster to plan and view your training route, the climbs and get a printout of the directions for your ride. We use a Garmin Edge 800 to keep us on track and record the route as we ride.

We’ll make sure to post a re-cap after the event.

Trail: PAYING THE TOLL — Mount Tamalpais Stage 3


Pan Toll Road the shortest stage of the climb to the summit of Mount Tamalpais, but it’s also the toughest. The route is full of relentless double-digit grade assents.  If you are looking to test your grit and stamina, this is the place to do it.  Once you pass the first mile, you can stop and break for some pictures of the sweeping views around you and then press on through the last half-mile of the stage.  At the end of the trail you feel as major sense of accomplishment because you know you’ve made it through one bad ass climb!

Distance from San Francisco Ferry Building (see Golden Gateway Trail) 24.43 miles; from the Marin Crossroads 10.00 miles; from Somewhere Over the Rainbow 5.92 miles; from A Panoramic View 1.43

Difficulty: HC (hors catégorie) aka this would be a steep climb on the Tour de France! 

Climbing on Route: 531 feet (171 meters)

Total Elevation Gain from Marin Crossroads: 2011 feet (649 meters)

Download your route sheet here: Directions – Paying the Toll

Download your route sheet for the entire Mount Tamalpais Route here: Directions – There and Back Again

FOR A MORE DETAILED LOOK click here for the full Geoped Map provided by g-map-pedometer.com.


Elevation Map for the Route provided by MapMyRide.com

At the crest of Panoramic Highway and the end of A Panoramic View, the summit of Mount Tamalpias still lies four miles away.  Before reaching the top of Mt. Tam, you will have to conquer Pan Toll Road.

To begin the next stage of ascending Mt. Tam, turn right from Panoramic Highway onto Pan Toll Road.

Pan Toll Road is the entrance to Mount Tamalpais State Park.

The first section of climbing is step with very little shoulder room, so watch out for the passing by.

Gradient looking toward Panoramic Highway at the turn onto Pan Toll  Road

You will get a slight reprieve from the constant climbing and the road will level off for a short stint before the steep grade returns.  The road turns around corners as the grade changes from gradual to steep to moderate.  Theses series of turns will take you to the one mile marker of the route where you are presented with your first opportunity to break.

Steep climbs and sweeping turns typify the climb along Pan Toll Road

The first rest area is a great place to take pictures of your adventure and to rehydrate.

A vista with a view of the climbing you have just completed and the Pacific Ocean

The road to come is the steepest and toughest climbing of the stage

The last part of the climb is short, but extremely steep all the way to Ridgecrest Boulevard.

There is one more rest area along the last section of the climb.  This is a good place to stop if you need a short break. At the end of the climb along Pan Toll Road you will reach Rock Spring.

Rock Spring is at an elevation of 1940 feet above sea level.  The slight descent along Panoramic Highway increases the total elevation gain from Marin Crossroad to over 2000 feet! Once you reach this point, you can either turn left onto West Ridgecrest Boulevard and  take in the spectacular views of Stinson Beach and Bolinas below, or turn right onto East Ridgecrest Boulevard and begin the final stage of ascending Mount Tamalpais.

Reaching the top of Pan Toll road is no small feet, with over 2000 feet of climbing, conquering this advanced route is what many Bay Area bikers do when they are up for a challenge and want a spectacular descent as their reward.  The steep climbing turns into steep descending with technical twists and turns as you make your way back to Mill Valley or Sausalito.

Our Stories: My Rise and Fall as a Biker


I remember seeing the head of the black Beetle nip into the middle of the street, not at the corner, not while signaling, but while I was passing in the bike lane.  I heard my own shriek, the squeal of the tires, the crunching of the bike against the car and the thud of my own weight hitting the ground. Then for a brief moment: silence.

As I began to hear the worried sounds of inquiry around me, familiar and not, for a brief moment I contemplated whether I should just get right up and stop being a baby. Then the fact that a car had just hit me registered and I felt like I never wanted to get up, like I wanted to pass out into a sound sleep and wake up somewhere better, anywhere but lying face down in the middle of the street hit by a car.

But reality is as impatient as traffic blocked by a human barricade. “Am I OK?” I couldn’t breath. I felt terrified. I truthfully had no idea whether my head, torso or limbs were in tact – everything hurt. I had no idea how I’d fallen or landed just that I had: my eyes were open for part and closed right around the time I knew I wasn’t going to make it staying on my bike – the blood and guts part of the movie. Pass. If I had lost consciousness it would have been an indication of a more serious injury, but without this consequence I wish I had no memory of the crash.

Without the memory I wouldn’t constantly relive the experience asking myself if I could have somehow avoided the car, which I’ve been reassured tenfold by my riding partner, who gave a statement to the police, that there was absolutely nothing I could do. If the crash was inevitable what does this mean about cycling and how will I ever get on a bicycle again?

I admit it’s the first thing I thought of when the EMT’s put the neck brace on me, then strapped me to the board and put me in the ambulance. I felt unsettled as I rattled off an embarrassingly lengthy medical history to the doctors who prodded and pulled at me, while nurses stripped me naked in a room full of people. To preserve the integrity of the neck brace I had to urinate horizontal into a bedpan, like I was wetting the bed. Try unlearning that tradition. The whole time I was unsettled by thoughts not so much of “Why did this happen to me?” but “This happened to me, so is this going to happen to me again?” with fear and a loss of hope.

Biking has brought so much joy to my life. It’s not just good exercise but it has helped me considerably in shedding some difficult to lose pounds that wouldn’t budge with other regular exercise and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the results. After losing my business and finding out my mother had a brain tumor my long rides through Marin and soothing ferry rides home were immensely therapeutic and swelled me with pride compared to my first fumbling attempt in heels only 5 months before. Being outdoors, feeling so connected to nature was so new and enlightening for a city girl. There’s never been a time in my life where I spent so much of my days around tall trees, green grass, unobstructed sky and calm water. To be writing and photographing this blog reignited a talent I thought would die as I left my career as a fashion editor. My fiance and I bonded over the shared time we spent together in this new healthy weekend lifestyle. But was it worth this?

My neck and head hurt like the hangover from a night of a dozen mojitos AND a bottle of champagne. And in what felt like the chokehold from one of Lady Gaga’s concert headpieces I sensed soreness in my neck like the night I was rear-ended by a drunk driver and later found I had whiplash. When Morphine doesn’t make you feel better, you worry. My fiancé stood looking down at me and all I could do was stare back up at him. I wasn’t sure if I had succeeded in getting away unscathed because of the obviously unbroken bones. The lingering question in my heart was whether I was if I was ever going to be safe if I ever climbed on top of another bicycle.  I saw the urgency with which the medical professionals treated me. What were they expecting, I wondered?

Demo riding my dream bike in the same protective gear that saved me from bloody scrapes and scratches.


I wanted to tell him to find a way to cancel my $3000 dream road bike I’d gone to incredible lengths to get my hands on. I was afraid to tell him I never wanted to get on a bicycle in my life ever again. So I didn’t speak. I just looked up at him and let the tears roll down the sides of my face while the thoughts circled the drain inside my mind.

My self and skin (aside from my face) were unscathed as a result of this protective clothing that remained in tact - a North Face jacket, Specialized pants, Fox gloves and a Giro helmet.

Anything that involves spending six hours in an emergency room sucks (unless it’s where you work. Bless your hearts, I saw the other patients screaming there – whoah!) I have insulation from riding gloves, full-length riding pants, a long sleeve coat and a GIRO helmet, I would bet my life on, to thank for suffering no serious injuries other than strain to my neck, head pain and some bruising and scratches to my face (that aren’t too ugly). Whether you are religious or not, believe me that God blesses bikers with helmets on. Those riding without helmets (or as I call them “organ donors”) might as well tape their organ donor cards to their foreheads – dingbats!

 

(The helmet AFTER the head-first landing onto the street – minor scratches! Talk about a lifesaver. However, according to Bicycling Magazine June 2010’s article ‘Post-Crash Checklist’ you should replace your helmet after one hit unless you own a multi-impact helmet. “Even if there’s no visible damage to the shell the foam layer’s ability to protect your noggin from future hits has been compromised.” Although you can check whether your helmet has a replacement policy.

As for my relationship with cars and bikes I would be lying if I told you we’re all good now that I know I’m in the clear . . . this time. This time was my first fall.  Recognizing that the incident was not my fault and I had no way of preventing it means coming to the conclusion that the fall was inevitable and unlikely to be my last. The bike accident in your future is inevitable too. It would seem that throwing the unpredictability of bad drivers, unforeseen obstacles, lousy road work, even other overly aggressive cyclists into the mix, and like riding horses, ride for long enough and as probability will have it you will fall off your bike. The difference between a few minor scratches you might just peddle away from and a Christopher Reeves like fate (Duh (a.) helmet), riding less aggressively with greater care and caution could save you from a grizzlier fate. After all, just how much of a hurry are you really in? In which case six hours at the hospital will certainly slow you down.

Another cyclist approaching the scene of my accident.

I sincerely hope my relationship with my bike, love of biking and ability to ride will not change from this experience. As soon as my bike and I are medically able, I plan to get back on the horse. (I also call my bike Horsey. And Horsey ripped the side-view mirror off the Beetle that hit me because Horsey fights back. Not to worry the owner will paying for her damages, mine and my medical expenses. Let that be a lesson to you drivers.) Only when I ride I will do so with a newfound appreciation that in a face-off between car and bike, car always wins. Cars, like teenage girls, behave erratically, irrationally and more often than not are unremorseful for their actions. Car still wins. So in my newly formed rapport with this beast I will not just look out for oncoming traffic but keep an eye out for those “girls behaving badly” too. I’ll let you know how it feels getting back on the road.

Trail: THE JAWS OF LIFE – Tiburon


Distance: from San Francisco Ferry Building (see Golden Gateway Trail): 22.21 miles, from Marin Crossroads: 7.78 miles
Difficulty: Enough to give you saddle sores but not enough to break a tourist on a comfort bike.
Download your route sheet here: Directions – The Jaws of Life
FOR A MORE DETAILED LOOK click here for the full Geoped Map provided by g-map-pedometer.com.
From Marin Crossroads: 
There are two routes to Tiburon: Strawberry & The Quick Fix.  This is decision-time, do you have time to go the scenic route?  Or are you cutting it close to the last ferry?  If you have the time, take the Strawberry route! It is worth the time!
SCENIC ROUTE: Strawberry Fields of Heaven
 
If you make the decision to go the scenic route through Strawberry, you will make a right off of the bike path and follow Route 8 over a bridge and onto Hamilton Drive.
All you have to do in this section is stay on Hamilton Drive until it dead ends at Redwood Highway Frontage Rd, a road running parallel to US-101, at the stop sign pictured below. At the stop sign, make a right and head towards the water.
This path will wind you once again under a US-101 bridge and then back in the opposite direction.  Just watch the signs for Route 8 as you go along the road.
 
Emerging from the underpass you will reach a strip of gas stations Keep following the road here until you see the 7-Eleven.
 
Pay attention for the Route 8 sign, this will be at the corner of Seminary Drive.
Make a right on Seminary Drive and you have entered the town of Strawberry!
Though you will keep following Seminary Drive, this gets a bit confusing at the first intersection because instead of going straight, you will make a right.
 
Once you are into Strawberry, you will see marsh lands to your right, and then just up the road, you will see the bay with the US-101 bridge off in the distance.
After passing the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary on the left (yep, there is actually a seminary on Seminary Road, go figure) you will then wind around and find yourself with San Francisco in the distant foreground and Sausalito marina to your right.
This is one of the most beautiful parts of the ride to Tiburon, so take it in and take plenty of pictures!  As you can see, we did!
The Undertow Hill
 

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).

Options Merge:

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.

 

Fisherman’s Wharf

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!

Who are we and what do we know?



How we started...

Who we became!

1. We were not born or raised cycling enthusiasts.

Growing up Miko never rode or owned a bicycle and wore high heeled boots (see below) on our first ride. Somewhere between Fort Mason and Crissy Field one sunny day, on rented rides, we learned: WE LIKE TO BIKE.


Scenic Sausalito

Miko at Fort Point, under the Golden Gate Bridge

2. We never knew you could bike around the Bay . . . or did we?

We used to make fun of people boarding their bikes on the Sausalto ferry. Why would anyone want to work that hard when you can take the ferry there and back? The first time we made it across the Golden Gate Bridge we felt like real athletes! It’s all just opened our eyes to how many athletically challenging and beautiful ways you can bike around the Bay Area.

3. We like being tourists

(in our own city)!

Just because something is frequented by tourists doesn’t mean it’s not worth partaking in, especially considering how far people travel from all over the world to enjoy it. You can cover a lot of ground on a bike and we’ll give you some pointers on some great recreational trails and trip plans that will give you a new found appreciation for this city. It may change what you consider “local” and “authentic”.

Junction just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin. An array of cyclists congregate there

Jon and Miko at the Marin Headlands

4. We are currently training for the Tour de Nowhere.

On our rides we savor the scenery and each other’s company at an athletic pace that gives us a good workout too. We created this blog to share our experiences and tips with people who just genuinely enjoy riding bikes. Simply that.  When you see the music videos we have created on some of our trails, these are just embodiments of why we like to bike. We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy a ride.

We do recognize there are many just out to ride for speed, who will request that you watch out “On your left” and on occasion even say “Thank you” while passing. But there are those who scowl and rant to the tune of “Move or I’ll hit you!” or “You know you’re in the way don’t you?!” and feel the need to literally brush shoulders with you on the Golden Gate Bridge. . . these are who we call bike douches. The bike douche can be recognized by their multicolored “sponsored” team jersey, custom built bicycle worth as much as a car, and menacing expression that says “I hate that you share the road with me.” They sometimes travel together in a shared silent bitterness, although we’re not sure why.

The Blazing Saddles crowd, namely tourists that rent bikes from Fisherman’s Wharf and like mosquitos tend to come out when it’s hot, are considerably slower and less experienced, hence are the natural born enemy of the bike douche sharing the same trails. They can be recognized by their matching helmets, trail maps, heavy bikes with comfort saddles and handlebar fanny packs marked with the name of their rental company.

[If you’re interested in renting don’t be afraid to ask them if they liked who they rented from. We had mixed experiences with Bike and Roll, whose service was good (friendly and affordable) but bikes were sometimes subpar (small selection and poorly maintained).]

MY POINT (and yes I really have one) is that just like the real road has bad drivers, biking is no different. There are speedy sports cars that cut you off and unpredictable student drivers that nearly crash into you. Worst of all you have pedestrians! (Which will make you ponder the question: Why don’t you know how to WALK?) But if you spend your ride concerning yourself with other people on the road you’ll fail to enjoy the exquisite connection between mind, body and bike, with the land beneath it and the air around you.


This is a blog built from our shared experience learning to bike around the Bay Area and where we’ll give you information, trails and tips so you can create your own special biking memories. Please feel free to comment and share your own wisdom as well. (But if you sound like a bike douche or wannabe bike douche we’ll delete you. JK.)