Access for Bikes
This non-profit political organization strives for equal access for bikes on the public trails of Marin. (Fairfax) access4bikes.com
A group of cyclists from around the Bay Area offering organized rides seven days a week. Members enjoy club picnics and skill clinics. (San Rafael) marincyclists.com
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition
This non-profit organization has a mission to promote safe bicycling for every day transportation and recreation. 733 Center Blvd (Fairfax) 415.456.3469, marinbike.org
Angel Island State Park
Take the entire family on this fairly flat ride free from cars, which offers panoramic views, picnic areas and a long history. How to get there: After taking the ferry or a private boat to the island, start at the visitors center and take the road to the left, following Perimeter Road counterclockwise around the island. The ride is almost five miles.
Bolinas Ridge Loop
This fairly easy ride takes place on paved roads, fire roads, and a bike path. The most challenging part of the trail is the climb to the top but the effort is rewarded with the redwoods as a backdrop. Begin the loop at the main picnic area at Samuel P. Taylor State Park. A paved bike path leads north from the picnic area through the woods along Lagunitas Creek. From there you’ll make a quick descent to Shafter Bridge and another short trail takes you back up to a wide dirt bike path. Next ride to the bridge over Sir Francis Drake Boulevard until reaching the picnic area, where you can enjoy a break in the cool shade of redwoods. How to get there: The park is 15 miles west of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The ride is about 10 miles long.
China Camp State Park
Although the well-marked trails may be crowed on weekends, the single-track ride offers breathtaking views of San Pablo Bay. Before heading out, feel confident with your skills, some parts tend to get technically challenging. How to get there: The area is four miles east of San Rafael on the shore of San Pablo Bay. From Highway 101, go east on North San Pedro Road for five miles until entering the park. The ride is 10.3 miles.
The fairly easy ride offers a challenge with the short uphill climb from Marshall Beach but the bulk of the trail is flat and manageable. How to get there: After entering Point Reyes National Seashore, turn right on Pierce Point towards Tomales Bay. Tomales Bay State Park will appear on the right. Turn right onto Marshall Beach Road. Drive up this road a short distance to the cattle guard and park. The ride is about seven-and-a-half miles.
Samuel P. Taylor Park
The Ridge Trail to Mt. Barnabe ride takes you from Samuel P. Taylor Park up a steep climb to the top of Mt. Barnabe. Cyclists get spectacular views of the wilderness, including black-tailed deer and native wildflowers along with a view of Mt. Diablo to the east, Mt. St. Helena to the north and Tomales Bay to the west. The moderately difficult trail takes you from a thick redwood forest to open grassland hills. How to get there: The park is 15 miles west of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The ride almost seven-and-a-half miles long.
San Geronimo Ridge
For a remote ride try the Pine Mountain Loop starting from Fairfax. After cycling up steep, rocky roads, you’ll be treated to a view of the Bolinas Ridge, Kent Lake and Tomales Bay. The first strenuous uphill grade starts right from the parking lot to the top of Pine Mountain. After a brief coast along Pine Mountain Ridge, it’s a quick drop down to Kent Lake then you’ll coast through a couple miles of flat road before ascending 800 feet up to San Geronimo Ridge. Be prepared, the San Geronimo Ridge Road is the rockiest section of the ride. How to get there: heading north on 101, take the San Anselmo exit onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. In downtown Fairfax, turn left on Claus, left on Broadway and right on Bolinas Road. Follow it into the Watershed Area, to the parking lot at the top of the ridge. The ride is almost 13 miles.
For a moderate to strenuous ride pedal north for a mile along the mostly level Gravity Car Grade Fire Road to the Old Railroad Grade Fire Road. Turn left, traversing uphill to the junction with the Hoo-Koo-E-Koo Fire Road. After almost one-and-a-half miles you’ll encounter a drop down Blithedale Ridge Road that brings you back to the Old Railroad Grade and a short stretch of paved road, which will lead back to the Gravity Car Grade and Mountain Home Inn. The ride has some technical spots over rocky terrain but the views of the bay make it worth it. How to get there: Start opposite the Mountain Home Inn parking area on Panoramic Highway, about two miles north of State Highway One. The ride is about six miles long.