Marin County

Rodrigo Garcia and I met at the Mill Valley Community Center parking lot and rode up to Scout Hall where the 4K for Cancer group was staying. Upon arriving we asked if anyone wanted to go for a 40 mile tour of Marin Co. Only Peter Bai was willing to go with us.

It was cool if not cold. I wasn’t prepared for it expecting to ride in 90 degree weather each day. I should have remembered Mark Twain stating “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Thankfully, I had brought along my base layer jacket which I would wear.

(Or maybe Mark Twain didn’t say it. See SanFranciscoHistory.)

We rolled through the communities of Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Ross, and Fairfax; Rodrigo being the perfect host pointing out tidbits of information. When we turned to ride up to Alpine Dam we all stopped and removed the outer wear we had on. Just a few miles north made all the difference in temperature. Thankfully, Peter had a bag on the back of his bike where he could stow my jacket.

I had rented a Trek 1.2 from Summit Bikes in San Rafael. It wasn’t set
up for climbing, at least for my climbing, and I soon knew it. I followed
Rodrigo’s wheel and at times it seems he was pedaling twice as fast
although we were going the same speed. He was spinning. I was mashing.

It was a very relaxing climb. The weather was perfect. The views were
gorgeous. And the company was superb! And we stopped to take pictures.
It really was a great day on the bike.

Peter Bai, Photographer

After having ridden about 25 miles Peter asked how far we were planning to ride. I told him 40 miles and he said “I thought you said four miles.” We laughed at him. A lot. He explained that he thought it would be four that turned into 10 so he never said a word. Now he was on the hook for 40.

The Pacific Ocean is under all that fog
After Alpine Dam we climbed up to Mt. Tam (Tamalpais) and that wasn’t so bad. Until we reached the summit or plateau. Then began a stretch known as the “Seven Sisters” and even Rodrigo thought there were more hills than seven. It was gorgeous here but the road dropped in maniac undulations, each climb taking a bigger toll on me.

To our right was the Pacific Ocean but all we could see were clouds of
fog below us. It was like flying above the clouds. Reaching the main intersection we could
continue to Mt. Tam State Park or start our descent. Here Peter would extract
his revenge. When Rodrigo asked if we should descend or go to the
State Park, Peter said “let’s ride.”

Peter Bai

I was hoping the road was simply a summit road but it wasn’t. More climbing. It featured some crazy sections of 18% grade. We were rewarded with a view of San Francisco – covered by fog. Couldn’t see a thing other than the tower on Pacific Heights sticking through the clouds.

We turned and headed back, mindful that we also had some screaming descents on the way to the park. We had to climb out of here before descending.

Once back to the intersection where it was still warm, we stopped and followed Rodrigo’s direction to put our warm clothes back on. That was backwards in that usually most mountains are cool and the valleys are warm, Mt. Tam was warm because it was above the clouds and fog. Once we started the descent it got cold. The closer we got to Mill Valley the colder it got. The winds blew in from off the ocean making handling the bikes tricky.

Overlooking Mill Valley
I was disappointed I couldn’t go faster on that Trek – but I made it. Back at Scout Hall, we celebrated by going to In-N-Out Burger – a perfect way to end the day.

Verified by MonsterInsights