January 17, 2014

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Ride Friday: Pt Reyes

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted any of the ride routes I’ve been on. Not all of them are easy to remember the exact routes, so I won’t share misinformation with you. However this route was fairly easy to map out (and I had made notes!). This particular ride I originally took back on a sunny October morning with Panda in the slot.

General Area: Point Reyes and Mt Tamalpais
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Ride Length: ~3 hours

Leg 1 is from San Francisco up 101 North. This isn’t anything to write home about, it’s just the freeway. However you’ll exit onto Lucas Valley Rd and this is where the fun begins. LVR is a nice road to get started on for the day, it’s got some decent turns, but most of it is rolling/wandering country road. The major downside to LVR is that there seems to be a fair amount of sluggish cage traffic. Once you turn onto Point Reyes Petaluma Rd, the speeds go up quite a bit. This means a speedy entrance into Pt Reyes Station for lunch!

After lunch is Leg 2, down Highway 1. Hwy 1 is nice, everyone knows this. It has some lovely views along with being windy enough to be interesting. You could stay on Hwy 1 all the way down to 101, however the Stinson Beach area almost ALWAYS sucks traffic-wise. I generally try to avoid Stinson Beach on any nice day because it just turns Hwy 1 into a parking lot. On this route, we opted to turn left off of Hwy 1 onto a little side road named “Fairfax — Bolinas Rd”. This is a tiny little side shoot that is really easy to miss, so easy to miss that Panda slowed & turned where as I kept going. Sometimes I think she’s purposefully trying to lose me.

This section is why I marked the difficulty as “Moderate”. The rest of the ride is easy, however this is a bunch of very twisty, kinda-not-really-two-lane road. It is a lot of fun, but if you happen to be riding a big R1100RTP, it tends to be slow going. Oh, and watching for oncoming traffic. However, once you get to the top (Ridgecrest), it’s an AMAZING view. You are literally on the very top of the ridge line that divides the coastals from the inland hills. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush chasing Panda that I didn’t get a chance to stop and take pictures — next time.

After this, you’re just wandering down the Mt Tam Park and back towards San Francisco. If you wanted to, one could easily stop in the Marin Headlands and take some pictures, but that’d be terribly touristy… and we’re motorcyclists damn it.