Sunday, October 23, 2011

Marin Headlands cycling ramble

After a cycling fail yesterday, I was ready to ride this morning. We're in our summer weather now in the Bay area, and today was a wonderful warm, clear morning. Dan and I headed out to the Marin Headlands for a cycling ramble.

(Golden Gate bridge on clear morning: views of Alcatraz, SF and even Diablo!)

We started with the short climb up McCullough, then right on Conzelman up to the top of Hawk Hill where I snapped this picture. The view was gorgeously clear, but the sun was in our faces so the photo is a bit underwhelming.

I had been looking forward to going down the backside of Hawk Hill (gorgeous descent, really fun), but there was a "road closed to cyclists" sign and dire warnings of gravel in the roads. Dan blithely ignored the signs and headed down the road, but I am more law abiding so I went back the (legal) way I had come. McCullough is freshly paved and it was fun to descend.

(view on McCullough descent)

I rode to the base of the gravel section and rode up a ways and it was really not that bad. Dan reports that the descent itself is fully paved; it is the short portion from the cut-off from Bonita Point that is unpaved.

We headed towards Rodeo Beach to climb Bunker Road. This is paved until a gate, then mostly paved with a few bits of dirt and gravel. Completely managable on a road bike though.

We rode up to the Bunker and enjoyed the wonderful views over the ocean and Rodeo Beach.

(Dan rides out of one of the tunnels in the bunker)

(view over Rodeo Beach. We could see all the way to Montara Mt)

The descent down the coastal trail (bike legal fireroad) is really fun. It's super steep and it feels like you could shoot right off of the trail over the cliff into the sea if you aren't careful. I was very careful, especially since there were hikers with kids and dogs coming up the trail and I didn't want to freak anyone out.

Then, back to McCullough for another lap. Unfortunately, I lost the will to climb about half-way up when Dan passed me going down, and I turned and followed him down to the base. I really need to work on my cycling endurance-- I have about an hour and half of climbing rides in me right now, then I just tank. Probably it would help if I rode more than once or twice a week!

(Dan at the top of Conzelman)

All in all, a nice little ride on a fantastic warm "summer" day.


djconnel said...

Nice blog post!!! What a wonderful day to be riding! Memories of freezing in July are fading.

Anonymous said...

Nice photos. I knew it would be pretty up in Marin last weekend. I wonder if it will hold out until next weekend.

NadiaMac said...

thanks! Here's hoping that it's nice again next weekend as well