Sunday, March 16, 2014

Loaded mini-tour to the Headlands

Dan recently got a new randoneuring/light touring bike and we headed out to the Marin headlands for its inaugural tour. Our destination: a state park hike-in campground in the Marin headlands, about 20 miles north of home.
Dan heading down our steep street on his new bike. First loaded trip!
We headed our from home and rode across the city to the golden gate bridge. First up-- the plunge down our steep street, a nice test of the brakes on Dan's new bike!
Mandatory stop at the fruit stand to pick up some treats for the trip
We headed across town and over the Golden Gate bridge and through Sausalito, turning off on Tennessee Valley Road, where we made a stop at the excellent fruit stand to stock up on some food for lunch. I had anticipated chilly weather when we planned the trip a few weeks ago, but it was 70 degrees and sunny!
Heading out to Tennessee Valley beach for lunch
We decided to head out to the beach for lunch, then backtrack to the hike/bike in campground. The trail/fire road out the beach had fun rollers, and was largely manageable on the loaded road bike.
Lunch at the beach. I didn't get any good beach photos
Dan jams it up the steep hill climbing out from the beach. I think I walked this one (but I have fewer gears than Dan, which is somewhat ironic
Well, I did have to walk up one of the hills on the climb back out of the beach. Dan cleared the hill!! .
Gear exploded from our panniers once we arrived at the campsite
We arrived at the camp site after a fun ride in on a somewhat lumpy dirt trail. Where did all of that gear come from? After additional snacking, we took a little nap in the tent. We were the only ones at the site and it was very quiet there, all set back in the hills. It felt like we were a million miles away from home in the noisy city.
Incredible full moon rise over our campground
More people arrived, and Dan headed out for a short trail run. Then, we headed out by bike to the nearby town to pick up some water, since the campground was dry and we needed a little more water than we had brought on the bikes on the trip out. We also picked up some coffee for the next morning. After a yummy dinner, we retired to the tent just as the moon was rising. It was full and very very bright! I slept with earplugs (due to presence of large group in the site next to us) but Dan reports that he heard coyotes howling through the night! Super cool! I was actually quite chilly during the night, having brought the wrong sleeping bag, but I did manage to sleep and it was generally a peaceful night
Fog is burning off!
It was pretty foggy when we woke up and I enjoyed my warm coffee, which I had stored in a thermos overnight. Dan went out for another trail run and I read my book some more, then we packed up and headed for home.
Heading back home on the Sausalito bike path
The ride home went very smoothly, and I enjoyed Dan's mellow pace, the result of his hard two hour trail run. We made our way up the climb out of Sausalito, pausing at Fort Baker for a photo, then continuing up the winding climb to the bridge pathway.

Dan and the bikes pose at Fort Baker
And then it was across the Golden Gate bridge -super cold and windy, as it was in a pocket of fog- and through the city and home.
Massive fog on the bridge- it was a chilly and windy ride back across to the city,
What a great weekend! I loved rolling out from home on the bike and riding to our destination and the loaded aspect worked out just fine (my light load-- about 25 pounds- was much easier to handle than the load I carried on this tour). We are already planning our next trip, perhaps to Samuel B Taylor park or the Half Moon Bay area.


ladyfleur said...

I love the transition you show from urban to rural in so few miles, and the fog photos are sublime.

I'd be tempted to try it if it weren't for all the steep climbs and the fact that I've become a real priss about overnight accommodations. :)

NadiaMac said...

You should totally try it. there's nothing particularly steep on this route except for the short grunt of a climb out of sausalito, and that would be no trouble at all with touring gears. We went fairly lean on the amenities (no stove, for example), but there was a pretty large group in the site next to ours who also road in by bike and they had tons of yummies and gear, all dragged in by bike. One guy even pulled a trailer

Christine said...

Stunning photos that clearly captured your wonderful trip. As usual, I'm jealous

NadiaMac said...

Thanks christine! The trip was fun :)