The Bay Area’s Best Bike Ride
The best Bay Area bike ride, according to one expert
The biggest problem with getting outside in the Bay Area? Being spoiled for choice. We’re trimming that process by getting the goods straight from the experts. This week: Nicholaus Slone of Spurcycle on his top Bay Area ride.
Everything starts for me with a harried ride over the Golden Gate Bridge. Lots of tourists and a bit of chaos is a given — hence our bell. Breathe deep to stay relaxed and friendly.
Then I try to get out into some quiet. I like climbing Mount Tam via Old Railroad Grade. It’s a great dirt road — doable on a 23c tire but nicer on a 28c or ’cross tire — with some fantastic views and a cool history.
From there, it’s a brief but ripping descent down to Pan Toll Ranger Station before dropping by Stinson Beach for a quick snack. The Parkside Cafe has some seriously tasty food.
Once I get rolling again, there’s a quick shoreline ride that regularly includes a tailwind before a right-hand turn onto Fairfax-Bolinas (Bofax) Road. The grade is just right: steep and long enough to feel like you’re working hard but not so steep as to be a total grind. It’s a mortal’s version of an epic Tour de France country road.
Then you’ll come to a junction: you can go left down to Alpine Dam and cruise home from Fairfax, or enjoy the incredibly scenic ridge known as Seven Sisters (affectionately referred to by riders as the Seven Bitches).
From there it’s back down to Pan Toll again and then another ripping ride out to Mill Valley, through Sausalito (and our office), finally to return back over GGB and home. Then I eat everything in sight.
To which we add:
It reportedly rings three times longer than its competition, which we cannot prove but do not disbelieve. Available in two finishes (black and raw metal), made in the U.S.A, and capable of fitting nearly all bikes.
It’s the best $39 you’ll spend all month.
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