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Photo courtesy of Tom Dempsey.

Tuesday, October 11

Scenic bike rides

Riding your bike to get to Point A to Point B doesn't have to be boring. Here are a few scenic routes to get you inspired.

1. North of San Francisco to Mt. Tamalpais
The birthplace of mountain biking, Mt. Tamalpais and the surrounding areas in Marin County, California offers magnificent views. The peak at 2,571 foot (784 m) overlooks the azure San Francisco Bay. 

'Mount Tam' short for Tamalpais can be reached from the new bike path that guides cyclists over the Golden Gate, through Sausalito and Mill Valley into Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Continue climbing the Panoramic Highway to Trojan Point to fully witness the great Pacific. 

The journey to Sausalito via the Golden Gate Bridge offers postcard worthy scenery. For an excellent photo opportunity, look over to the east to see the San Francisco skyline. A little coffee break can be taken at any of the numerous cafes in Mill Valley before the ascend to Mount Tam. The last restroom stop is at the Park Ranger Station. This 43 mile biking expedition is for the more advanced cylist.

2. San Juan Islands in Washington State
Another beautiful scenic bicycle route is on San Juan Island. Upon departing the ferry from Friday Harbor, one can immediately go on a bike ride on a quiet road with fairly light traffic and views of Turn Island, Jackson Beach, and Griffin Bay. It's a short easy ride, and can be combined with a trek to Lime Kiln State Park to view the orcas, which is why it's called the 'Whale Watching Park'. 

For those wanting a greater challenge which offers even more spectacular view, the Roche Harbor route through numerous farms and Lime Kiln State Park is a 28 mile trek. You'll see alpacas at the Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm and the purple wonders of Pelindaba Lavendar Farm.
Bicycling Magazine - Mount Tamalpais

REI - Turn Point Pear Point Loop

Island Bicycles - Roche Harbor Lime Kiln Route

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