Best Bike Ride - 2005
Round Trip From San Francisco to Stinson Beach to Mill Valley
Sometimes simplest is best, and the loop that goes from the city, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and out to the coast before swooping through Stinson Beach and up the near-five-mile climb to West Ridgecrest Boulevard and back is our beautiful-bike-ride-studded region's best. This four-hour journey feels like a tour of the globe. The steady, eucalyptus-shaded climb up Highway 1 toward the Panoramic Highway evokes the rain-forest highways of Costa Rica. There's a moment of breathlessness as the Pacific Ocean suddenly appears not long before the brisk descent into Stinson Beach. The climb up five miles, later, from Bolinas Lagoon on Bolinas-Fairfax Road, unfolds like a postcard version of a Pyrenean stage of the Tour de France. Descend into Mill Valley along the paved railroad bed heading toward Sausalito, climb up to the Golden Gate Bridge, and head back home through the Presidio.