Stinson Beach Ride Report

On Saturday, August 26th, Rico and Erik led a group of nine Spokers on a brisk ride over Mt. Tamalpais, down to Stinson Beach and back to San Francisco. In addition to the two leaders, others on the ride included Jerome, Jeremy, Jim, Bart, Ray, Les, and me, Patrick. We met at the Velo Rouge Cafe (http://velorougecafe.com) on Stanyan. We pass by this quaint neighborhood hangout on the Jersey Ride. I had never been there before, but since my velo is rouge, I feel a certain kinship with the place. (wink)

Velo Rouge Cafe

We hit the road about 9:30 under foggy skies, the first of several micro-climates we would encounter on the trip. Over the bridge and down to Sausalito. After passing the main touristy area, we heard a police siren behind us. The cop had nabbed Jim for running a red light. Later, Jim provided this information from a cycling website to help all of us when riding in that part of Marin: “The Sausalito cops are not only citing bike riders for running red lights, but officers will also be citing cyclists who do not ride in a designated bike lane, where bike lanes are provided.” (See below for more.)

While waiting, we were greeted by Roger who was on his way to a sailing party with co-workers. I think he would rather have been cycling with us, though.

We stopped in Mill Valley for refueling at some of the local coffeehouses, and then started our trek up, up, up Mt. Tam. Fog gave way to sun, but near the top at Pan Toll Road, the fog grew heavy and was dripping from the trees. After a brief stop there, we made the 3-4 mile descent down to the beach. These types of long, curvy descents are always a bit “white-knuckling” for me. Fortunately, traffic was light and the road was dry and in good condition. I often ask for advice on downhills, and am always open to hearing tips from others. I know a big part of it is experience. I only started cycling outdoors last November, and am feeling more confident on every long, steep downhill I encounter. Baby steps!

We bought lunch at the local grocery store and rode over to the picnic area near the beach. Wind was light but it was fairly cool, so we didn’t stay too long. Some went for coffee while some of us started up the 3-4 mile ascent back to Pan Toll Road. I believe Jerome said that according to his GPS the climbing was the same as the Tour of Napa last Saturday.

On the way back, we went a different route: Down Panoramic Highway to Highway 1. More wild descent, but while this one was not as steep, there was more traffic. From there it was back to the bike trail and into downtown Sausalito, always fun times dodging double-parked cars and jaywalking tourists in downtown Sausalito. Where are the cops now?!

Up and over the bridge and back toward Velo Rouge where the gang disbanded. Thanks again to Rico and Erik for leading the way. It was a great ride with everyone pretty much staying together the entire time.

PS: Jim provides a helpful link about bicycling citations from the Marin County Bike Coaltion at:
http://www.marinbike.org/Events/MGH/CitationRules.shtml.
And check out this comment that was posted on a bike forum: “Better yet 3 month’s ago I was trackstanding at a light in Sausalito, light turned green and I proceeded thru. Cop pull’s me and my buddy over, I ask him what’s the problem we stopped, he said we did not because we did not put a foot down. Tried to fight it in court to no avail, BTW there’s nothing in the CVC that say’s a cyclist has to put a foot down to stop. So I get to go to Bike school for two hours in Marin next month to get my $333 ticket reduced to $50.

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