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Old 04-09-2008, 11:56 AM   #1
Just_Jake OP
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A Day in the Marin Headlands (first report)

After the initial break-in and service of my new GS, I decided a day trip was in order. I decided the roads of near-by Marin County and its lustrous coast were a fitting destination.

Saturday night, I managed to end my watch at 10:00 PM, instead of my usual 1:00 (thanks, boss). I road from Sacramento to my mother's home in Novato and spent the night.

Mom's House

The next morning, I set off on my day ride.

Novato Blvd

I headed west, on Novato Blvd. I traveled through the meadows of northern Marin. The air was moist, and I got a little sprinkle here and there. I had no choice but to take it easy on these first few roads.

Point Reyes Station

I reached Point Reyes Station. The town was bustling with bicyclists and motorcyclists. I didn't take too many pics or hang around. Too much going on.

Oak lined street

I went further west along Oak lined roads...

P.R. Sea Shore

to the Sea Shore of Point Reyes. I elected not to ride to the beach at Point Reyes.

Into the Redwoods

Instead, I plunged south through the Redwoods of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Atop Fairfield

After passing through the town of Fairfax, I reached my target road: Fairfax-Bolinas Rd. This is why:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=13&iwloc=addr

I was too busy enjoying the road to stop for pictures. The road is too goaty for sportbikers, and too far of the beaten bath for most drivers. All I saw were cyclists, other motorrads (enduro's and adventure bikes only) and the parked cars of hikers. It was fantastic. The road has so many switchbacks and sharp turns, I never left 2nd. The engineer that designed the GS's extra tall 1st gear must have had a road like this in mind.


View of Fairfield

I paused at the top of a hill to take a quick pic of the view:

Alpine Lake 1

In the middle of Fairfax-Bolinas Rd is Alpine Lake. It is quiet and secluded.

Alpine Lake 2

From here, I found my way to HWY 1.

Hwy 1 at Muir Woods

The weather was still overcast, calm and cool.

Fort Cronkite

Down HWY 1, I found myself at Fort Cronkite, overlooking the bay. Fort Cronkite is now a state park, and a former Army Base which defended the bay from possible invaders. As a child, my grandmother used to take me here to play. I could spend hours among the old bunkers and gun turrets.

I jumped off the bike and hiked the 0.5 miles down to the Bonita Light House. It is a landmark which I had never visited.

Bonita LH

The light house is accessible through only by passing through this piece of rock/shoreline.

Locked out!

Once at the door, I found it Locked!

Thankfully, a State Park employee was behind me. He let me know he'd be opening the Light House door in a few minutes. I was glad I had made the stops that I had, otherwise I would have moved on.

Through the tunnel

Through the tunnel I went, to the Light House:

Bonita LH 2

LH v2

Access to the Light House, once you've passed through solid rock, is limited to a hundred year old, suspension bridge:

Photobucket

I left the Light House and headed out of this area of the Park.

To leave park, you have to drive through an old tunnel which is just wide enough for two Willies Jeeps. So, traffic is limited to one direction at a time.

Traffic Light V2

Leave it to the US Army to design this.

Headlands V2

I rode around to the north side of the bay: The Marin Headlands. From here I charged up the hills to this famous overlook:

View of GG Bridge

I never get tired of looking at this bay, and that bridge.

Coast one way

From the overlook, there is a one way road which winds around the coast.

Fort Cronkite w/ bike

Battlements and bunkers line the road. I stopped for this quick pic (an HD rider snapped it for me).

View to sea

As I left the Park, the weather cleared and the sun began to shine.

I moved on to the Panoramic Hwy which leads to Ridgecrest Blvd. Again, the roads were too much fun to stop and photograph:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=13&iwloc=addr

I found my self heading up Mt. Tamalpais (the birth place of Mountain Biking).

Mt Tam

The roads were perfect, but I found myself in the most traffic I had experience all day.

Hang glider

And these guys. They lined the ridges as I road past, but none were airborne.

View from Tam

The view of the bay from atop Mt Tam is wonderful. Too bad visibility was so so.

Back to the Redwoods

I plunged back into the redwood forests of Central Marin. The air was calm and cool among the giants.

Nicasio Church

I made a quick stop in the town of Nicasio and snapped a shot of their historic church.

Return to Marin meadows

After a few short miles, I found myself back in the meadows of northern Marin. And the ride was done.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:05 PM   #2
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Nice report, nice bike!
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:20 PM   #3
Dr. Greg
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Great pics!

Thanks for sharing! I recall the Point Reyes area quite well from my college days there in the early 70s...hope to get back out during trip in a month or so.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
Oni
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Beautiful. Love the lighthouse and bunker shots. Interesting bit of history.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
ski.dive
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great post!!!
how much is gas there today?
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ski.dive
great post!!!
how much is gas there today?
I filled up at Point Reyes station: $3.99 for 91 oct.

In Sacramento, it's about the same. Maybe a few cents lower.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thumb

Looks like a perfect daytrip, with beautiful surroundings! Great pics.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:13 PM   #8
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Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:28 PM   #9
MikJogg
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Real nice pics .Did the same round on bicycle 14 years ago,a dream...
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:18 AM   #10
Just_Jake OP
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The trip was also a chance for me to break in some new equipment, including a Zumo 550. I'll never leave home with out it. Didn't know what I was missing.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:49 AM   #11
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Great first report and great pics Congrats on the new ride too... love that color.. Thanks for your first ride report!
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:32 AM   #12
Popey
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Nice pics - we are definitely spoiled about here with so much great riding, and it don't get much better than west Marin.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:16 AM   #13
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Great pics I gotta get west sometime to see the Red Woods
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake0876
The trip was also a chance for me to break in some new equipment, including a Zumo 550. I'll never leave home with out it. Didn't know what I was missing.
Not to threadjack, Jake, but yes, a GPS makes one wonder how one got along without it. I bought some Garmin stock because I believed in this "sticky" quality of the technology. Unfortunately, the stock has dropped like a rock! When the rest of the world discovers what we motorcycle adventure tourers know, it will be back, I'm sure. No one with a GPS can go back to not having one.

PS: the Headlands are awesome, that's where Moto-KT and I hang!

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Old 04-10-2008, 12:51 PM   #15
Just_Jake OP
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PS: the Headlands are awesome, that's where Moto-KT and I hang!

Yep. My folks house is going to be my new jump-off point for costal rides. Next, I'll head north, and ride some of Sonoma County's back roads.
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