Friday, December 9, 2011
I’m leading a ride up Mt Tam again! The morning sun is a warm welcome to the contrast of cool air as we head up Miller Ave to Throckmorton Ave. The climb through the redwoods up Marion Ave to Edgewood is a gorgeous start to the days’ ride. The average grade is around 4.6% with some short steep pitches of 9-10%. The top of Sequoia Valley Rd opens up to magnificent views of south Marin!
The next 4+ miles on Panoramic Hwy takes us along the ridge as we weave our way through the residential neighborhoods. There is a short section of steep climbing with grades of 9-11% before you reach Mountain Home Inn. The road continues to twist and turn as we make the gentle climb under the canopy of pines and redwoods up to Pan Toll Rd.
There is a regroup at the Pantoll Campground; water and restrooms are available.
The climbing continues on Pan Toll Rd up to the Rock Springs parking lot. Take the time to enjoy and savor the great views along the way! The average grade on this 1.4 mile climb is at around 5.5%.
From the parking lot, we take E Ridgecrest Blvd up to the summit. It’s a 2.9 miles climb with an average grade of about 6%. There is one very short steep section after you see the Air Force Base sign; the grade kicks up to 9% and maxes out at around 15%!
Do stop to take in the stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding mountains; I can see the tips of the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge peeking through the clouds. WOW!
The road continues with a few short climbs and a couple of descents. The hiker/bike path at the bottom of the descent will lead you up to the summit. There are a couple of new picnic tables and a bench at the outlook area. The views are magnificent!
Remember the nice little downhills to the summit; well they’re all uphill now! We have to climb out before descending to Rock Springs. At the parking lot, there is a huge production crew with trailers and tents; looks like they’re here to film a commercial.
The rollers along W Ridgecrest Blvd provide us with more spectacular views; you can see Stinson Beach and the vastness of the Pacific Ocean! The section of road through the redwoods towards Bolinas Fairfax Rd is completely wet and slippery. There is a bright red BMW at the top of Ridgecrest; the road was sprayed with water for the car commercial!
We descend Bolinas Fairfax Rd to Alpine Dam; the climbing continues followed by a few downhills in between. During last stretch up to Pine Mountain; take a second to look to your right and see all the work you’ve achieved to get up here!
There is a coffee/snack stop in Fairfax at the Fat Angel Bakery. We follow the bike route out of town to Larkspur and take Chapman Dr back to Camino Alto and Miller.
Thanks to everyone for joining me up Tam; it was yet another fabulous day of riding with other club members!
8 people in attendance with 1 tandem
41 miles with 4364′ of elevation gain
Weather: WONDERFUL! Sunny, cool and breezy. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to low 60’s
Follow this route sheet for today’s ride: