While visiting family in San Anselmo, we had a chance to get up Mt. Tam for a quick morning ride.
Marin lays claim to the birthplace of mountain biking and Mt. Tamalpais was one of the spots where it all began. Sadly, today there are not really any trails on Mt. Tam that can be ridden legally. It’s fire road or paved road only.
We started in downtown San Anselmo right by the Yoda statue. Yep, that Yoda… From there a short couple of blocks over to Lagunitas Rd. and then up through Natalie Coffin Park. After bearing around the north/west side of Phoenix Lake you pick up the Eldridge Grade road. It takes you all the way up. Near the top the double track roughens up and becomes a bit more interesting. Lots of nice vistas and deep shade in dark patches of redwood along the way. Probably about an hour and a half of pedalling – 2000 feet or more in elevation gain.
At the top you’re rewarded with huge views of San Francisco Bay, the surrounding cities and the Pacific coastline. For us tourists it was worth a snapshot or two!
The down leg started with a cruise across the paved Ridgecrest Blvd. to where it meets Lagunitas – Rock Spring Rd. It’s a rolling dirt road at the top and ends up bombing down – steeply in spots – to Lake Lagunitas and the picnic area there. Then it was a cut-through on the Filter Plant Rd. to Fish Grade and on down to Phoenix Lake again.