POINT REYES LOOP
Total Elevation: 3,800 feet
The many back roads of West Marin County offer up almost limitless route choices and accommodate all types of riding preferences. On this ride you’ll have a chance to ride over and along the two largest ridges that define Marin’s western geography, with each straddling a side of the famous San Andreas earthquake fault. The ride combines a fairly easy, rolling hill beginning with a couple of classic Marin climbs for a challenging ending. You’ll get outstanding views of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore and the Golden Gate National Recreation Areas.
Our ride begins with an hour ambling through the back streets of various Ross Valley towns, and then a short climb up White’s Hill (a local classic) brings us to the San Geronimo Valley where we first encounter the rural parts of Marin County and a chance to get into some serious pace-lining. At the golf course turn right for another short climb that leads down to scenic Nicasio and another opportunity to dial in some fast inline riding as we go around the large reservoir. At the stop sign make a left onto the Pt. Reyes - Petaluma road. Hour two ends with our arrival in Pt. Reyes Station, a favorite stopping point for cyclists in need of some serious refueling.Stop in at the Bovine Bakery or any number of other local eateries, deli’s and espresso bars that are also are to be found here in the largest town in the area (pop. 700).
Leaving Point Reyes Station, you will head south on the famous Rt 1, Shoreline Highway, astride the San Andreas fault. A quarter mile past the foot of the last sweeping descent (through a eucalyptus grove) we’ll continue straight to the Bolinas/Stinson Beach lagoon. The road is now flat and fun for over 4.1 miles to the town of Stinson Beach. Once you hit Stinson, grab some water at the basketball court, the prepare for another create 3.6 miles climb up to Pantol. Be sure to turn right out of Stinson Beach, lest you will go straight along Highway 1 all the way to Muir Beach (See Muir Loop for this route). After climbing to the top of the saddle, it's all down hill back to Mill Valley. Stay straight until 4 Corners, then go all the way down to Miller Ave. Turn left and you will be back in Mill Valley in about 10 minutes. And don't forget, on a clear day, you will likely see the Farollon islands far offshore.