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Old 08-08-13, 12:15 PM   #1
freighttraininguphill
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First road ride on Mt. Tam (pics & video)

The last time I was on Mt. Tamalpais was twenty years ago, when I went down there a few times with my Specialized HardRock mtb. I used to climb on pavement from Mill Valley to the dirt fire roads, then take those the rest of the way to the summit. I didn't know about the much more scenic road climb.

Last weekend I took my riding partner down to San Rafael so he could do the Mt. Tam Double 200-mile ride. I decided to do an out-and-back on Mt. Tam. I used the information found here to plan my route. Rallison's website was a big help for my Mix Canyon ride last year, so I knew it wouldn't let me down this time. I was right.

http://www.strava.com/activities/71970385
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/352907096

I looked at maps online to find the way to Fairfax, which involved a nice short steep climb and descent. When I got to Fairfax, I saw this five-seater mountain tandem in front of Fairfax Cyclery, so I had to take a pic.


five-seater mountain tandem at Fairfax Cyclery by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

After that I cut over to Broadway and turned right on Bolinas Road, which turns into Fairfax-Bolinas Road a few miles later. After a bit of climbing and descending I arrived at Alpine Dam.


view from top of Alpine Dam (Bolinas Road) by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

view from top of Alpine Dam (Bolinas Road) by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

After crossing the dam, I began the very scenic climb up to Ridgecrest Blvd. The bird calls here lasted much longer than they do on most of my rides, which was really nice. The GoPro picked that up well, so I included those clips in the video.

Shortly after turning onto Ridgecrest, I encountered wet roads, fog and beautiful redwoods. It was so damp here that the moisture came down off the trees like rain. It can be heard hitting my helmet-mounted GoPro camera in the video. Here's a couple pictures of that area. Since I don't like stopping on climbs, I took these on the descent.


damp redwood area on Mt. Tam by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

damp redwood area on Mt. Tam by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

After a short while the trees ended and I reached the edge of the fog. The temperatures warmed back up to comfortable again, and it was cool riding in and out of the fog. The GoPro picked that up well, so I included a lot of that footage in the video.

The final steep grunt up to the summit parking lot reminded me a little of the Mt. Diablo Summit Wall. I think I went about as slow here too! Here's a couple pics from the summit.


view from Mt. Tam summit by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

view from Mt. Tam summit by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

On the way back down I took more pictures. More are available on my Flickr page.


view from Mt. Tamalpais by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

view from Mt. Tamalpais by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

Due to the 10 image limit here, I can only include one more. I have many more on my Flickr page here.


curvy part of Bolinas Road by freighttraininguphill, on Flickr

I am very impressed with the quality of the camera in my new Samsung Galaxy S4. I took all the photos you see here with my phone. It blows away the old Casio digital camera I used to carry!

Here's the video. Don't be put off by the crappy quality of the thumbnail. The actual video looks much better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftXsbEKmeo
[video=youtube;IftXsbEKmeo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IftXsbEKmeo[/video]
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Old 08-09-13, 05:26 AM   #2
Dalai
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Thanks for posting. This ride is on my list whilst in San Francisco - only three weeks to go!
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