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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-15-07, 12:48 AM   #1
Thigh Master
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Mt. Tam anyone?

Have any of you ridden Mt. Tam (SF bay area) on your tandem? If so - I'd love to try it this weekend but I'm not finding clear route info on the web. Any info would help (parking, mileage, elevation gain, highlights, etc.)
Thanks.
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Old 06-15-07, 06:22 AM   #2
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If I were going to be in town I woould ride with you

relatively easy way:

Park in Sausalito near the 101/1 exit. Take 1 until you see signs pointing up to Tam When you get to Pan Toll, keep going to Ridgecrest. That is one wild ride down, spectacular view of Pacific on the west and Bay on the east.

Take Fairfax Bolinas Rd down to Alpine dam then on to the People Republic of Fairfax.

If you look on routeslip.com you should find far better directions than I can give at 6am.

If you can do it next saturday, the 23 of June, I'll lead.

if it remains hot, 1 may be at a dead standstill with cars wanting to go to Stinson an the other beaches. It would make the route pretty much impassable.
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Old 06-15-07, 07:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Have any of you ridden Mt. Tam (SF bay area) on your tandem? If so - I'd love to try it this weekend but I'm not finding clear route info on the web. Any info would help (parking, mileage, elevation gain, highlights, etc.)
Thanks.
We would like to do it as well. Have not so far...CFBlue may be right about traffic. As far as a route, check www.motionbased.com. I suspect there are routes with elevation and etc. However, depending on the elevation, grade and length of climbs, it may be better on road bikes. For example, climbing up skyline via OLH, Kings Mountain and Highway 9 are tough and grinding on a tandem.
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Old 06-15-07, 08:49 AM   #4
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Here is a motionbased link http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/1655484

It looks like the average grade is 7.2% which is similar to OLH. If you have not done it, take the tandem up OLH for a test run. I would suggest descending Kings Mountain versus 84.
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Old 06-15-07, 08:59 AM   #5
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We have ridden Tam quite A bit. We usually start in Fairfax ride up Bolinas Fairfac Rd to Ridegcrest, avoid a lot of traffic that way. From there we turn left on Ridgecrest or contine on Bolinas fairfax Rd down to 101. Either way is a great ride with spectacular views.
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Old 06-15-07, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Have any of you ridden Mt. Tam (SF bay area) on your tandem? If so - I'd love to try it this weekend but I'm not finding clear route info on the web. Any info would help (parking, mileage, elevation gain, highlights, etc.)
Thanks.
About four weeks ago we rode up. We parked at the Stinson beach parking lot, which is free (at least it was 4 weeks ago), but fills up early (we arrived at around 10am and pretty much got the last spot. Rode along 1 (north) until we reached the entrance to the state park (it's not obvious, no signs or anything, just a barrier out of a thick metal tube and I think it was Farifax Bolinas Rd. map). Pretty much from there on it goes continuously uphill until the north entrance (nice views along the way and very little traffic). Then we rode along West Ridgecrest BLVD (some traffic) then East Ridgecrest Blvd (some traffic) to the top. Ridgecrest Blvd. goes up and down and is most beautiful.
On the top of Mt. Tamalpais the is a snack vendor and bathrooms. Take your camera (and a lock for your bike) and take your time to walk the footpath to or around the top for some spectacular views of SF and the bay.
On the way back we took East Ridgecrest Blvd, than Pantoll Rd (pretty much continuous downhill), then Panoramic Hwy (continuous downhill and more traffic). Once you reach 1 the parking lot is just a few 100 meters to the right.
I think the book that we got this route from gave a total elevation gain of 2800ft and maybe 25 miles distance.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/471/fi...isBrochure.pdf

Hope this helps. Have a nice ride!
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Old 06-15-07, 11:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hermes
Here is a motionbased link http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/1655484

It looks like the average grade is 7.2% which is similar to OLH. If you have not done it, take the tandem up OLH for a test run. I would suggest descending Kings Mountain versus 84.
Ugh. That's not in our league right now - the grind is a little long. Love that LINK! WOW!
Thanks for the beta everybody. Looks like we'll be loking for something with a tad less elevation gain - in the shade (OLH to 84 perhaps).
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Old 06-15-07, 02:31 PM   #8
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We rode our tandem up Mt. Tam from Fairfax as part of the Mt. Tam Double a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful, highly enjoyable ride that we would definitely recommend. There are a few steep spots, but they are very short sections.
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Old 07-07-07, 02:11 AM   #9
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Mt. Tam is about 2600 ft. elevation I believe, which would make it comparable to taking rt. 9 from San Jose to the Saratoga Gap at Skyline. That's about a 6% grade, pretty steady, with enough shoulder to ride safely, but lotsa cars unless you go early or weekdays outside commute hours.

I've done Mt. Diablo and Mt. Hamilton on my solo bike. Diablo's around 3,600 ft. as I recall, and I think Hamilton (east of San Jose, topped by Lick Observatory). Spectacular views from both but harder grinds I'd guess. Diablo gets steeper toward the top, which can suck the air outa your lungs. Hamilton includes a downhill midway that loses all that kinetic energy you stored up.

For easier climbs on the Peninsula, Rt. 92 to Skyline is only 900 ft. and an easy 6% or so, and mostly has an OK shoulder, but jampacked with cars on nice weekends unless you go really early or late when most of the traffic is returning from Half Moon Bay. Next easiest climb I think is 84 to Skyline--about 1,300 ft. and a steady 6% and an OK shoulder most of the way, with parts shaded. Descending you can keep up with cars so the shoulder doesn't matter. Just don't forget to use your drag brake.

Another pretty easy destination would be to go to Foothill Park in Palo Alto, on Page Mill. There's a route many bikies use that avoids Page Mill except for the last mile. Arastradero Rd. to Purissima to I think Elena then Black Mt. Look at it on a map. Nothing too steep there, should take you under an hour.

Then when you're ready you can drive up to the Sonoma Coast north of Russian River and tackle Timber Cove Road to the local skyline. Not too high--maybe 900 ft.? But it's a posted 18% grade all the way. I've done it on my solo bike. I wouldn't dare try it on a tandem (esp. since my wife mandates saying on flat ground), but if anyone in this forum wants a mongo challenge this is one of them fer sure. The skyline road descends to a steel grate bridge and another 18% grade or close too it, eventually takes you back to Rt. 1 for a nice loop. About 3-4 hrs. Truly beautiful if you can see through the sweat.
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