A few weekends ago I joined a group of 28 excited cyclists on a bike trip up north. My ambitious friend Anya began planning this trip weeks in advance and our numbers grew and grew until the date. We started in San Francisco and traveled about 35 miles to Samuel P Taylor State Park. The way was filled with flat tires, long lunches and water breaks, and some beautiful views over the Golden Gate Bridge and in the woods.

photo by Evan

We arrived at Samuel P shortly before dark and crafted a giant feast of calzones for everyone. The rest of the night was spent playing games around the fire and wandering into the woods on boozy night hikes. Everyone was so in the moment that we don’t appear to have many photos of the night’s events. Most of us drifted off to bed quite early after the day’s exertion.

In the morning we biked over to Pt Reyes Station to have breakfast at the Bovine Bakery and then biked the 55 miles home on Highway One. This can be quite a nerve wracking highway, as there isn’t a large shoulder for bikes and there is often fog, but we didn’t have any serious  incidents. And the beautiful views make it worth it!

After having a nice picnic at Muir Beach, we crossed back over the bridge and into San Francisco, feeling rather triumphant at our weekend doings.

photo by Adam Gray

Have you ever had one of these short weekend trips that stick with you? The combination of people, the sights seen, and the things you did that you weren’t sure you could make everything feel so special. The short length of these trips seem to make them even more magical and I find myself humming all of the songs we sung , telling all of our jokes, and maybe even wearing my spandex biking pants around a little unnecessarily for the next week or so afterwards. This for me summarizes why I need to pack my bags (er, panniers) and get out of town sometimes.

In any case I can recommend this bike route to anyone looking to see some classic Northern California beauty, including our gorgeous coastal cliffs and redwoods. Here is a rough map of the route we took…

courtesy of google maps

Happy cycling! And please, if you have any questions about this trip or other routes in Northern California, please don’t hesitate to ask the travelettes!

post by Jackie Clark