Mountain Biking and Road Cycling
Enjoy Road Biking in Marin…
Marin is crisscrossed by hundreds of miles cyclist-friendly roads and multi-use pathways. Simply following the street markers will put you on the path to Marin’s charming towns and meeting places. You’ll find hillsides offering captivating views of the surrounding woodlands, waterways, and distant cityscapes.
Marin County's Mount Tamalpais (Mt. Tam) is the birthplace of mountain biking. In the early 1970s Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Otis Guy and Charlie Kelly began refurbishing old balloon tire bicycles from the 1930s and 40s to use for riding off-road. Between 1977 and 1978 Joe built 10 frames which were the first successful frames designed and built for use as mountain bikes; he called them "Breezers."
Mountain biking has become a huge sport, and Marin County is ringed with mountain bicycle trails. Those who enjoy the sport can travel through natural wild lands including the Mt. Tam woodlands, coastal bluffs at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, single track trails overlooking San Pablo Bay at China Camp State Park, and ridgeline trails on Mt. Burdell in Novato. Bikers can even tour historic Angel Island on trails that circle the island. The abundant variety of trees, wildflowers, grasslands, ridgelines, and rugged coastline make Marin's mountain bike trails a sought-after experience.
Many popular cycling routes begin in Fairfax, a well-known meeting point for a 17-mile climb up the 2,500-foot Mount Tam (Mount Tamalpais). The challenging ascent takes riders through woodlands before connecting with a ridgeline road with stunning views of the Pacific and eventually a magnificent view of the San Francisco skyline. Fairfax is also the gateway to the rolling hills of rural West Marin. Among the major destinations are Pt. Reyes (a 50-mile round trip) and Tomales, from which riders often take the coast highway to Pt. Reyes before making their way back to Fairfax.
If you’re visiting Marin from San Francisco, drive or cycle north across the Golden Gate Bridge and continue through Sausalito to Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Ross, San Anselmo, and finally to Fairfax. Return to the city by bike or on the Larkspur ferry (check the schedule before heading out).