Belmont to Samuel P Taylor State Park CA

Me and my wife Samantha were in need of a quick get-a-way so we decided to do some bay area bike camping.  This trip starts at the local Caltrain station in San Carlos, but you can set out on this trip from anywhere in the bay area, and ends at Samuel P Taylor State Park (Brochure).

San Carlos Caltrain

San Carlos Caltrain

With two dedicated bike cars there is plenty of room for the bikes and gear. The riding starts at the 4th and King Caltrain station in San Francisco. The ride starts out flat and cruise down the embarcadero. You get to ride underneath the Bay Bridge and past the Ferry Building. If you want to add another mode of transportation you can take the Ferry to Sausalito. However, you would miss out on riding the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

 

Bay Bridge view

Bay Bridge view

Great place to pick  up snack or a tasty sandwitch

Great place to pick up snack or a tasty sandwich

The mighty GGB in the distance

The mighty GGB in the distance

On the weekend this is crowded with tourist trying to take pictures. Stay on your toes.

On the weekend this is crowded with tourist trying to take pictures. Stay on your toes.

Once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge you head down the hill going through Cavallo Point and into Sausalito. The traffic on the weekend can get pretty heavy through Sausalito. The good part is it slows traffic down to a standstill.

Happy riding

Happy riding Cavallo Point

Sausalito

Sausalito Main Street.

Just as we were leaving Sausalito I started to hear a disturbing sound. I looked down and my crank arms were wobbling with every rotation. I thought it was the end of the ride. I knew I had bottom bracket issues and the odds of getting replaced on a busy weekend weren’t good.  So we turn around knowing we passed a bike shop about a mile back. The shop is called A Bicycle Odyssey.

Great bike shop and better people!

Great bike shop and better people!

The guy at the shop was awesome and agreed to replace the bottom bracket within an hour. So we grabbed a sandwich and beer! What else can you do in this situation.

Bombadil back in action

Bombadil back in action

Once my bike was up and riding we set out for Fairfax CA. This is a cool little town and rumored to be the Birth Place of Mountain Biking. Check out the movie Klunkerz. Here is the link to the trailer.

Once we rolled into town I was able to talk my wonderful wife into stopping for some local craft beers at the Iron Springs Pub & Brewery.

BEER!!!!

BEER!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Springs

Iron Springs

 

The weather was around 90F so the beer couldn’t have been better. We grabbed some food to take to camp and started the climb out of Fairfax. This is the steepest climb of the ride and about halfway up Sam broke her chain.

Broken Chain

Broken Chain

I busted out the chain breaker and pieced her chain back together and we were back to climbing.

All smiles again, back to climbing

All smiles again, back to climbing

The awesome part about this area is the bike community. Several people on bikes and in cars stop to ask if we needed any assistance.

The remaining 7 miles were uneventful and down right beautiful. We even got a few miles of dirt trail in just prior to the campground.

A little dirt trail

A little dirt trail

Setting up for the night

Setting up for the night

Dinner Time

Dinner Time

Elevation Profile

Elevation Profile

The Route

The Route

The hiker biker site was full so we ended up in the third biker overflow site. This is a popular park for locals and it is also frequented by bike tourists riding from Canada to Mexico. We setup camp, cooked some food, started a fire, and chatted with our campmates. We shared the site with a mother daughter team riding the coast from Canada to Mexico.

The next morning we made camp coffee and said our goodbyes. We even adopted a child just prior to leaving. The ride was tame compared to the day prior. The only event was a wasp sting and some horse love! This is a great little overnight bike trip. I only recommend that you pick the weekend carefully. We rode on a holiday weekend and it was a bit too crowded. However, I’ve done this overnight in the off season and it fantastic. This was a great shakedown ride and a wonderful time even with a broken bottom bracket, broken chain, and wasp sting.

Adoption!

Adoption!

As a side note: The Samuel P Taylor has hot showers for $0.25 so bring quarters.

country road.

country road.

Horse love

Horse love

a little fire

a little fire

 

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

coffee outside

coffee outside

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parmesan cheese and tools

I saw this youtube video where this hipster presented the uses of a parmesan cheese container as a tool holder. I’ve been trying to develop an “ultimate tool” set for extended bike touring. I decided to use the parmesan cheese container and see what I could fit into this extremely light but durable container. There is still room for a couple more items. Any suggestions? The only thing I can think of is a cassette remover. However, to fix a broken spoke with fiber-fix you don’t have to remove the cassette. I’m hoping the fiber-fix will last long enough to get to a bike shop. Please feel free to leave suggestion! I know there are other more creative and comprehensive kits. Let’s hear about em’.

650B tire, electrical & Duct tape, shifter cable, patch kit, crescent wrench, crankbrothers multi-tool, fiber fix, tire irons, bungee cord, Velcro strap, anti-theft hex wrench

This container fits snuggly into most water bottle cages.

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Weekender Bike Camping, Belmont to Butano to Big Basin and back.

I set out the other weekend with my brother to do a little bike camping. The route we took was Belmont to San Gregorio via old La Honda rd. In San Gregorio the general store provides live music on the weekend and has a bar. So Dennis and I tipped a couple back before riding over to Pescadero via Stage Rd. This is a great little section. A couple of small climbs with great views. We stocked up on beer and ice and finished the day at Butano State Park. The park has clean toilets and sinks. No showers. They don’t have dedicated Hiker-biker spots but we were able to get a full site at hiker-biker price ($5/person). We shared the site with a dude named Greg. He travels between Santa Rosa and Paso Robles and camps in place of getting a hotel. He was a great camp mate whom shared some great beers! Piny the Elder, Lagunitas IPA, and a few others.

Enjoying a couple of beers in San Gregorio

Click image to download brochure

Ben Ries Campground Butano State Park

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