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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I busted out the chain breaker and pieced her chain back together and we were 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.
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.
As a side note: The Samuel P Taylor has hot showers for $0.25 so bring quarters.