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.
Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC)
733 Center Boulevard
Fairfax, CA 94930
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) is an advocacy organization whose mission is to promote safe bicycling for every day transportation and recreation. The MCBC has been steadily improving our county's road and path facilities for walkers and bikers since they formed in 1998. You've seen the impact of our advocacy efforts in each of our towns: permanent bike racks, bike lane striping, green-and-white bike route signs, road resurfacing, 'sharrow' road stencils, and so much more.
Not only does MCBC's work improve our quality of life, such as increasing opportunities for daily physical activity, teaching children to be skilled and safe bike riders, reduce road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and providing transportation equity for our low-income neighbors.
There are two ways to get involved: 1) Buy MCBC's popular Marin Bicycle Map to find the best trail and road rides in the county and 2) Join MCBC - so we can continue to do the work, so you can take the ride!
Mountain Biking Marin
Mountain Biking Marin offers bike tours and corporate team building events as well as mountain bike skill clinics. Mountain Biking Marin bike tours & corporate team building events include cross country, free ride and downhill riding. We offer beginner, intermediate and advance bike tours based on technical ability, fitness level and riding preferences of participants. Mountain Biking Marin offers individual and group guided bike tours. As well, we offer corporate team building events customized to the requirements and objectives of the group. We offer pre-set bike tours and customized bike tours. Our pre-set bike tours include areas around Mt. Tamalpais and the Headlands.
Point Reyes Outdoors
11401 State Route 1
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Point Reyes Outdoors offers mountain bike rentals and tours in the Point Reyes National Seashore and surrounding areas. Either pick up a bike and set off from downtown Point Reyes Station, or join us for a guided tour. We currently offer two tours. One exploring the bishop pine forests, meadows, and along Limantour Beach, rated easy to moderate. The other exploring the sandstone cliffs near Drakes Estero and out to stunning views of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean, rated moderate.
Four examples of mountain biking trail rides follow:
China Camp State Park - Shoreline Trails and Bay Views
This is a great single track ride that winds through China Camp State Park. There are magnificent views of San Pablo Bay as cyclists ride through the oak-studded hills bordering the bay. The park has a multi-use policy that makes it popular for cyclists, but there are occasional encounters with hikers using the same trail. Trail is 10.3 miles; elevation change - 700 ft.; riding time - 1 - 1½ hours; easy to moderate difficulty.
Samuel P. Taylor Park - Ridge Trail to Mt. Barnabe
The 7 .4 mile trail takes you from Samuel P. Taylor Park up a steep climb to the top of Mt. Barnabe. From the Barnabe Peak Ridge trail cyclists get spectacular views of wilderness and a view of Mt. Diablo to the east, Mt. St. Helena to the north and Tomales Bay to the west. This spectacular trail takes you from a thick redwood forest to open grassland hills. The elevation change is 1400 ft. Riding time is 1½ to 2 hours. The ride is moderately difficult.
Mt. Tamalpais - Eldridge Grade to East Peak
A moderate to strenuous ride, this trail takes you up the rugged Eldridge Grade to the top of Mt. Tamalpais. The long climb has some technical climbing over rocky terrain, but the panoramic view of San Francisco Bay and the wilderness vistas are incredible. The ride back down the mountain is steep and rapid. This challenging ride covers 17.7 miles with a riding time of 2½ to 3 hours. Elevation change is 2,800 ft.
San Geronimo Ridge - Pine Mountain Loop
Starting on Bolinas Road in Fairfax, the Pine Mountain Loop is Marin County's most remote ride. It incorporates some narrow sections of trail as you cycle up rocky, steep fire roads. At the ridge top you can view Bolinas Ridge, Kent Lake, Tomales Bay and Mt. Tamalpais to the south. The trail takes you through the Kent Lake watershed and along Kent Lake across streams and through riparian habitat. Distance: 13.4 miles; riding time 2 to 2½ hours. The elevation change of this strenuous trail is 1,900 ft.