It's no secret that I love bike paths. The separate pavement creates riding conditions everyone can (and will) enjoy. Paths are a major reason why I love living in the Twin Cities
Few bike paths on this side of the globe can compete with the 2 mile long Tiburon bike path when it comes to soaking in views while spinning on a buttery smooth surface. The bay laps the shores below and downtown S.F. fills the horizon.
Let's start with a quick look at the child friendly Tiburon Path before exploring my secret low traffic route to Tiburon.
Blackies Pasture, off Tiburon Blvd right before Trestle Glenn Boulevard, is a beautiful beginning to the path. Parking is available and a statue of Blackie the horse still stands in a grassy meadow.
The Trestle Glen neighborhood is home to bike advocate Frances Barbour who sees the path not only as recreation but also as a connection to local schools. She states, "The path allows safe bike and pedestrian access to Reed Elementary, Del Mar Middle School and Bel Aire Elementary via Greenwood Beach Road."
This former railroad line makes a straight shot for downtown. Be sure to enjoy the numerous adjacent parks and benches with views over the water. Going slow and frequently stopping is mandatory on this scenic stretch.
As you cruise into downtown Tiburon the path disappears. I prefer an immediate right down the residential street to the water. Following the water you'll find a pleasant ride into the old town where benches, refreshments, and possibly a ferry trip to Angel Island State Park or the city await!
For those seeking a longer adventure, downtown Tiburon is effectively a half-way point. Starting along the bike path of Mill Valley or the Twin Cities, a cyclist can connect a low traffic route to complete the Paradise Loop.
From the Twin Cities, make your way to Meadowsweet Dr. The slight hill climb will prepare your legs for the ride to come. Hopefully in the future our bike path will connect through the Alto Tunnel and directly to the Mill Valley path. No hills or major intersections would be required!
As you descend onto the Mill Valley bike path take the signed turn towards Tiburon at Bayfront Park near Mill Valley Middle School. All too soon the path transitions onto Hamilton Drive. Luckily this stretch is open to cyclists against the one-way flow.
The traditional view of cycling in this country has been that cyclists fare best when treated like cars. Modern cycling advocates understand that all users fare better when separate infrastructure exists. This path alongside a one-way is a perfect demonstration that bikes benefit from being treated as bikes, not cars.
Once alongside the busy HWY 101 you will start to question my "low traffic" directions. Anxiously await the left turn lane that will lead you to the spiraling pedestrian overpass. On the Strawberry side hit the crosswalk button and head towards the gas station.
To avoid the busy road look for a dirt path behind the gas station. It quickly turns to smooth new asphalt and ends in root-ridden broken pavement. The views over the marsh certainly beat the Redwood Hwy frontage road.
The short but merciful path ends and Seminary Drive is the right at the stop sign. There is a steep climb to the ridge through Golden Gate Theological Seminary on Hodges Drive. Head under the pedestrian overpass on campus. This site was once considered for the headquarters of the United Nations!
Now on Strawberry Drive get excited by the views of the Tiburon bike path. Look for a steep descent down past Strawberry Elementary on Harbor Cove Way. Straight ahead a sidewalk with views winds onto Greenwood Beach Road and by the Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Keep peddling and soon you're on the Tiburon path.
Picking up from downtown Tiburon, head along the only coastal road, Paradise Drive. Make no turns and pedal over rolling hills for 8 miles. When Paradise intersects San Clemente Drive. get onto the bike path mentioned in "Bike the Corte Madera Marshes" and you are home free.
Regardless of whether you ride the Tiburon bike path or the whole Paradise Loop, the riding is simply a must. Get out there and explore. You can only get so lost on a small peninsula!
See you on the paths.