Links to Online Bike Route Mapping Software

SF -> Petaluma - Napa -> SF -

From time to time on the various lists and newsgroups, folks ask about routes. Here are responses I've posted. Please note - use these routes at your own risk. I cannot take any responsibility for the appropriateness or condition of these routes for your needs. These are posted only as guidelines to routes which I have used.

Bike Mapping / Route Mapping Links


Route Slip


Gmap (more hiking oriented)

Some Examples of Bikely Routes posted:

SF, CA supplied by JimG:


Seattle, WA supplied by alex wetmore:





San Francisco to Petaluma (6/05):

There's quite a few ways to do that, and it depends upon how far you want to go in a day. Keep in mind also that if the weather is good, the auto flow will be towards the beaches in the morning. Leaving earlier (for some reason, I've found pre-9 am to be the quiet time) is always a good idea. The car-less (as opposed to car-free) routes will tend to be hillier.

Your route will depend upon when you want to leave the Hwy 101 corridor and how you want to return to Petaluma. (From south to north)

Leave 101:

GGNRA, Bunker Road, Trails (requires off roading to regain route)
Shoreline Hwy to Muir Beach via Mill Valley (continuing north on HWY1)
Panoramic Hwy to Stinson Beach via Mill Valley (another access to HWY1)
Sir Francis Drake to Olema (over White's Hill in Fairfax)
Lucas Valley to Nicasio
Novato Blvd to Cheese Factory

Back to Petaluma:

Petaluma-Pt Reyes Road
Petaluma-Marshall Road
Petaluma-Tomales Road

Most impressive climbs would be White's Hill, the climb from the Cheese Factory toward Petaluma and the Marshall "wall" if you come in on the Pet-Marshall road. You'll have to negotiate at least one of these. This will not be a flat ride.

Traffic density will be noticeable in Sausalito and San Rafael, Novato if you go that far north. Sir Francis Drake west of Fairfax in the morning.

An example without excessive climbing and avoiding the more car-y bits:

GG Bridge -> Sausalito (Bridgeway) -> MV Bike Path
Camino Alto -> Magnolia Ave -> Kentfield "5 way" stop signs
Veer left onto Poplar -> Ross -> Shady Lane -> San Anselmo Ave (San Anselmo Coffee Roasters + Barton's Bagels downtown...mmmmmm)
Follow Bike Route signs to parrallel Center Blvd -> Fairfax
Sir Francis Drake over White's Hill About 2 miles past Nicasio Valley Road (*), there's a well hidden entrance to Ink Wells Bridge, which will let you avoid the narrower portions and poorly paved of SFD by using the Cross Marin bike trail to Platform Bridge Road.
Platform Bridge Rd -> Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road (**) -> becomes D Street into Petaluma

(* - You could take Nicasio Valley Road north for a more direct route. It climbs noticeably for the first bit, then rolls you into Nicasio Valley. Continue on Nicasio Road to pick up Petaluma-Pt Reyes road at the reservoir.)

(** - You could extend the route slightly by continuing out to Pt. Reyes Station (Bovine Bakery, Grocery store) on SFD (adds a disheartening-looking but not bad climb at Platform Bridge Road) SFD -> Olema -> North on HWY 1, then pick up Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road north of Pt. Reyes Station).

You might also google group search the ba.bicycles newsgroup, as this topic has popped up there a few times.

Another good resource is the Marin Bicycle Map published by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. Many shops stock this.

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Napa to San Francisco (4/05):

> I am planning a ride from OR to San Francisco thru Napa. Is there a
> bike friendly route from Napa to SF that avoids Hwy 101 as much as
> possible? I am not familiar with that area so I would appreciate some
> good advice on a road bike route or routes and approx mileage.

The city of Napa is pretty close to the south end of the Napa Valley. If you are dead set on going to the city of Napa, you complicate the transfer back over to the 101 corridor in Marin. If you are actually talking about going through the Napa Valley, you can avoid the most-trafficked and narrow bits. You could head out the Northwest end towards Santa Rosa and then come south - not a route I've taken. If you don't mind serious climbing (I'm not trying to scare you - but, this _is_ a climb), you could gasp your way to the top of the Oakville Grade and work your way to the "Valley of the Moon" (where the town of Sonoma is). (IIRC - it's Dry Creek/Trinity Roads which get you there) You would end up near Glen Ellen, near Jack London State Park, and can (again) climb your way towards Petaluma on Sonoma Mountain Road. This avoids the Hwy12/Hwy116 link, which I wouldn't want to ride on a bet.

Once you get into Petaluma, (there's a KOA to the north end of town), you should find your way to "D" street and follow it as it turns into the hilly "Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road". As another poster noted, you could turn towards Novato. My preference would be to continue further south for another climb and turn towards Nicasio. This can bring you back towards 101 via either branching left onto Lucas Valley Road or by continuing on Nicasio Valley Road until it meets up with Sir Francis Drake. Once you hit Sir Francis Drake, you would follow it into Fairfax, and you could make your way towards San Francisco via San Ansellmo/Ross/Kentfield/Larkspur/Corte Madera. (You could also simply follow Petaluma-Pt. Reyes Road down past the Nicasio Reservoir, pick up Platform Bridge Road and that will lead you to Sir Francis Drake as well. You should look for the bike path that starts at the intersection of these two roads and you can take that into Samuel P Taylor park, which has camping). I would do this because the transfer from Novato to Ignacio is not all that straightforward.

Also, Lucas Valley Road is nice. You can then parallel 101 through Terra Linda (there is camping at China Camp State Park) to San Rafael. There are a couple of routes to hop over the hill from San Rafael - or you can head towards San Quentin on Anderson (east) or head towards San Anselmo (west) to avoid climbing. The Marin map shown below is a good resource. Once you make it over the grade to Mill Valley, you can pick up the flat Mill Valley Bike Path and follow it to the intersection with Bridgeway in Sausalito. That is a very heavily bike-trafficked route, so it should be pretty obvious. Toodle through tourist infested Sausalito and then one more climb gets you to the GG Bridge. You'll have to go under US101 in a very tight tunnel, but then you will be able to get onto the west side of the GG Bridge.

If you are so inclined, grit your way further up the sharp incline on Conzelman Road to at least the first overlook (the grade levels after that first bit).

Definitely avoid Hwy 37, if possible.
Hwy 12/Hwy 116 is generally narrow with a ton of high speed traffic. It gets really bad in the summer. One should remember that the vehicularly-assisted pastime of the region is winery tours. Generally, touristed regions can be pretty sketchy - Bridgeway in the summer can be quite a slalom along the waterfront.

Get the KREB's map of the region for the big picture. North Bay Wine Country Map - North Coast Bicyle Touring

Get the Marin County Bicycle Map for the particulars in Marin.

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updated: July 23, 2006






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