Mount Tamalpais and the Alpine Lakes
Ride W. Ridgecrest along the Marin spine separating the ocean from the rest of Marin. From here to the Tamalpais summit is one of the scenic high points of your cycling career. Take your time, stopping often to drink it all in. You’re riding a ridge road, so there are views on both sides, and it’s all big rollers, so you’ll do more climbing than you expect
At the Y at the unmissable intersection/parking lot, which is called Rock Springs (there is an unobtrusive sign), go L onto East Ridgecrest Blvd. and ride to East Peak, the end of the road and the summit of Mt. Tam. Don’t skip this leg because you’re tired. The climb up East Ridgecrest is really pretty mellow (one short moderately challenging pitch coming and going), and the views from East Peak memorable. As you climb, the views of Marin, San Francisco, and the coast to the south are ever-changing and magical.
Near the summit the view extends to San Francisco, Marin, and Angel Island. Take time to let what you’re seeing sink in. It’s one of the best views on earth.
You are now about to begin one of the great descents on the west coast—11 miles of mostly uninterrupted, glassy-smooth, perfectly slalomed and banked curves, sweet 20-35-mph stuff.