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Road Trip: San Francisco [Alpine Dam Loop] – 62 Miles

The cool thing about going to college is you get to look forward to all the times that you don’t have to be in college. With an epic 3 weeks of winter at my disposal, I headed to the Bay Area for a vay-cay and some warmer weather. Before I left I visited the internet and googled myself up the Northern California bike race calendar. As luck would have it, there was a cross race happening in Folsom while I was in town. And for some reason I decided that this was something I should participate in.

Right as Portland was attacked by the “winter blast” (or whatever Dentine Gum flavor the local news was likening it to), my bike and I had boarded a train for the 18-hour sit-a-thon that is the trip to Oakland from Portland. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep, every part of my body lost feeling at some point, and the lady sitting next to me consumed a whole bag of “vanilla flavored raisins” while I watched in horror. But it only cost $5 to bring my bike.

The day before the Sacramento race, my friend Starla and I rode up to Sausalito to Adnan’s house. We had discussed going on a ride when I got there, but I wasn’t aware that this ride would start the moment we arrived…or that would be an actual “training” ride (as opposed to just riding around, chatting, while wearing spandex).

This ride is also known as the “Alpine, DAMN LOOP!” (To be yelled when you realize how hard this ride really is). As far as I can remember, this ride takes you through Fairfax, up a medium hill, across the Alpine Dam, up Mount Tam (a big hill), along some road that is in a lot of car commercials, up the Seven Sisters (a series of seven small climbs), and finally down a long descent into Mill Valley. The views are all totally epic. At one point the ocean was stretching out to the right, and to the left was the Bay with the downtown SF buildings just poking through the fog. It was like living in a post card. Virtual reality. Periodically deer would prance by us. Also there’s a part called “Lance Armstrong Corner”, but I can’t remember why it’s called that.

Basically, California is glorious and hilly. Marin County is full of spandors and rides that have pretty views. The coffee and food of the area is expensive. And you should probably check it out if you are visiting here.