Bike camping … with fries – 2014



About once a year, we do this bike mini-tour, where we ride from San Francisco to Petaluma to camp and to visit Lagunitas Brewing Company and the Willowbrook Alehouse.

We ride through Sausalito, Marin, Corte Madera, Larkspur, through San Anselmo, then to Fairfax for a lunch stop at Iron Springs Brewery.


From there, we ride through the tiny town of Nicasio, where these days we stop at the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, then continue to the Marin French Cheese factory for another rest stop.


And somewhere along the way, your view is almost entirely comprised of Windows XP background images.  (The real location was probably only 40 miles away)


We stop off to get set up at the campground, then head to Lagunitas for beer before they close – still at a too-early 8pm.




But their early closing gives us a chance to ride over to the Willowbrook Alehouse, where we pile up our bikes in the back and pick our karaoke songs to sing… with fries.



The next morning, we get our gear together and head out..


But before leaving town, we stop to get fancy coffee at Acre to fuel up for the ride back.

Photos: The Grand Cru ride to Petaluma, Lagunitas Brewing, and the Willowbrook Ale House

We recently rode in our second two-day Grand Cru ride from San Francisco to Petaluma and back to visit Lagunitas Brewing and other breweries along the way.

We rode out from the Embarcadero through North Beach towards the Golden Gate Bridge loaded with supplies and camping gear.



The obligatory shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from Chrissy Fields


Our first stop was Iron Springs Pub and Brewery in Fairfax.  I had a Kent Lake Kolsch.  I was a little surprised to not receive it in a Kolsch glass.. but getting it this way probably meant more beer for me.


A flight of beers from Iron Springs


We rode off from Fairfax, to climb White Hill


Then we rode through Nicasio.  Beautiful green hills, blue skies and cows.


The group, riding along Nicasio Valley Rd


It’s It at the Cheese Factory.  I was looking forward it all morning.


Rolling out after a short ice cream break


Petaluma – The Willowbrook Ale House.  Had a really good burger lately? … With fries?


We saw the remnants of a police chase and car crash from our campground.


We headed to Lagunitas Brewing and got a flight.


At the bottom of the glass: “BEER SPEAKS”


This dude had a 4 wolf moon t-shirt.  And a 3-wolf belt buckle.


A great burger… with fries!  I wasn’t even hungry.  I just got it because I had to.


This is Bud, rocking the mic.


Poor Eric – his tent was broken.  Looked more like a bivy.


Dog outside of the bathroom


Aeropress coffee with Scarlett City Roasting beans.  We had the Nicaragua Los Papales.  (It was fine as a strong aeropress brew but at home, I find the beans to be slightly boring.)


We had brunch at Henny Penny’s before heading back south to San Francisco.  In searching for information about this place online, I learned that in 2003, the owner of the restaurant was robbed in his home and died of a heart attack during the robbery.  9 of the 10 suspects in the robbery have been arrested..


Back to lighter stuff – this chili pepper sauce has the YouTube logo on it.  I don’t know why.  Apparently they have a lot of YouTube videos, including this one that ends with 1) a guy spinning a box of hot sauce bottles 2) a different guy kissing a hot sauce bottle


We all headed south to Novato to stop by Moylan’s Brewery.  Most of the group stayed there and then stopped by Marin Brewing before catching the ferry back to San Francisco.  We elected to ride all the way back to the city.  Once we got back, we rewarded ourselves with a burger and onion rings at Gott’s.  and a white pistachio shake.


ALC Day on the ride

Here are some photos from the the AIDS LifeCycle NorCal day on the ride:

Gathering in Mike’s Bike’s in San Rafael prior to the start





Bike parking




I took this picture for two reasons.  1) I thought it’d look cool with the guy kneeling and talking on the phone.  It didn’t turn out as cool as I’d thought.  2) Old school Trek Y-foil road frame.




Riders getting ready to roll out





and they’re off.. people were wearing bunny ears for Easter





1st rest stop: Nicasio Valley Cheese Company













peanut butter and jelly in graham crackers by Pierre foods





Ahhh!  got a flat on the Nicasio Valley Rd climb.





Not a good bike day for me though I felt fine riding.  Later in the day my rear wheel got pretty messed up from a pothole-filled descent.  Eventually the rim so out of true that it was rubbing against the brake pads.  I had to stop and do a little work on the side of the road.





View from Hicks Valley Rd





We cut through a more residential part of Petaluma – it was a nice little section of road en route to lunch





Lunch at the park.  Turkey + havarti sandwiches from Boudin.


We did about 65 miles in all.  I felt a bit tired towards the end was was climbing well otherwise.  It was fun to see a bunch of other riders out (~400 total?)  and to see all of the volunteers for the event.







ALC from the Golden Gate Bridge to Petaluma and back

We rode in one of the official ALC training rides last Saturday.  I took the GF1 along on what turned out to be a gorgeous day.  Grand total: 92 miles of training ride, 108 miles total and I felt pretty good.

We started off in Portrero hill.  We rode through Mission bay just after sunrise en route to the meeting point at the Presidio Sports Basement






Sun over mission bay





Riding along the Giants Promenade by AT&T ballpark





Fast forward to the climb up White’s hill from Fairfax along Sir Francis Drake Blvd..  A huge group of 20+ cyclists powered past us on the climb.





The always popular Rancho Nicasio.  Lots of Dolce Vita riders representing.





I forget where this was – probably Point Reyes Petaluma Rd / Red Hill Rd





Beautiful shadows on the rolling hills









The cheese factory – Marin French Cheese Company









At the top of Wilson Hill Rd





Lunch at the apple box










Climbing back up the hill on Petaluma Pt Reyes Rd





I treated myself to an It’s It at the cheese factory





The view of San Francisco from Sausalito along Bridgeway





Looking west from the Golden Gate Bridge





Always a spectacular view