It goes without saying that mountain biking is an extremely popular activity in Marin, and for good reason—it was invented right here on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais! There's really nothing quite like a ride down the trail, and it's a great activity for the whole family.
Get your kids started on cross-country cycling by trying out some of these easy, bike-friendly Marin trails. All you'll need is a mountain bike or other off-road capable bicycle and a helmet. (Make sure you bring plenty of water and some healthy snacks, too.)
All these trails are designated for bicycles, and have minimal hills and technical sections for easy riding and maximum fun for family riding.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Fairfax Cycling Camp, who offers some tips for families on bicycle safety. Visit them online at www.fairfaxcyclingcamp.com.
From cargo bikes laden with young children, to parents and kids on their own bikes, the popularity of biking is growing in Marin and nationwide. This is something to celebrate! The health benefits of biking are numerous, and consuming less gas gives the earth a little extra breathing room. As cyclists and owners of Fairfax Cycling Camp, we are happy to share some tips and resources to help you bike more safely with your child. We teach our campers these skills every week during our summer mountain bike camp.
Helmets, Helmets, Helmets!
Helmets are required by law for all children under 16 in California. Helmets protect your child’s developing brain from trauma which could come from even a seemingly small bump.
Just like on an airplane when you are told to secure your own oxygen mask prior to helping another, make sure your helmet is on properly before biking with your child. This does two things; first, you are protecting your brain and doing your best to make sure you’ll be around to take care of your child in the event of an accident; second, you are modeling appropriate behavior for your child. Research consistently shows that children learn by watching what the adults around them are doing. You are setting an example for your child, one that you hope they will follow long after they’ve begun riding on their own.
Marin strives to be a bicycle-friendly place to live, so it's never to early to get your kids up on two wheels, even if it's with training wheels (which would actually make it four wheels). One of our go-to places to ride is the Mill Valley–Sausalito Multi-use Path, a 3.5-mile trail that's popular with cyclists and walkers in southern Marin.
The trail starts at Vasco Court near Edna McGuire Elementary School and travels through Mill Valley south past Camino Alto and Tamalpais High School, through Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve, over bridges that cross creeks and sloughs, along Richardson Bay, and eventually to Gate 5 Road on the Sausalito waterfront. The trail is wide and flat and suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
Along the way, you can look for birds and other wildlife in the marsh and in Richardson Bay, and take in amazing views of Mt. Tamalpais.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Cindy Winter of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC).
For the past 15 years, Marin parents and civic leaders have worked to create safe pathways and road crossings that encourage walking and cycling to school, short-distance errands, and recreation. We’ve seen astounding progress in the numbers of kids transporting themselves safely, healthily, and happily. But now, there’s a problem.
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has nearly completed its plans to widen Highway 101 from Corte Madera Creek to a short distance south of Wornum Drive. The project is needed to resolve the difficult merging of traffic lanes, both north and south. However, as part of their plans, the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the freeway from Fifer Avenue to Industrial Way will be torn down and not replaced.
Last week we had the opportunity to head back up to the mountains and experience Northstar California Resort during the summer. When we visited back in the winter, we thought that the summer activities offered at Northstar sounded just as fun as the winter ones, so we were determined to go back once school was out. We did, and we had a fantastic time during our visit!
Northstar is an exciting destination for a family summer getaway, with lots of things to do including mountain biking, hiking, geocaching, roller skating, and more. The summer vibe at Northstar is definitely more laid back than it is during the ski season, but it's still a bustling place, with hikers and mountain bikers gathering by the gondola to head up onto Mt. Pluto for outdoor fun.
When you've had enough of the wilderness, come back down the mountain and take advantage of some of the fun to be had in the Northstar Village.
Meandering along the Bay from Blackie's Pasture to downtown Tiburon, the Tiburon Bike Path is a worthwhile family outing on almost any day. Last week I packed up our bikes and a picnic and headed down to Blackie's Pasture in Tiburon's Trestle Glen neighborhood. I absolutely love this spot, and it's been a favorite place of mine since I was a child growing up in Marin. There's something about riding your bikes along the water on a clear day that makes you remember how lucky you are to live here.
Tiburon Bike Path, also known as Tiburon Linear Park and Tiburon Historical Trail, is a popular spot with bicyclists, joggers, and walkers of all ages. Along the way you'll find breathtaking vistas, sports fields, playgrounds, and a series of trail markers that highlight the Tiburon peninsula's gritty blue-collar past. That's right—this now exclusive enclave used to be known mainly as a railroad hub back in the days of steam engines. And did you know that swanky Belvedere was home to the McCollom Fish Company's cod processing facility in the 1860s?