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A four-day mini-bike tour of Marin and Sonoma

I’ve done several longer tours, mostly in Europe. Last weekend the rest of my family went away, so I made the most of it and did a miniature bike tour in Marin and Sonoma, Thursday afternoon to Sunday. This is a map of where I went. SMART rail, the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, and the doing-the-coast bike tourists at Bodega Bay from all over the place were highlights. Planned with the SF Rideshed map. All highly recommended. Highway 1 south from Bodega is pretty nice at the moment because there is construction that deters a lot of traffic.

China Camp hiker-biker is worth a special mention as a bike overnight destination from the City. I used it as a sort of lead-off, leaving home in Oakland at 4pm and arriving there ~6:30. It is super-close to the city, especially if you take the Larkspur Ferry (15 miles). Another dude was there who was doing S24O, departed after work from SF on Thursday, back to work from there Friday morning. Got himself an In-n-out dinner on the way. So, if you live in the city and want an evening away, nice place for a bike camping overnight.

Clicking the map image below will take to you a Google Maps view.

Gallery: Normandy Bike Tour

This is a gallery of photographs I took to accompany story proposals about bike touring in Normandy. The ones that have me in them were taken with a tripod.  This post is un-indexed and un-categorized, so for all practical purposes these pictures have not been published. — Joe

Jet lag makes for a very early start on the second day of the trip.

Southern Normandy is full of national forests (forêts domaniales) that have many kilometers of low-traffic roads.

Southern Normandy is full of national forests (forêts domaniales) that have many kilometers of low-traffic roads.

Multiple croissants and a “petit cafe” — French the breakfast of champions – is available at most campgrounds.

Taking a rest in front of the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montligeon, an enormous church built in the middle of nowhere to accommodate 19th century pilgrims that flocked to the region for a charismatic priest.

One of many nearly-empty forest roads in southern Normandy.

Navigating one of the national forests with old signs and new.

Camping provides a low-cost way to stay while bike touring.

Greenways or “voies vertes” like this resurfaced railway are car-free and often stretch for hundreds of kilometers.

This family of four from Caen rode several hundred kilometers together on a voie verte. [I have their contact info for a release if necessary]

Mont Saint Michel is one of the top attractions of Normandy, for travelers on bikes or otherwise.

A perspective on Mont Saint Michel from the dam on the Couesnon River.

Riding around the back side of Mont Saint Michel abbey.

The typical French countryside scenery: clouds and fields.

Roads are always an option, but the unpaved route makes it easier to get away from all traffic and tourists. This is a segment of Eurovelo 4, a cross-continent bike trail. 

Riding alongside Omaha Beach.

Roadside haybales not far from Monet’s summer residence. [This is a composite of two bracketed exposures: one for sky and one for the rest.]