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dreaming in the shadows of the Sleeping Maiden

Posts tagged Tiburon

Mt. Tamalpais, August 22, 2012

Mt. Tam glimpsed from the bike path between Sausalito and Mill Valley

The highlight of the day was the 18-mile bike ride I took in training for my next big ride, the Tour de Fuzz in Sonoma on September 8. Some of my route today retraced the lovely guided tour Sally blogged of her ride from Tam Valley to Sausalito a couple of days ago. In fact, today’s photo of Mt. Tam is nearly identical to the one Sally captured along that same path from Sausalito to Mill Valley.

This was new territory for me, as far as exploring it on a bike is concerned. Once I rolled into downtown Sausalito, I became a little frazzled from all traffic with which I had to share the road and meandering tourists, some of them meandering bewildered on rented bikes. I can’t imagine (well, maybe I can) what a delight it must be for them to explore this part of the world on a bike. Maybe they expected their ride to be a sunny breeze in the high noon of August, not realizing that in these parts, the fog has its own agenda, regardless of the season’s plans. True to form, the fog kept rolling itself over the ridge and down the slopes in a rush toward the bay, whipping up a few strong gusts of wind in its playful slides, so at times biking even on the flats was a lot like pedaling uphill.

Once I returned to Mill Valley, I felt a bit like a tourist myself; turns out I am not that familiar with the bike routes in these environs. Most bicyclists are a very friendly lot, so it wasn’t long before a very fit older dude on a very fancy bike took enough time out of his speedy routine to explain to me how to get from Mill Valley to Tiburon without braving the crazy traffic over US 101.

While I pedaled like crazy along Tiburon Boulevard, I kept thinking how lovely it would be to have a bunch more bike lanes, or even more bike friendly streets, connecting all the towns in Marin. Not that we don’t already have tons of those … but the more I bike, the more I want to do it, not just for pleasure and sport, but also for commuting. It’s a very different world when you are in it, rather than hurtling through it in a car.

Mt. Tam glimpsed from Tiburon Shoreline Park with the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum building in view

As Noël Coward once warbled in a song of his, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” Well, here in Marin, where today’s midday sun drove the temperatures up into the 90s, there was me, definitely not an Englishman, and hundreds of others, out on the Tiburon bike path, some on bikes, some running, others ambling, enjoying the heat tempered by the chill-laced winds from the bay.And yes, there was the odd pooch panting along the path as well.

On my turnaround point near Caprice Restaurant in Tiburon, the spot with the sweet views of the Golden Gate Bridge, I did meet up with an Englishman, who was also chilling himself in the breeze between the legs of his bike tour. We exchanged pleasantries as he saddled up and I tied up my bike, after which I walked down a bit from the point and along Shoreline Park to take the daily photo.

From the lofty shores of Tiburon Mt. Tam looks not only distant, but also somewhat dwarfed. All views here draw the eyes toward the water and the city gleaming in sun or moon, save for the intermissions when the fog brings down the curtain of visibility.

Mt. Tam glimpsed from the Tiburon bike path -Tiburon, CA

That’s the Tiburon bike path on a Sunday around noon. It looks oddly deserted, like most of my picture of paths in Marin, the places from which I glimpse Mt. Tamalpais lately. These series might give the impression that Mt. Tamalpais is somehow my own private mountain.

The truth is that I often find myself waiting until the paths clear before I take a picture. I don’t know why that is. I used to love to photograph people. Nowadays, I seem to have eyes only for the landscape without the clutter of people in it. It’s become a habit. A reflex that is hardly reflective of the complexity of this landscape.

Take the Tiburon bike path and Belvedere, where I rode my bike on this glorious California day with views of the mountain, the Golden Gate, the Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco. There were people galore out and about. Some on bikes, some on scooters, some ambling, other hurtling themselves on fancy bikes, rented ones, or in just their latest running shoes that were promising to make them speedier. It sure was busy on parts of the path, not to mention dangerous to navigate at times. And yet, every once in a while, as I went back and forth on this particular lovely stretch, I would catch long moments of a horizon with no people in it. And it’s one of these moments I am sharing with you here today. So that you can picture yourself n the middle of it, without worrying yourself about fitting in the crowd….