This easy 31-mile ride from the Golden Gate Bridge to San Rafael and back is perfect for the casual rider who wants to tackle a few small hills, and whose desired cuisine extends beyond Sausalitan Fish and Chips. With 2,000 feet of total elevation gain, the frequent rolling terrain makes the uphills very manageable. To do half the ride, take public transit home.
The bike side of the Golden Gate Bridge is closed through April; bikes and pedestrians currently share the eastern pathway. Start your morning early so that you’ll have a little more room for the way there, at least. If you venture onto the bridge in the afternoon, beware of wandering children, dazed tourists, aggressive roadies, and large bicycle tour groups. Call out, use signals, and proceed slowly, especially if you see someone not paying attention. We got lucky with sunshine galore, but faced strong headwinds over 25 mph on the road home.
Sol Food features a fantastic array of home -roasted, -braised, and -stewed Puerto Rican food. The decor is vibrant, and floor-to-ceiling windows make the space airy during the day. Seating is family style. Order at the register, and they will speedily bring your meal. Highlights are their Veggie Deluxe sandwich, and their Bistec steak sandwich. Their tasty drinks are served in large mason jars and include their delicious home-brewed Te Helado orange mango iced tea. Their salad is dressed with a garlicy vinaigrette, and if you like their secret recipe hot sauce, you can order a bottle to take home with you. We arrived before 12 and didn’t see a line, but you can order to-go next door if the wait is too long.
From the Marin side of Golden Gate Bridge, take your pick of the following routes to Sausalito.
- While the western bike lanes on GG Bridge are still closed, you will see designated bike lanes through a parking lot and signage towards Sausalito and Tiburon. Either follow the cyclists or signs down Vista Point Rd. Continue onto Alexander Ave for 1.3 miles.
- When GG Bridge bike lanes are open, you will exit into a parking lot. Without leaving the parking lot, follow the sidewalk on your left to a bike lane with signs to Sausalito. This will bring you to a steep drop on Conzelman Rd under the bridge. You will reconnect with car traffic again on Murray Cir. RIGHT on East Rd. Continue onto Alexander Ave for 0.3 miles.
- If GG Bridge bike lanes are open and you are comfortable riding in traffic, you may want to exit the parking lot and turn RIGHT onto Conzelman Rd. First LEFT onto Alexander Ave and continue for 1.3 miles.
Alexander Ave turns right into South St. Follow traffic RIGHT on 2nd St. These two turns are very intuitive, as most of the other cyclists and cars will be heading the same direction.
FOLLOW the water on your right-hand side. RIGHT on Richardson St, and LEFT as it turns into Bridgeway.
FOLLOW bike lanes for 1.4 miles onto Marnship Way.
In 1.9 miles, you will come to a light at Harbor Way. If you look ahead, there will be a separate designated bike lane straight ahead and a little to the right, with signs for the Bay Trail. Take this trail, called the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path. The strip mall on your right is a common meeting place for cycling groups.
In 2.9 miles, you will come to a large intersection that looks like the end of the path. Take the pedestrian crosswalk to continue on the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path straight ahead.
In 0.5 miles, you will see Ring Mountain Day Schools on your right. Turn RIGHT before the wheelchair accessible ramp and continue straight through the parking lot onto Lomita Dr.
In 1 mile, Lomita Dr. connects with a bike path and becomes Casa Buena Dr.
Continue for 1 mile along rolling hills parallel to Redwood Hwy 101, OR turn left to follow the road down Meadowsweet Dr.
In 0.4 miles, Madera Blvd becomes Tamal Vista Blvd. The next couple of steps include one final hill before you reach Sol Food.
Take a RIGHT at Larkspur Path (Corte Madera-Larkspur Path). In 0.2 miles, LEFT onto Redwood Hwy. In 0.4 miles, LEFT towards Sir Francis Drake Blvd. In 0.4 miles, the Larkspur Ferry Terminal is on your RIGHT across from Larkspur Landing Circle, for your reference if you want to take the ferry back. LEFT onto Larkspur Landing Circle. In 0.1 miles, LEFT into the cinema parking lot. You will see a small bike path sign straight ahead. Left onto the bike ramp and follow as it loops to your right into the Cal Park Hill Tunnel. In 0.8 miles, you will emerge from the tunnel and onto the wrong side of Andersen Dr. Use a crosswalk to cross over and continue heading northwest on the correct side of the street on Andersen Dr. In 0.6 miles, RIGHT on Du Bois St. In 0.4 miles, cross over Irwin St and continue onto Lincoln Ave. In 0.4 miles, Sol Food is on your LEFT.
After 0.6 miles on Tamal Vista Blvd, LEFT on Fifer Ave and IMMEDIATE LEFT at the T Intersection on Lucky Dr.
In 0.2 miles, follow road as it curves to the RIGHT onto Doherty Dr.
In 0.8 miles, keep RIGHT at the T intersection onto Magnolia Ave.
In 0.6 miles, RIGHT onto Bon Air Rd.
In 0.4 miles, LEFT onto Wolfe Grade. Marin General Hospital is on your right.
Follow Wolfe Grade for 0.9 miles. There will be a small climb after you cross Sir Francis Drake Blvd. This accounts for about 0.5 miles before your elevation starts dropping into San Rafael.
Slight LEFT to continue on D St. (Meyer Rd is to the RIGHT.)
In 0.9 miles, RIGHT onto 2nd St.
In 0.4 miles, LEFT onto Lincoln Ave.
Sol Food (901 Lincoln Ave) is on your LEFT at the corner of 3rd.
To return to the Golden Gate Bridge, reverse the directions, and don’t forget about the optional flatter route around Wolfe Grade.
To take transit back, the Larkspur Ferry (Larkspur Landing Circle at E Sir Francis Drake Blvd) departs at 1:30 and 4:30pm on weekends, or throw your bike on Golden Gate Transit Bus 70/80 just two blocks from Sol Food (3rd & Hetherton). The bus leaves for San Francisco every 30 minutes on weekends and holidays.
This ride is inspired by the New Year’s Eve crew, who first introduced me to Sol Food by automobile.