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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been a while since I've hit the trails. But I'm interested in doing a headlands ride soon. Planning to ride from DC to Rodeo Beach, then miwok-Old Springs-Tennessee Valley Rd. Or Miwok-Bobcat-Marincello-TVR They both seem pretty tame. But I've got a choice, so which is a mellower trail to descend towards TVR? Thanks!
 

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Getting hillier every day
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From Rodeo to Tennessee, Miwok-Old Springs is a steeper climb up, but less total climbing, than Bobcat-Marincello. Both uphills are wide fire roads with decent traction in most spots.

The Old Springs downhill is "singletrack" in the true headlands sense (four feet wide). There are a few "stairs" on the downhill, but they aren't very tall (each step is like 2" high) and cyclocross guys ride these without slowing down.

Marincello downhill is another wide fireroad, and it's easy to get up speed.

My after work ride from the city is GG Bridge-Conzelman-Coastal-Miwok-Iron Springs-Marincello-Bobcat-Coastal-GG Bridge. More fun to descend Iron Springs than Marincello.
 

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J-Flo
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I believe AKD means "Old Springs" where he says Iron Springs above; otherwise he is right on.

Miwok has a pretty steep climb up from Rodeo but I would pick Miwok-Old Springs 10 times out of 10 over Bobcat-Marincello, which is longer, goes higher up, and is less interesting overall -- even if you are out of shape and have to walk the steepest part of Miwok. That's because it is simply much more fun to descend Old Springs than Marincello. Marincello is a wide fire road without any features of note and it is a boring way to lose altitude. Old Springs is a narrower "singletrack" trail that has some fun turns. Both are "mellow" in the sense that most beginners could handle them, although true beginners would find Old Springs a bit more challenging due to the steps.

Note: You can't/shouldn't ride Miwok to Marincello from Rodeo; you would have to ride up Bobcat to Marincello if you wanted to go down Marincello. The part of Miwok between Old Springs and Marincello has a ridiculously steep pitch and is bike-illegal. A classic horrible fire road.

Further note: these "trails" have recently been excessively manicured to remove ruts and anything that a flip-flop-wearing tourist might stub his/her toe on, except that Old Springs is still fun and the whole area is gorgeous.
 

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Hah, I've got Tamarancho on the brain. Substitute "old" for "iron" and that's the route.

The headlands are a great resource to have so close to the city. That said, if you're just getting (back) into riding, and you don't mind driving another 10-15 minutes, you'll have a better experience bumming around Mt. Tam. The fire roads there are (generally) less steep (grades average 5-7%, rather than the 8-10% Miwok climb, or the heinous climb out of Tennessee Valley on Coastal going north). An easy trip would be going to the end of Blithedale road and jumping on Old Railroad Grade to the West Point Inn and take Hoo Koo E Koo back. If you've got the energy, you can hop over to the north side of Mt. Tam and figure out a loop on Eldridge Grade. The MCBC map (https://www.marinbike.org/Map/SideA2011.jpg) is your friend. Single carrots are mellow climbs. Double carrots aren't much fun. Triple carrots, well, that's often hike-a-bike for me.
 

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Headlands are an amazing resource for us city dwellers. We have a similar after work loop and probably ride circles around each other all the time. I'm out there a few nights a week. Pivot Les and always wearing a black vest and a cap. Say yo if you see me!
 

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the 8-10% Miwok climb.
i did that yesterday, miwok dias ridge middle green gulch, and it was challenging as i started from Tennessee valley and had no time to warm up . I was expecting all fire roads but there was some nice singletrack. Marin Headlands (Miwok, Dias Ridge, Middle Green Gulch Trails) - Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides

The other ride that i like for moderate steepness but on a tamer surface is Deer park fire road off muir woods rd and then down the strack on coastal
 
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