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Starting in Sausalito, an easy bayfront ride.

"Civilized" describes this easy Marin bay-front bike trip. From Sausalito, a 3 1/2-mile ride takes you on a level paved path past dockside scenes and marshes, through a small new park, and into Mill Valley for a hot drink or lunch at a cozy cafe. If you choose to ride 4 miles on to Tiburon, a new link in the path makes the ride easier. By going in winter, you avoid some of the tourist traffic in these popular towns. Sausalito to Mill Valley. Drive to the starting point or take your bike on the ferry from San Francisco. There's parking on Harbor; or, from the ferry dock, ride 1 mile north in the Bridgeway bike lane to the path's start. The ride winds past docks of colorful houseboats and out to tidal flats before dipping under U.S. 101. Then you roll past bird-rich marshlands crowded with pickleweed and cordgrass (look for egrets, blue herons, sanderlings) and into Mill Valley's recently opened Bayfront Park, which boasts a fitness course, benches, and picnic tables. From Bayfront Park, you can head 1 1/2 miles into Mill Valley (see map) along a wide street lined with shops. At Miller and Throckmorton avenues, lock your bike in the plaza (no bike racks) and set off window shopping. Or stop for a hot drink-Mill Valley Coffee Roastery, at 2 Miller Avenue, has herb teas, pastries, and 11 types of coffee drinks. It's open 6:30 A.M. to 7 Pm. daily. At 89 Throckmorton, the Depot Bookstore and Cafe-in a former train station-offers books and periodicals, as well as small pizzas, sandwiches, soups, and coffees; it's open daily 7 A.M. to 10 P.M. (from 8 A.M. Sundays). Sausalito to Tiburon. Follow the first route as far as Bayfront Park, then through the park on the path's newest link and east in the bike lane on busy E. Blithedale Avenue; use caution on this narrow roadway. At the end of Greenwood Cove Drive, you join the 2-mile Tiburon bike path. It winds past upscale homes and greenswards before popping out at the edge of placid Richardson Bay with its views of San Francisco. At path's end in Tiburon, follow signs to ferry dock. To and from by ferry. You can take bikes on all the ferries. On the Golden Gate ferry (Sausalito only), fare is $3.50 each way, $2.60 ages 6 through 12 (or, with weekend family fare, two children travel free with each adult). For schedule, call (415) 982-8834. On the Red & White ferry (Sausalito or Tiburon), fare is $4.75 each way, $2.25 ages 5 through I 1. For schedules, call 546-2896.
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Date:Feb 1, 1991
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