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Beginner-friendly overnighter to Marin hostel, visiting Point Bonita lighthouse

Update[masked] - IMPORTANT: please put your phone number and whether we will see you at the starting point at 1pm, in this google spreadsheet before Tuesday, August 5th end of day - there are a number of people I haven't heard from at all and this will serve as confirmation you're coming, as there are still waiting lists.

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This trip is finally happening! This will be a beginner-friendly trip to the Marin hostel in Rodeo beach. It’s a short, paved trip, and we won’t carry much weight, hence why this is a great introduction to touring.
The main aim of this trip is to visit the Point Bonita lighthouse on their sunset tour, though you can feel free to skip that.

Bike routes
Saturday:
We’ll leave from Embarcadero at 1pm. The road to the hostel is all paved. There is a climb, and it starts out mean, but it gentles off soon enough. We’ll stop at all the batteries to do some exploring (and catch our breath) so bring a lock if you’re concerned. You’re also welcome to go on ahead (or start later and meet us on the way, we should be a pretty obvious bunch). Map here: Embarcadero to Marin hostel, 12mi, 1200ft ascent.

Sunday:
I’ll probably go back through fire roads + ferry, because that’s fun and we won’t carry much load. This (Hostel to ferry on dirt, 12mi, 1140ft ascent) looks a likely route. This alternative route (Hostel to ferry paved, 5mi, 500ft ascent) is all paved and the easiest way back.
There are plenty of options for ferries (schedule here and here) but you can also ride back to SF fairly trivially.

I’ll bring copies of maps for everyone. I expect to be back in SF early afternoon, so I won’t plan for lunch, only a big breakfast + snacks.


Rodeo beach Marin hostel
We have booked two rooms of 5 (one double and 3 twins in each). The first 10 to rsvp who want to stay in those rooms will get a spot. The rest should book themselves in (you can cancel up to a certain date without incurring any fees). The group rooms will most likely be co-ed, so if you don’t want that, you can choose gender-specific dorms when you book individually. Whether you’re in the rooms of 5 or not, it’ll end up being around $30 a night. There is a bicyclist discount we should mention at check-in (which is when we actually pay).
Hostel FAQs here.

PEOPLE IN GROUP ROOMS SO FAR - ONE BUNK LEFT:
Jean + Magnus - double
Kuro Kurosaka - bunk M
Sandy - bunk F
Diana S - bunk F
Matt smith + 2 kids - group room bunks
Sacha - bunk F


PEOPLE ON WAITING LIST FOR GROUP ROOM (might want to book a dorm bed and cancel it if you get into the group rooms):
none!

PEOPLE WITH THEIR OWN SLEEPING ARRANGEMENT:
Robert Huang (bicentennial)
Jane
J Scott Matthews
Akiyo
Dan
Scott
Ryan LaBarre (Hawk camp)
Cathy Kora
Eliot Burns (Hawk camp)
Val + 1 (Hawk camp)
Dan G - star sleeping somewhere!
Ellie

If you were inclined to camp, there is free camping at Bicentennial (close to the lighthouse) or at Hawk camp (a few miles up a dirt road away from the lighthouse/hostel). You do have to book those and they get popular.

Point Bonita lighthouse sunset tour
We’ve got room for 17 people to come on the free, docent guided sunset tour of Point Bonita Lighthouse (see weekend sherpa and Sunset magazine for mild spoilers).
You can still join the trip if you don’t want to do the tour, or if you’re at this point in time not on the first 17. I’ll keep the rsvp updated in order so any cancellation will move down the list.
Those coming on the tour will need to have eaten and be ready to go at 7pm from the hostel. The tour starts at 730pm and finishes at 9pm. We’ll be riding there and back (in the dark).

PEOPLE WHO HAVE A SPOT ON THE TOUR - FULL FOR NOW:
Jean
Magnus
Ellie
Kuro Kurosaka
Robert Huang
Ryan LaBarre
Dan
Jane
J Scott Matthews
Akiyo
Scott
Diana S
Matthew Smith
Matt Smith kid 1
Matt Smith kid 2
Eliot Burns
Cathy Kora


PEOPLE WAITING FOR A SPOT ON THE TOUR:
Sacha
Val
Val+1
Dan G


PEOPLE SKIPPING THE TOUR:
Sandy

Since this is not happening for a while, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some cancellations, so don't let the full tour deter you - I'll be going through the waitlist in order!


What to pack
Food for dinner and breakfast, any snacks
Pjs, clothes for two days, toiletries
Layers for evening tour - heat layer (fleece or down jacket), windproof layer
Bike lock (we will leave bikes behind during the tour)
Bike lights (blinky at the very least) and headlight - we will be riding back from the tour in the dark on a quiet, open-to-car-traffic road
Comfy shoes to walk in (1h30 tour standing)

The hostel provides bedsheets and towels, and has a full kitchen.


This is a trip where you could get away with a backpack if you haven’t got a rack/pannier setup yet. I’m not saying it’d be super comfortable but it should be manageable due to the short distances.

I'm limiting the group size to 30, but really there's no limit. It's 17 max going on the lighthouse tour, and 10 max in our group rooms, but you can book yourselves into the hostel if the trip is full and come on the ride either way.


If you have any questions, feel free to message me!

********************************************************

Important Notice: The Organizer, Assistant Organizers, and Event Organizers in this group are not professional leaders or guides. By signing up for a trip, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging you are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, and Event Organizers of the NorCal Bicycle Touring and Camping Meetup Group against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities. 

Read these Safety Notes for Riders and this FAQ.  You can find some helpful ideas in these Touring Tips & Knowledge. 

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  • Ellie

    Thanks everyone for coming and making it such a fun trip! Everyone was a good sport about The Hill, and the lighthouse tour was fun - swinging suspension bridge anyone?! Awesome amount of chocolate consumption on this trip as well :)

    August 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks so much for organizing, everything turned out wonderfully! Hope to join you on another, longer tour soon!

      August 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Being out at the lighthouse at night, and all the good vibes at the hostel from everyone, made this a trip to remember. Scott, thanks for joining Eliot and I on our Mill Valley mixed terrain adventure. And I learned a ton about how to be a better tourer!

    August 10, 2014

    • Scott

      Ryan, thanks for being guide. I might still be wandering around those hills if you weren't showing the way - also, great cafe' pick in Mill Valley!

      August 11, 2014

  • Erich

    I parted ways with Ellie around Polk Street. I continued on to the Embarcadero where I found Crepe and Curry. I ended up getting a Florentine crepe that was pretty dang awesome. BART to Oakland, then cranked up the hill back home. Total distance was around 31 miles on Sunday with 3500' of climbing. My legs were toast, but I had a great time!

    August 11, 2014

  • Akiyo

    Thank you Ellie for organizing this trip. I had so much fun. It was great to meet you all. I'm so much more confident with my new bike now!

    August 11, 2014

  • Dan

    Good times everyone and thanks Ellie for leading the way. Hope to do some more

    August 11, 2014

  • cathy k.

    Had a quick ride back to Sausalito ferry and some great ice cream. Weekend was wonderful! Thanks Ellie for organizing the ride and being such a great leader.

    August 11, 2014

  • Jean K.

    Hope everyone made it back okay! PS the climb today on dirt was (despite our misguided description) much more than yesterday.

    August 10, 2014

  • Magnus

    What a fun trip in our backyard! The lighthouse tour was full of local history and geology, very interesting. And so well organized!

    August 10, 2014

  • Jean K.

    Nice sub-24 for the weekend. Challenging enough for such a short ride. Thanks Ellie for all your work organizing such a large group!

    August 10, 2014

    • Erich

      Yes! Thanks to Ellie, Jean and the whole bunch. I had a fabulous time, and I wanna do moar!

      August 10, 2014

  • Ellie

    Let's meet here, Dropped Pin

    near[masked] The Embarcadero
    San Francisco, CA 94133

    http://goo.gl/maps/0NkWT

    August 9, 2014

    • Ellie

      By the antenna tower things, middle of the embarcadero

      August 9, 2014

    • Ellie

      In the island between both car lanes, some guy is playing percussion, he has a red and a blue balloon!

      August 9, 2014

  • Erich

    Suh-weeeeet!! I'm back in for the ride, and the Hostel if it's still available. The tour would be nice, but if not, no biggie.

    August 8, 2014

    • Erich

      Here!

      August 9, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I m here too. Sitting by the OSHA Thai in blue jacket.

      August 9, 2014

  • Robert H.

    Drat, I cannot go tomorrow! Dan, you can still use my campsite. I called them today to confirm what needs to happen, just tell them you're with Robert Huang and that you'll be camping at my campsite. It's free so it really shouldn't be a problem. If you arrive after the office closes, all the better. Just sign for me on the form and keep a copy.

    August 9, 2014

    • Dan

      Sure bring the tent just didn't know if you needed one, see ya soon

      August 9, 2014

    • Ellie

      Erica, welcome to the trip! We'll see you at 1pm!

      August 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Eliot and I are doing a slightly extended route up to the headlands via Mill Valley, rather than heading straight up there over the bridge. ~23 miles and ~2800 feet of climbing, and a lot of the extra mileage is on dirt. Lunch stop at the excellent Mill Valley Beerworks. Anyone else interested in coming along with us is welcome!

    We'll be leaving from Velo Rouge café at 10am, rather than Embarcadero at 1pm, to get up there around the same time as everyone else. Route (to our campsite, so slightly less climbing to the hostel): http://www.strava.com/routes/738231

    August 4, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      One of the trails we're taking is pretty rocky actually. I got a couple pinch flats with 28c tires on it, and I was being careful.

      August 8, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Just to be clear, I'm talking about an alternate route a few of us are taking, not the one most people are doing. That one would be fine with a road bike!

      August 8, 2014

  • Kuro K.

    Anybody has any suggestion about what kinds of foods to bring that is light and easy to cook?

    August 7, 2014

    • Ellie

      People often use couscous because it's light, you can put things in it to make it interesting, and it doesn't require boiling water for 10 min (a bonus especially for camping). I believe quinoa might be similar? Since this isn't far at all I'm probably just going to pack pasta. Safeway sells tuna in pouches - light and great for adding to meals!
      Rice might work out in that it's light and packs a punch - we have a full kitchen to prepare it in.
      Other suggestions: powdered soup (split pea) available at Berkeley bowl; Trader Joe's pesto-filled pasta that don't require refrigeration.
      I often bring cured meats like prosciutto or pastrami, they're fine out of the fridge for an afternoon or so, and a great addition to pasta/rice/couscous/soup­/anything really.
      Also Trader Joe's sells indian food in pouches that only needs a little reheating and is lovely - with some rice your meal is made :)

      1 · August 7, 2014

    • Kuro K.

      Thank you, Ellie, for the ideas. See you tomorrow!

      August 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just got moved up from the waitlist: is there space in the hostel & on the tour?

    July 30, 2014

    • Ellie

      Did you not receive the group email I sent on Monday asking for confirmation, nor the email I sent you personally on Tuesday? Check perhaps your spam folder?
      The tour is full for now but I can fit you in the hostel if you want, please let me know asap!

      August 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      No, thank you. Without the lighthouse tour, I won't be going.

      August 8, 2014

  • Erich

    Aw, crud! I have to cancel. Sorry folks! Next time.

    August 7, 2014

    • Erich

      ugh... I'm bummed about this. I was really looking forward to it... but, can't be helped.

      August 7, 2014

  • Erich

    So, it seems folks are planning some alternate routes to the Hostel, and then I assume after dinner we ride up to the lighthouse. Have we thought of actual meeting times and such for those with their own plans? Say, meet at the Hostel by 5:00 PM on Saturday, for example?

    August 7, 2014

    • Ellie

      Yes, I am going to repeat that information in an email (but am waiting for final changes to minimize emails!). As per the event description, we'll leave the hostel at 7pm for the tour. Also see comment thread below for my comment to campers on meeting us for dinner.

      August 7, 2014

  • Erich

    I'd like to go, but it seems that the Hostel is full, and all three campgrounds are full. I just called the park service about the campground, but I'm hearing about the Hostel from this list. If any slot opens up anywhere, I'd love to be on a waitlist.

    August 2, 2014

    • Erich

      Looks like I'm at the hostel.

      August 7, 2014

    • Ellie

      Yep Erich you are!

      August 7, 2014

  • eliot b.

    I'll be camping with Ryan LaBarre at hawk hill :)

    August 4, 2014

    • Ellie

      Got you! I'll put you on the waiting list for the tour.

      August 4, 2014

  • Greeshma

    Ubfortunately, something came at and I can't make the trip. My spot in the hostel will be free. I have changed my rsvp as well. So sad to be missing it. :(

    August 3, 2014

    • Erich

      Oh, nevermind... I saw the queue. Well, I'll wing it and see what happens. Worst case I ride back to BART at night.

      August 3, 2014

    • Erich

      ... which is still a mini-adventure!

      1 · August 4, 2014

  • Diana S.

    Lee, would you please get back to me about the RSVP change? I sent you a PM but have not heard back, so am asking here. Thanks, Diana

    August 3, 2014

  • Erich

    Well, worst case, I use this opportunity as a dry run for another bikepacking trip, and still get to meet like minded folks.

    August 2, 2014

  • Diana S.

    Didn't reserve the hostel in time (bummer), so just took myself off the list.

    July 31, 2014

    • Diana S.

      Ok - I just messaged Lee with my name and number to switch the RSVP. Not sure if he prepaid? Or do we pay at the hostel?

      August 2, 2014

    • Ellie

      I think you pay when you get there, so it should just be a case of switching the name on the reservation. Let me know!

      August 2, 2014

  • Ellie

    The hostel appears to be full for sat aug 9th, so if you're not going, please update your rsvp, and if you have a spare hostel reservation, let someone know so they can try to grab it!
    If you've got a bed reservation and you're waiting for the group room, would you mind just keeping your bed and letting me know, so others further down the group room waitlist can get a spot?
    You can also try and call the hostel, the online system isn't 100% synchronised I believe - their number is (415)[masked]

    July 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Our campground reservation is confirmed, so you can give my spot in the group hostel room to someone on the wait list now :)

    July 11, 2014

    • Ellie

      Awesome thanks for keeping me posted :)

      July 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm going to call tomorrow morning to see if any Hawk Camp sites are available that Saturday night. If they are I'll reserve one; if not I'll be staying with you at the hostel!

    June 19, 2014

    • Robert H.

      Reserved one spot at bicentennial for Aug 9

      July 9, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I reserved one spot at Hawk Camp for Aug 9 as well, for up to 4 people.

      July 11, 2014

  • Abbie

    Thank you so much for organizing this trip! I'm starting yoga teacher training this weekend and can no longer attend. Wish I could be there!

    July 4, 2014

  • Scott

    Hello Ellie & Jean, I just made a reservation for a bed in a male dorm, so I'm all set.

    June 21, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi,

    June 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes I did.

      June 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks. I did mean to skip the tour.

      June 20, 2014

  • Dan

    I just made a dorm reservation and there were still beds available. Dan

    June 20, 2014

    • Lee T.

      I just also booked two beds in the dorm :-)

      June 20, 2014

  • Ellie

    Alright, so far anyone who wanted to has a spot on the tour. The co-ed group rooms have filled, and one person hasn't got a spot - up to you to book an alternative or see if anyone cancels (you could book an alternative bed in a dorm then cancel it if you get a spot in the group room).

    June 20, 2014

  • Kuro K.

    Do I need a road bike for this? I have a hybrid.

    June 20, 2014

    • Ellie

      Any bike will do. If you go for the dirt option on sunday, hybrid will be better than a road bike, but I know people who take their road bikes on dirt!

      June 20, 2014

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