Oh no... helmet hair!  Here's the highest point on coyote ridge, at the north end of the Marin headlands. Bill's
Mountain Biking
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Ahhhh... Monday through Friday, that pleasant break from my riding schedule called work. Still, although income is necessary for the acquisition of new components, sometimes when switching from Word to Outlook I need a reminder of what this existence is really about. Below is a sample of pictures from trails I've ridden in the Bay Area, or elsewhere, and most of them were shot while straddling my top tube. The camera used is the Canon Powershot S40 (or more recently S410) on high resolution with regular compression, then resized and JPEG'd at 75% with Irfanview, after sometimes minor adjustments to contrast and gamma correction. The best pictures always seem to be taken in the late afternoon or early evening, and maybe sometime I'll try to get out at dawn, which is the other "magic hour" for photography.

Images and text copyright 2002 - 2005 Bill Mains, see copyright notice.

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San Francisco

Okay, riding across the Golden Gate Bridge isn't exactly mountain biking. But living in San Francisco, it's the prelude and conclusion to rides in the Marin Headlands and beyond. Here I'm heading back from a ride through Sausalito to Mill Valley, up the Tenderfoot and Old Railroad Grade to the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais, down Eldridge, along Blithedale Ridge, and through Warner Canyon back down to Mill Valley. It was very close to sunset by the time I returned, and the horizontal light accented the colors of the bridge perfectly. [November 4, 2002]
Downloads (ggbridge): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

This is the last Golden Gate Bridge shot I promise! Again, this was taken from the bikers side of the Bridge, again from the northern tower, heading back to the Presidio. This was after riding around on Wolf Ridge in the Headlands during Fleet Week. The fog was coming in thick so I couldn't catch views of any of the ships from Conzelman Road. But the fog did create an interesting effect while riding back home in the early afternoon. [October 12, 2002]
Downloads (ggfog): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Not of the Golden Gate Bridge, but from it, of a sport which looks about as much fun as mountain biking. We'll have to give it a try sometime. [December 4, 2004]
Downloads (kayaks): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Marin Co.

This is in the Marin Headlands, looking over Tennessee Valley while heading down the Old Springs trail. The Tennessee Valley trail winds along the valley floor toward the lagoon. The Coastal Trail abruptly branches up Coyote Ridge to the right (where I endo'd in a particularly deep erosion coming down that very stetch on the way back). The bike is fine and fortunately I didn't land on the camera. The light cloud cover diffused the sunlight, so I had to push the contrast here a little more than usual to get the colors to come through. [January 27, 2003]
Downloads (tennesseegreen): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

I put this shot up only on request, and I tried to take it down but got complaints. I guess helmet hair is now in fashion! I took this with the mini-tripod I carry in my Camelbak. This is at the highest point along Coyote Ridge in the Marin Headlands. Behind me it slopes down to Muir Beach and Diaz Ridge is there in the background. Mount Tamalpais is pointing into my right shoulder, and Blithedale Ridge is the one that peaks between the fenceposts. [October 20, 2002]
Downloads (helmethair): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

The Bridge at sunset, from the junction of Conzelman and the Coastal Trail in the Marin Headlands, is always a welcome sight. For from here it's and easy and mostly flat or downhill ride back to my place in San Francisco. This must be the end of another good, long biking day. [November 22, 2003]
Downloads (bridgesunset): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Here is the new Coastal singletrack, formerly a fire road, connecting Highway 1 with the junction of Deer Park road, near the Pan Toll ranger station on the southwestern face of Mount Tamalpais. This singletrack was finished in December '04, in a rare turnaround where most news regarding trail access is bad news. This trail is now smoother, better designed, prettier, and legal. even twisting through a grove of trees at one point. Rock on IMBA! [May 30, 2005]
Downloads (newcoastal): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

In Camp Tamarancho, heading clockwise on the Broken Dam trail late in the afternoon. [May 29, 2004]
Downloads (brokendam): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Gazing at the radio towers at the summit of Big Rock Ridge. At nearly 1900 feet, this is the second highest summit in Marin County after Mount Tamalpais, but the first highest where you can ride to the very top on a bike. Only within the last year or so has this area been legalized by public easements of private land holders. [May 22, 2004]
Downloads (bigrocktowers): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Looking down the looping switchbacks descending nearly vertical hillsides on the upper portion of the Big Rock Trail, a continuation of the Big Rock Ridge Trail past the radio towers. This section of singletrack, which descends to "Big Rock" along Lucas Valley Road, is part of the Bay Area Ridge trail, and like the radio towers above has only recently become open to mountain bike traffic. An excellent victory for our sport, and kudos to all trail activists! [May 22, 2004]
Downloads (bigrockswitchbacks): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

San Mateo & Santa Clara Co.

Along the summit of the Santa Cruz Range at its best. This is heading north along Long Ridge Road, not far beyond Hickory Oaks Road. This is your reward for a painful climb from Steven's Creek Reservior along Table Mountain/Charcoal Road. This is worth it, definately, but then again you can just drive here. [May 22, 2005]
Downloads (longview): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

An old wooden farm cart beside Bohlman Road, near the summit of the Montevina Loop in the hills above Los Gatos. The valley beyond is formed by the San Andreas faultline. [March 7, 2004]
Downloads (oldcart): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Almaden Quicksilver County Park, just south of San Jose, in the early spring when the Oak Leaves are starting to open. This is overlooking the Guadalupe Reservoir from Mine Hill Road, near where it connects with Randol Road. [March 8, 2003]
Downloads (almadengreen): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Climbing Mine Hill Road above Guadalupe Reservior in Almaden Quicksilver, heading south toward Bull Run. The green hillsides light up in the setting sun. Mount Umunhum, along the Sierra Azul ridge, shown more clearly the next photo down, can be seen to the right in the distance. [March 8, 2003]
Downloads (minehill): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

If you see the Umunhum tower from this angle, might I be so bold as to suggest you are having a pretty good mountain biking day. This shot is on the Woods Trail in Sierra Azul, a little ways down from the peak of El Sambroso. [May 8, 2004]
Downloads (umunhum): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

In Alum Rock park, returning from the Todd Quick loop to the North Rim Trail in one of the first true weekends of spring at the end of many long winter months. [March 7, 2005]
Downloads (toddquick): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Alameda & Contra Costa Co.s

This in in Briones Regional Park, climing the Crescent Trail from the Bear Creek staging area. The shot is looking west, and there was a massive fog bank to the east being blown in by a rare and very chilly wind from the Sierra's. This resulted in a pretty haze in the lower valleys. [January 19, 2003]
Downloads (brioneswide): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Here's the fogbank right here, as we briefly paused along the Briones Crest trail, near Briones Peak. It's moving quickly eastward (to the left) through the pass here. Kenny is the pro mountain bike model in this shot and those elsewhere here. [January 19, 2003]
Downloads (brionesview): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Midway up Mount Diablo, this is nearing the top of the BBQ terrace trail on the west slope. Pine Valley, where we rode from, is down below. The ride starts in Danville, at the Macedo Ranch staging area, and it's a yucky little 1100 foot climb over a 1 miles to this point. We were heading for Rock City to take the Wall Point Fireroad back down... [October 14, 2002]
Downloads (BBQterrace): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

...and here it is. This is the upper portion of the Wall Point Road shortly beyond Rock City. In the beginning there's a few ups and downs, but just beyond that hill up ahead it flies back down to Macedo Ranch. Kenny actually is in the shot, the little spot on that climb up ahead. This trail moves very quickly, and I caught up to him in no time! : ) [October 14, 2002]
Downloads (wallpoint): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Near the summit of Mount Diablo, starting on the North Peak trail between Devil's Elbow and Devil's Pulpit, as the evening sun drifts behind the western face and the route ahead plunges into shadow. It better not get too dark, since I'm parked down in Mitchell Canyon, and little did I know how slow going this downhill would be. [October 12, 2003]
Downloads (northpeak): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Sonoma & Napa Co.s

Not mountain biking, but in early November driving up the Silverado Trail toward Calistoga the vinyards ignite with varied Autumn colors. [November 11, 2002]
Downloads (napafall): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Near the top of Oat Hill Mine Road, perhaps the most photogenic trail I have yet to ride. Here we are at the volcanic formations along the ridgeline, and the ragged lava flows across the trail. It got even worse than this further ahead toward the old miner's camp. Plus, one slip to the left and it's a long painful fall. Still, the geology here is rare and worth the climb. [November 11, 2002]
Downloads (oatcrest): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

A look from the Oat Hill ridgeline toward the Autumn patchwork quilt of vinyards below that extended down the valley. [November 11, 2002]
Downloads (napaview): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Further up Oat Hill Mine Road, looking toward the hills above Calistoga at the northern rim of the Napa Valley. [November 11, 2002]
Downloads (calistogahills): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Starting out with a quick warmup to the ridgeline, from the parking lot along the Shaker Trail, during a nice crisp morning at Boggs. Maybe it wasn't that early, but at 10:00 am, I think it was a record for us. Tim and Kenny up ahead. [October 10, 2004]
Downloads (boggsmorning): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

Santa Cruz Co.

In Nisene Marks State Park, not far from Santa Cruz, coming down West Ridge Trail from San Point overlook. This is the last and the worst of four stream crossings. Hey, I'm not laughing, my feet were just as wet and it was cold that day. Okay, maybe I'm laughing just a little. [February 23, 2003]
Downloads (coolstream): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

The lookout over Berry Falls in Big Basin, a meditative retreat for a little time in which to peacefully ponder life's madness. This is about a third of a mile up from where the Sea-to-Sky Trail (the bikable portion) ends. [May 4, 2003]
Downloads (berryfalls): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

On the Old Coast Road, branching from Highway 1 just north of Big Sur and reconnecting at Bixby Bridge. Here we are taking a mid-ride rest on the bridge crossing the Little Sur River, in the valley between the two major ridges of the climb. [June 22, 2003]
Downloads (littlesur): 1280x960, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480.

More wallpapers can be found at Duxbury Reef, San Rafeal Street Art '04, Flume Trail, and San Rafeal Street Art '05, San Rafeal Street Art '06, Road Trip 395, if you scroll to the bottom.

Other business...

Copyright notice: All images in this webpage are copyrighted-- including the chain, which is an old broken one of mine that I kept around in case I needed the links. Permission is granted for personal use as desktop background images. Any other use, including use in personal webpages, or in any kind of display or publication, is prohibited without expressed written permission from the author. Images may not be altered without permission, and the copyright notice may not be tampered with in any way (which I've placed where it will be covered by the task bar). I plan to be liberal with granting permission for the use of these images, but still I would like to be informed. And even if you use these just as wallpapers, please let me know if you like them. Email me for any inquiries or comments.

Wallpaper? "Wallpapers" are what you put as background images on your computer screen. Here's how to put up a wallpaper for most versions of Windows: Step 1: know the resolution of your screen (i.e. 1024x768, 800x600). To find out, right click on the background area, where you want the wallpaper to be. Select "Properties" from the pop-up menu, and click the "Settings" tab near the top of the Display Properties window. Then look in the lower right of the panel for your answer. Step 2: Back on this page, click the resolution beside the wallpaper you want. Once displayed on the screen, click "Save as..." from the File menu and, I'd recommend, save it to the desktop. (Click the desktop icon in the "Save Picture" window-- in the left collumn of recent Windows versions, at the top in earlier ones. Then click the "Save" button.) Step 3: now set your newly saved wallpaper as the background image. Bring the Display Properties window back up (see Step 1), and you should automatically be in the "Background" panel. Click "Browse..." and hit the desktop icon in the Browse window, then doubleclick on the file you just downloaded. You do remember the name of it, don't you? Back in the Display window click "Okay" and you're set. If that didn't work, try again, and if it still doesn't work then feel free to email me.

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