The 1999 movie Bicentennial Man may not be a classic but it can be described as vintage Bay Area, thanks to its star—longtime San Francisco resident Robin Williams—and iconic film locations throughout the Bay Area. West Marin’s tiny town of Nicasio, home to St. Mary’s Church, which appears in Bicentennial Man, beautifully backed by the valley’s rolling hills. It’s also the starting point for a scenic 25-mile road ride. From there you’ll cycle a large, counter-clockwise circle; Nicasio Reservoir is the first point of interest with its shallow, slate-colored water reflecting the surrounding West Marin hills. Winding along the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road, you’ll reach Point Reyes Station in 10 miles. Take your pick of specialty snack options (Bovine Bakery’s handmade organic pastries, Cowgirl Creamery’s triple-cream cheeses…). Continue south a few short miles along Highway 1 to Olema and hang a left on Sir Francis Drake. This is the first climb higher than a couple hundred feet. Cruise into Samuel P. Taylor State Park and take the bike path, signed just before Platform Bridge Road. This 4-mile section is a car-free highlight, running beside Lagunitas Creek and into the heart of the park. The most heavily trafficked part of the ride comes next and is not recommended for inexperienced cyclists. A final climb out of San Geronimo Valley and back into Nicasio Valley completes the circuit.
BONUS: Nicasio is also home to a rockin’ vintage roadhouse. The World War II-era Rancho Nicasio shakes, rattles, and rolls with live music and tasty food and beverages.
Park in the town of Nicasio by the roadhouse. Notice the two-hour parking sign. Head north on Nicasio Valley Rd. In 3 miles, turn left on Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd. After 6 miles, turn right to stay on Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd. After 10 miles, you’ll reach Hwy 1 (aka Shoreline Hwy.); turn left and into Point Reyes Station. Continue south on Hwy. 1. After 12 miles, turn left on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in the town of Olema. After about 14 miles, look for a brown “Bike Path” sign and take the trail (it’s only dirt for a few hundred feet before becoming paved). Follow this trail through Samuel P. Taylor State Park for 4 miles. After 20 miles, turn left on Nicasio Valley Rd. Reach Nicasio after 25 miles.