Travel Fit: Cycling, Coffee & Coyotes – The Magic Of Mill Valley
This week I’m in Mill Valley, CA, nestled over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. What a magical place. If you love the outdoors, biking, running, surfing, kite surfing, stand up paddle, climbing and anything to do with moving or being active – then this is your spot!
I’m here visiting an amazing family who love to do all of the above, and they have been the most incredible “fit guides” when it comes to showing me around the area : whether it’s running, cross fit or cycling up in the forest. THANK YOU TOM, CYNDY, HAYDN & STERLING! I’ve met some incredible athletes, experts in MAT, interviewed the “bike whisperer”*, Cross Fit Champions and it’s only been a couple of days. Seventh Heaven! Not to mention Whole Foods…
Everything we discuss together resonates about how wonderful it is to have fitness, active living and the outdoors as a natural part of daily life. This week I rediscovered my own mojo – speeding along the crest of the hill at Railroad Grade track, the fog settled across the whole of the valley, no noise, the sun was starting to peek through. This was what it’s all about.
Here’s a quick guide on places to run, ride, eat, drink coffee, iced teas and enjoy some delicious food to replenish!
Run – OMG there are so many options its endless. If you’re like me an only have a couple of days in the area then here’s the hit list:
- The Dipsea Trail (Famous for the Dipsea Race)
- Stinson Beach
- The Tennessee Beach Trail (this is great to combine with a session at TJ’s Cross Fit Gym if you are feeling super energetic)
- Mt Tam
- Muir Woods
The added factor of fog is pretty cool – depending how you feel about not being able to see 5 feet in front of you and a warning sign that says “Beware of Coyotes” …my heart rate was pretty elevated on the single trail out to Tennessee Beach one morning and it wasn’t the running!
Check out MapMyRun for local trails or join one of the community runs with the San Francisco Running Co guys (Jorge & Brett are super welcoming and love sharing their top picks for best places to run).
Cross Fit: You have to try TJ’s Cross Fit Gym. It’s pretty hard to get in to do a group class unless you have been doing PT sessions with them before hand as they rate technical/safe training as a priority. I’d suggest calling up and asking to do a private training session – these guys KNOW THEIR STUFF! For inspiration and information check out tjs.com. I interviewed TJ as part of my 360 Fit Series – so stay tuned for some tips on how to find the best Cross Fit gyms/trainers, what’s important about Cross Fit training and why TJ’s system is so successful.
Bike: Be prepared for everything – wicked trail rides, road riding with some sweeping turns and views, moderate to technical off-road with fire trail and single tracks. Here are the top picks from The Bike Whisperer Scott Penzarella of Studio Velo who was our guide during my stay.
Marin County is really the home of mountain biking. I can remember coming out here years ago and sitting next to Gary Fisher at Depot – it’s an iconic area with the best trails, mix of road, fire trail and single trail tracks. There is something for everyone.
Once again hop online and do you research about where you want to ride if you have limited timing. If you’re only here a couple of days then the trails I road were great and I’d highly recommend weaving these into your day.
Whole Foods – A MUST visit for any foodie. I could have spent the whole day in there getting salads, burritos and the most incredible smoothies made – also the fresh produce section is fantastic as well as organic meats, fish and everything you could imagine under one roof. The service is excellent and this is not a place to walk into hungry 🙂 MUST TRY THE ORGANIC PUMPKIN PIE.
Coffee: Peets Coffee or the old railway station called The Depot which has been around for ages and has a great little book store. 2 institutions in down town Mill Valley.
Lunch or Dinner: Delish bowls of goodness: Cafe BooKoo– they also have amazing unsweetened iced teas they make from scratch with mint, ginger and other more exotic combinations. Plant – for organic food, Bungalow 44 is amazing for a more up market dinner, Farm Shop (Marin), Cafe Del Sole, Picco ….the list is endless! (Best food in town is probably at the Fischer/Devereaux house…I will be sharing Tom’s Wonder Waffles on this blog for sure)..
Shop Fitness: If you like adventure gear, sports gear, anything to do with fitness, snow and the outdoors then AVOID SPORTS BASEMENT – why? you will not get out of there empty handed. It has a fantastic array of brands from Asics to Castelli, Nike to Burton, Mammot to Mountain Harware and Asics – plus a great selection of nutrition for racing, protein powders and general sports…highly dangerous.. In the area of Mill Valley there is also a great lululemon store, The San Francisco Running Company, an outdoor and surf shop that serves great coffee and has cool movie screening and guest speakers…Also check out REI.
Have included a gallery below from my Mill Valley adventures!
What’s up next?
It’s less than 5 weeks to the Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge so it’s head down and training time – with a couple of exciting announcements with 2 new brands coming in to support Team Spirit…!!
In November I launch my new PodCast series 🙂 so I will be sharing my interviews on Cross Fit 101 with TJ from TJ’s Gym, Cycling 101 with Scott from Studio Velo and a quick review of the Solomon LAB series hydration vest from the guys at San Francisco Running Company. Stay tuned for some fun videos and really great tips & tools to have you navigate your way on how you can use nature as your gym!
Remember, you create the life you want. If you’d like to get your lifelong goals off paper and into action then contact me – I will show you how!
Health & Happiness