cycling in San Francisco area recommendations

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Anonymous's picture


I have the chance to be in San Francisco for a month this summer. For anyone familiar with cycling in the area: where should we live for the most convenient/fun/pretty rides? I like both SF and the East Bay.


Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

When I was in San Fran anything within reasonable proximity of the Golden Gate Bridge was great for cycling.

Think of the Golden Gate Bridge as San Fran's version of the GW Bridge, only more easily accessible and with better riding options once you get into the Marin County headlands. Great mountain biking too.

Anonymous's picture
Ted (not verified)
East Bay Hills

Live near Berkeley, with easy access to the hills (and BART). You can ride up to Skyline a number of different ways, and then the options beyond that are numerous. Or you can hop on BART and start a ride anywhere around the area.

Anonymous's picture
April (not verified)
Easy access to BART in SF

For SF itself and east bay, you want to be reasonably close to a BART station in SF, which will take you out to east bay. Since BART doesn't have nearly the same coverage as the NYC subway, you don't want to be in the corner with a 1/2 fight through traffic to get to BART. You can't get across to East bay by road by bike, though ferry is another good option.

Definitely get up to Marin, as Steve suggested. You won't be disappointed.

And if you have strong legs, the penisula (south bay) has some of the toughest climbs (and wicked fun descends).

Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
which month will you be there? (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Dara (not verified)
july or august

Hi Susan,
It depends on when we can swap our apartment for one out there. we can both work when we're there.
Your trip sounds great. I won't be able to join you because of my 2 year-old. We've taken him on cycling tours, but only on relatively flat terrain.

Anonymous's picture
Hannah (not verified)
mini trips


I have done and would recommend two short multiday trips from San Francisco. In both cases the routes were planned by my brother, who lives out there, so I don't have cue sheets available, but if you're inspired I'm sure you can figure out a route and I could provide some details.

SF > Point Reyes > SF "" target=""_new"">
(recommend using the Marin bike map for this)

SF > Pescadero/Pigeon Point via inland route (Old La Honda) > Santa Cruz (and then back to SF on transit)


Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
Terrific cycling tour/trip this May/June 2007

"I've created and will be leading another California trip this year, this time cycling (free cycling, no luggage on board bike) from SFO across the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, up the coast, around Pt. Reyes/Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, over the coastal ranges into Napa/Sonoma vallies, then finishing in the Sierra foothills.

It will be Mem. w/e thru the 1st w/e in June, very ""bon marche"" compared to $$ of commercial tours, and only for a small group of cyclists. Awesome roads, breathtaking views, way different turf, vistas and cycling than we're accustomed to here.

Y'all are invited (as are other good-spirited NYCCers).

Susan Rodetis"

Anonymous's picture
Bob Ross (not verified)
Mount Tam

Either on a mountain bike/hybrid or (presumably) a road bike, going up & then down this classic ride is more fun than any human has a right to experience. It's just over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Anonymous's picture
Brad Ensminger (not verified)
How Much of a Challenge Do You Want?

If you want to climb a mountain you can take BART to the Pleasant Hill station. From there you can ride though Walnut Creek to the base of Mt. Diablo.

The mountain is about 4000 feet high. There are bike races there every year. The terrain is exotic and interesting and the views are amazing. (On a clear day you can see the Farralon Islands.)

If interested I can give you more details.

Enjoy Northern California!

Anonymous's picture
Susan Rodetis (not verified)
Mt Tam area cycling

"No wonder they invented mtn biking out there - - those roads up/over/around the Marin headlands are quite challenging, steep - - and that's even before you go ""cycle Mt. Tam"".

BYO triple, or at least a compact.


Anonymous's picture
Dara (not verified)
thanks everyone!

Your suggestions are getting me excited about our trip!

Maybe for once I won't have to spend 90% of my time in a new place looking for the good stuff.

Anonymous's picture
Chuck (not verified)
Good Resources for Bay Area Riding...

"As a San Franciscan living in the Inner Richmond with easy access to the Golden Gate Bridge, I'm biased and would recommend living in San Francisco near the Presidio. There is a ton of great riding in Marin between the Headlands, Tiburon, Mt. Tamalpais and Pt. Reyes.

Mt. Tam is my training ground and the most scenic route up Tam is the Alpine Dam loop. The scenery is a little nicer and there's less traffic riding up the north side.

Check out for route sheets...

Also has routes uploaded via Garmin GPS device users. You can search routes by keyword, e.g. ""Tamalpais"". Here's a link to the Alpine Dam route (map view)...

Wherever you live in the Bay Area, you'll find plenty of good riding. But San Francisco is the best place to be in my humble and completely biased opinion for the riding, food, scenery... I could go on and on.

Also, the summer months are the coldest months of the year in SF because of the fog. It's still great riding weather but September and October are our Indian summer months with less wind, no fog, sunny days and temps in the 70 and 80s.

In case you are wondering why I'm reading this message board, I'm good friends with Jeff Terosky."

Anonymous's picture
Jeff (not verified)

Yeah, Chuck is a good friend of mine who has been logging lots of miles in the Marin Headlands and up Mt. Tam for the past several months and is threatening to tear up us NYCC'ers when we get to Italy and the Dolomites in May after our sloppy weather months of February and March! Seriously though Dara, if you need any advice on SF, including cycling, eating, running, working, playing with technical gadgets, etc., just let me know, Chuck is the goto person.

Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
see NYCC Bulletin April p.15 (nm)
cycling trips