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Moving to SF... what to expect(13 posts)

Moving to SF... what to expectFender
Jun 27, 2002 8:58 PM
Next week I'm moving to SF and I'm curious as to what to expect in the cycling community. I've heard theres lots of racing, but other than that, I really don't know what else there is.
Any good clubs for a cat 4 rider?? and good shops??
Expect lots of liberals!!!!Cima Coppi
Jun 28, 2002 4:33 AM
Actually, SF and the surrounding bay area is a great cycling place. Although I do not live there, my father does, so I have had come opportunities to ride in the region. There are great shops throughout the bay area, and in SF, I purchased my newest bike from The Bike Nook, then had it shipped to Colorado.

Others who live in the area can give you more specific names of clubs and shops, but there is no doubt you will have a great cycling experience there.

Liberals are just ONE reason to love it....Silverback
Jun 28, 2002 7:34 AM
I lived there until the '80s, and go back frequently. Honest to God, it's like getting out of jail to get away from the rednecks and born-agains for awhile.
Also, it's a wonderful place for cycling, both road and mountain. MB opportunites are limited in the city itself, but across the bay (both bridges) and down the peninsula are terrific. Any local bike shop can fix you up with directions and maps.
re: Moving to SF... what to expectIndiana Rider
Jun 28, 2002 5:01 AM
I was recently out there... great area for riding... try napa valley... bike paths everywhere. Too bad you cant say the pledge.
re: Moving to SF... what to expectMe Dot Org
Jun 28, 2002 5:46 AM
I would echo that the Bike Nook is a shop worth visiting. I'm not a racer, so I'm not a source for that scene.

There is a good concentration of bikes shops along Stanyan Street, which defines the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park. There are also some in the Mission District along Valencia and in the Marina district.

There's a place called Sports Basement which isn't too bad for (relatively) cheap clothing.

Expect cooler temperatures in the summer, with the wind picking up big time in the afternoons. The best cycling weather is the fall.

For politcal cycling info, check out
re: Learn to ride in a skirt. (nm)I_See_Fred_People
Jun 28, 2002 6:01 AM
re: Moving to SF... what to expectPicshooter
Jun 28, 2002 6:36 AM
Lucky guy! Take a few minutes and check Chain Reaction's web site.They have plenty of ride routes on their site. Mt. Diablo is on the east side too.
Take another day trip North to Sausilito to A Bicycle Odyssey to inquire. Mt Tam is only a few pedal strokes away from this oft mentioned shop.
Between these LBS' you will find plenty of rides.
Someone mentioned A Bike Nook. What a cool shop! Ask Len about rides in that part of the city.
Jun 28, 2002 6:45 AM
Are you actually in SF or somewhere nearby? It makes a difference.
Great Rides (outside the city)laffeaux
Jun 28, 2002 9:45 AM
I live about 40 miles south of the city and riding is great. There's good road riding and MTBing both north and south of the city as well as in the east bay. If you're in the city the streets are a bit crowded, but it's easy to get away from it quickly without having to go far.

Weather in the city can be bad. It's often overcast and cold (year round). However if you head down the penninsula the skies clear and the temps increase 10-20 degrees.

I can recommend shops south of the city, but not much in it. What town will you be in?
Jun 28, 2002 9:56 AM
Except for the cost of living part it really is sweet.

Expect lots of hills and many people that climb like goats. Dunno where you're from, but unless you come from a seriously mountainous area the pitch and length of the vertical and the obtainable speeds are a bit of a shock. And the wind - especially the wind - you learn to plan around it. Takes a while for you to adjust physically and mentally. It doesn't matter what part of the cycling sub-culture interests you - everything from trials riding to track racing to sick MTBing can be found in the area. Competition is just one small part - lots of amazing terrain to just ride all day every day. A good sized chunk of the bike biz is in the Marin/SF/Santa Cruz Area so there are lots and lots of bike nuts (some of them really are nuts).

I may have riden bikes all my life, but I didn't consider myself a cyclist until I started riding in the Bay Area - year round. The list of places to ride, things to do and see is just too long to list here - it's been almost 10 years and I'm still working on it! I would suggest that you have a good road bike and a full suspension MTB - you'll really cover the bases and get to do just about everything and it's hard to say which is better. The people you meet riding in the BA are pretty diverse - you could be riding with a CEO, an accomplished racer, or joe six pack, or a single mom all in the same day....and getting your butt kicked!

You have no idea of how rich your cycling life is about to become. Welcome!
Jun 28, 2002 11:47 AM
Yeah, the SF area is bike heaven.

I disagree about one point...full suspension. All the trails are smooth as silk and fast. But, that's a matter of choice.

Roadbiking: Palo Alto area and Marin County are epic. Some of the fastest riders in the nation ride here.
re: Moving to SF... what to expectFender
Jun 28, 2002 4:20 PM

After hearing all those comments I can hardly wait to get there!!!!! I'll be living in the city, not quite sure what area, but it will be in S.F. metro. I was gonna sell mt mtb in order to have a little more money and buy a better one soon, but after hearing about the silky smooth trails, I'm definitly keeping it.

As for my background, its as opposite to SF as can be. Where I currently live its over 110 degrees with nighttime lows in the 70's. Windy year round, and being surround by a desert, makes for good sand storms. Winters are chilly, yet with a few good layers you'll be set. Did I mention its flat as can be?? On our sunday group ride, we have river bottom, where you "descend" 50 ft and then "climb" those 50ft again. THats the climb.

I weigh aprox. 170lbs and measure 6 ft. Will I make for a good climbing goat?? I can easily lose 5 pounds if neccesary.
expect a big differencechar
Jun 28, 2002 7:10 PM

you are moving out here into the air condition world of summer fog. Some places for info: for a listing of group rides for the racing scene
You can purchase maps from Krebs detailing bicycle routes, other ones are from the local bicycle coalitions, every bike shop has them.
There's also plenty of wind to go with the hills.
You can ride your road bike on the fire trails if you have low gears.
I haven't heard the term "Metro Area" used before, where is home base?