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California SF riders ....please respond :)(19 posts)

California SF riders ....please respond :)CARBON110
Aug 6, 2003 6:16 AM
Hey all,

I have a chance tolive in SF but I have never been there. I am heading out to check it out in October. I have 7 of my child hood friends who live there so thats a big appeal to me. I was wondering how you like living there and how is the cycling seen? Is it it pretty big and easy to get into if your in good shape and a hard core racer? I will be renting a house and I know I am looking at like 2 a month or so for a nice place but thats ok. Any preferable places I might want to check out? I have been searching craigslist. for places to live. I hear the marina is a good place to live too. Any info wouldbe gret thanks !
thought about the East BayM_Lou
Aug 6, 2003 6:21 AM
Hi there:

Are you committed to living in SF? You might want to check out something in the East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland - the Rockridge area is nice and close to some great rides). It's a great place to ride and train especially if you like hills.

ya, if you don't mind getting shot East Bay's GREAT....bigdeal
Aug 4, 2003 7:54 AM
for some good riding, better-than-the-city weather, businesses with actual parking (which also doesn't cost $4 per hour), check out the peninsula cities.

former city dweller
re: California SF riders ....please respond :)Fender
Aug 6, 2003 7:41 AM
Hey Carbon110..
There a lot's of great places to live in the city.

North Beach - (the Italian section and where I currently live). Lots of great restaurants and nightlife, but also quiet and close to the financial district, chinatown and union square.

Marina/Cow Hollow - This is also a great place to live. Mostly caters to the Yuppie and Yuppie wannabe's. Not as many restaurants as N.B., but does have several that are good.

Pacific Heights - Expensive but nice. Tends to be a trendy 'hood

Castro - Although mainly a gay area, it does have great housing that's about on average for the city. Many great places to eat and hang out.

Hayes Valley - There are some good areas in Hayes Valley, close to shops and restaurants, but it's next a somewhat sketchy area that has low income housing.

Presidio - Lot's of vegetation, quiet and peaceful, but far from most areas in town. Definitely need a car if you live in the Presidio.

Well, those are just some areas worth looking into. As for the riding and racing:

Marin - lot's of hills, including Mt. Tam. Usually has nice warm weather perfect for cycling. You will run into cyclists on every ride every few minutes.

East Bay - have not ridden too much there, but also nice. Mt. Diablo is hard!! especially when your a power climber/sprinter.

Northern California will whip you into shape fast. Afterall, it is one of the toughest USCF districts.

Good luck and hope to see you out here soon! Email me if you have any questions at ( I will forward your email to my real account).
Where will you work? Where are your friends?The Don
Aug 6, 2003 7:52 AM
Having grown up on the Peninsula, lived in SF for over 12 years, and currently living in Marin, I can heartily recommend you move here ASAP. Out of the 3, I think that Marin's got the better cycling and weather, and less traffic than the E. Bay. However, the E. Bay has lots of diversity and is cheaper.

I recommend you keep your commute short, whether it be travelling for work or socially. If you're single, then the City (SF) is great. The Marina is good for cycling access, but is very white/yuppie compared to some other neighborhoods.

I live in Marin (San Rafael) and my commute to downtown SF is 17 miles. If you lived in Sausalito, then it's just over the Golden Gate to SF, and you'd be just below the Marin Headlands. (see: The cycling here is fantastic. Within a mile from my house I can either climb up Mt. Tam (~2200') on my MTB or take the road bike & go up Bolinas-Fairfax Road & ride around lakes, etc. Incredible stuff. See map link:,+CA+94930&country=us&cs=8&name=&desc=&poititle=&poi=&uz=94930&ds=n&BFKey=&BFCat=&BFClient=&mag=8&newmag=7
my takeThe Human G-Nome
Aug 6, 2003 8:18 AM
i've lived here for almost 10 years now, a transplant from southern cal. first, SF is EXPENSIVE, but luckily the rents are starting to come down. if you can start out by living in SF then do it. there's always time to move out to the East Bay later. i would concentrate less on neighborhoods and more on individual streets and apartments. great neighborhoods are everywhere and it's just a matter of finding the right place. i live in the upper Haight, for example, and on my street i have:

3 Thai Restaurants
3 Creperies
a post office
Amoeba Records (huge)
large Grocery Store
Greek Grocers
3 Pizza joints
1 Chinese restaurant
5 or 6 breakfast places (including the Pork Store!)
1 Italian restaurant
the Red Vic Movie House
hardware store
army/navy store
juice bar
endless other stores....

mind you, that's just within a few blocks... you still have the lower haight and Cole Valley which boasts everything else and is walking distance.

the panhandle which is the edge of Golden Gate Park is 2 blocks north of my apartment. the beach is a 10 minute bike ride. exceptional climbing is EVERYWHERE. in 10 or 12 minutes you're at the Golden Gate Bridge by bike and have access to spectacular north bay rides.

the bottom line is, if you own a bike, you won't need a car to live in SF. even minus the bike, the public trans is now much better then it used to be. and the best part about living in NorCal?..... year round riding. Always moderate temps.

good luck! forgot to include...Fender
Aug 6, 2003 8:37 AM
Hobsons Choice!! That bar makes the best Mojitos and the Victorian and House punches are soooo good. A couple of them will send you home for a good nights rest!
...and the Magnolia brewpub. nmLon Norder
Aug 6, 2003 1:44 PM
good pointsThe Human G-Nome
Aug 6, 2003 6:45 PM
the punchbowl at the punch house rocks! plus, the brew pub has some wonderful food and great microbeers on the cheap. the beer is pretty cheap, but there's nothing cheap about the food though. the chili and the fish and chips rock!
WOW ! ! ! Awesome response ! ....... follow upCARBON110
Aug 6, 2003 8:38 AM
Ok here is the deal,

First off that is just what I was hoping for. I have a map of SF with all the listings of areas etc. but dont know whats good. You guys were great with information. My details:

-My job is out of the home so very flexable but DSL a must,
-I would like to keep rent under $2200 a month
-A house is apartments
-I dont want to live in city since I am told its pretty crazy..unless I find that to be wrwong
-would like to be no more then say 20 minutes from down town.

I will be picking up my 5.9 Madone in Oct from a buddy of mine in Santa Barb. I would really like to go for some fun rides with anyone who is interested while I amthere. I will be there for 10 days. My friends live in San jose,Oakland,Marin,twin peaks area. I can handle living almost anywhere but if I can find like an ocean view or something nice downtown or just outside city thats ok I am easy to please. Feel free to email me as well at .... can I maybe bounce some questions of from you guys if I need to? I trust my friends judgement but they dont know to much about the details of commited cyclists. The more Hills the better :D

Thanks again,
one more thing........CARBON110
Aug 6, 2003 8:46 AM
I ment to say rent around $2200..I mean if I find a place I really like I will pay more. I have a car...a nice car so should I look for a garage or off street parking? I have been in many citys so I wont be totally awestruck by SF exceot its beauty of course. It sounds great. I really like Asheville where I live but havn a hard time wih lack of social atmosphere. Believe me if I had a family I would never leave here. Great websites and great info again thanks...any places I should stay away from???
There are some lesser-known neighborhoods, too.PseuZQ
Aug 6, 2003 9:08 AM
There are lots of other place to live that are quiet, spacious, where you can rent a house and get street parking and maybe even a garage. The problem is that they aren't in "cool" neighborhoods.

I rent a 2BR, with an amazing ocean view, driveway and a garage (for bikes, windsurfing stuff and a '76 porsche 914. I could never move...)
and I pay a lot less that $2200. This is out by SF State and Lake Merced. Very quiet and residential, not a lot of the cool shops and restaurants but it meets my needs perfectly.
House? Richmond/Sunset/Upper MarketThe Don
Aug 6, 2003 9:52 AM
If you really want a house, then you may want to concentrate on the Upper Haight, Inner Richmond, Upper Market & Sunset areas. Noe Valley isn't bad either, although the are higher. The house will have a driveway/garage, so parking shouldn't be a problem. If it doesn't, then the Inner Richmond can sometimes be a pain to park in.
when i first moved here...The Human G-Nome
Aug 6, 2003 6:54 PM
... i thought i wanted a house as well so i rented one in the sunset district (too foggy). eventually, i realized that a flat was the way to go. if you have a nice car, definitely get a garage because most neighborhoods won't have any parking. there is nothing "scary" about any of the neighborhoods in San Francisco save Hunter's Point/3rd St. and 6th St. and Market. if you stay clear of there, you're fine. remember, SF is a VERY rich city and was dot-com dominated for many years. it's mostly yuppie except for a few colorful neighborhoods which still make it a cool place to live. even the Mission is partly yuppified, but has gotten back a little of its backbone since the dot-com crash. sure, Lower Haight is next to some projects, but still, in the 10 years i've lived here i haven't known anyone who's ever had any kind of problem. one of the beautiful things about SF is its diversity. it's not like LA where everyone is completely seperate and hating on each other. there's actual diversity here. every neighborhood is a microcosm of race, ethnicities and even weather. what's not to like?

and i feel safer in the city then in a suburb simply because people in suburbs have more fear and reservations about people not like themselves and in turn will act out in strange ways. in the city, no one gives a damn and people mostly live in harmony.

from your postings, i'd say you should concentrate on the Marina, Pac Heights, etc. good luck either way!
Aug 6, 2003 8:47 AM
I lived in the Lower Haight for 8 years. I would say that SF is a great place for cyclists, but I would say the mtb riding is better than the road riding. This is non-technical stuff (assuming you keep to what is legal) and it starts the second you get across the GG bridge. There are also great road rides, but they are all 60+ miles long (unless you include the 45 mile Paradise Loop, which I always found kind of boring). In terms of places to live, if I moved back I'd consider the inner Richmond district--a bit foggy at times, but you can be in the Presidio and heading downhill to the GG bridge within five minutes. Ok, now I'm homesick!
re: California SF riders ....please respond :)jrm
Aug 6, 2003 11:45 AM
I moved to the East Bay (Alameda) 2 years ago to work for the state in Oakland. The cool thing about the East Bay is that im able to access most of my rides from my doorstep. Not to mention that if i want to ride in the city or marin im a ferry boat ride away. There are also some great clubs around here too.
A Local Yokelchar
Aug 6, 2003 7:28 PM

Ok lots of good responses from the other folks. To The Don, what bicycle are you riding? probably see you on the GGB as I commute from SA to the City.

So, Carbon110 you should to change your travel plans and arrive in September to watch the SF Gran Prix race, oops, I mean T-Mobile International.

If I read your msg correctly, you just need DSL to work at home, not really commute to a job. The SF Bay Area has lots of microclimates and social/party scenes so your placement here depends on what you like. Bike clubs, racing teams abound, so some like it hot, some like it cool, how fast can you really ride?

For rides, check out
For racing, is the place

Between those, there are lots of links.

Let me know when you arrive in Oct., and bring the cylco-cross bike, we'll mix it up a bit.

Charlie your on !CARBON110
Aug 6, 2003 7:49 PM
Sounds good...I like it hot some days and cold others :)I am an avid racer but not arrogant about any talent I may have...of cpurse i wing it most of the time LOL. Your invitation sounds great and I am anticipating my trip more then ever. My training is specific most of the year but since I got hit by a car I kinda bagged my goals for racing this year so I just go out and do my favorite rides. I may try and make the SF grand prix but not likely although it would be ideal. Thanks for the links and the cyclocross sound like a blast...I really appreciate the invitation
Charlie your off-road !char
Aug 6, 2003 8:51 PM

October is one of the best months to visit San Francisco, well, next to September.

My training is not that specific anymore as I gently approach the AARP age of rebellion, so don't trust anyone over 60 , OK. And yes - Timothy Leary is dead and Larry Flint wants to be the Gov along with Arnold. But this old fart can show you the true Bay Area Backroads north of the Golden Gate Bridge, in other words, "My Paperoute." Yeah, we can roof 'em, porch 'em or ignore 'em.

Lots of great rides out here, I may prejudiced, but am biased on where I live (rent house) and work on the bicycle commute.

Just bring the beater bike out, I ride the $50 commuter "Especialamente" most times on and off-road. I do some convulted routes mixing up dirt and asphalt in a non-hectic way home.

Low gears do help, you can time yourself up Fillmore Street and see how you stack up.

October is the beginning cylco-cross season in these parts, website should be up in September.