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  1. #1
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    sf commuters: finding your route

    right now i live in oakland and most of my commute is to north beach. thats no problem, i just ride to bart and then ride from embarcadero to my destination. its just about the easiest commute ever.


    so by next month i'm moving to the outer sunset. i've been studying the online bike maps and using the knowledge i have of the city but i just can't figure out what would be the best route.

    go through the park to the richmond and then through the presido? go through the park to the panhandle, through downtown and take embaracadero like i used to?

    i've been commuting now for a year so i know how to ride and all but the sf hills are what are scaring me. not just going up but going down too! thye're steep and i'm a wheeny.


    anyway, if you were me - how would you go everyday?

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    I can see what you're up against. Even if you go thru the panhandle and then hayes St. to downtown there's alot of hectic traffic to contend with from there. If you go through the presidio there's still traffic from there to N.Beach and that way has you almost going off course for a good bit. Hopefully someone who bikes a similiar route will be able to provide more wisdom than I have. I'd probably give it a test run, the presidio way on a sat or Sun to get a feel for the distance. Another way might be through the park and panhandle and then north from there, (is it Stanyan?) but you have to go pretty far to get around the hills of Pacific Heights. What about driving to the Marina and biking from there? I don't know if you can park your car at the Marina or palace of fine Arts all day...driving into Seacliff or some neighborhood halfway and parking is tricky not only for availability but the resident parking thing. What about parking at the Presidio if that was copasetic to do all day. The bummer about driving and biking is you miss the nicest part of the trip thru GG Park but with the distance and traffic you may need to consider some alternate plans if plan A doesn't cut it. Can you take a bike on the street car, (N line or something?) and ride as you did from the embarcadero? That street car is really slow any time I've been on it though, maybe it's quicker now. ---Another thought is to ride through the park and the north to sacramento St. (or around there depending on one way stuff) then put your bike on a bus and shuttle to where can finish biking over to north beach--not quite to the embarcader but almost....I've thought about it some and think i'd probably do the panhandle then maybe down to about montgomery somehow and to north beach from there; even if you walked for 5 minutes up Hayes St. seems like the most direct route...good luck!
    Last edited by Simmons Lane; 06-07-06 at 10:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    i do have the option of driving. i just really hate that option. parking in north beach has me on the two hour rotation shuffle or a fifty dollar ticket. plus leaving my bike at home hurts whenever i have to do it. leaving my car safe in my driveway puts a smile on my face.

    the n judah line stops a half a block from my new house but it does not allow bicycles. this is the biggest bummer about where i'm moving. otherwise i'm excited - rides in the park, along the beach, etc.

    one setback for figuring this out is that i don't know the presidio very well at all. does anybody know any secret pathways that could get me through there and on towards bay street?

    i figure that when i'm coming home after 11 hour days and my bike loaded with all my stuff i'm going to take the bus at least up the hill to the haight and ride through the park home. i'd rather not have to do this both ways though.

    oh san francisco i love you so much i just wish you were a tad easier to ride across!

  4. #4
    Senior Member O-Town's Avatar
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    I think your best choice is the GG Park through the Richmond Dist. to the Presido. I would stay off Lombard St when you get down to the Marina.

    It's a bit out of the way but there is a good MUP through Crissy Field that drops you into Fort Mason. You can then go past Ghirardelli Square and all the tours crap at Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. It's not a bad ride too.

    Sounds like this could be a pretty commute nice commute.
    Geee that would be nice.

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    I think if you went up to the presidio on a day off and explored the roads you'd soon figure it out especially with a map. Only problem I see with the presidio route is you're basically spending half your trip heading north when you want to go east. Maybe do both routes by car one day, from the sunset to North beach thru the park/panhandle and then back through the presidio and compare the distances. ...Do all the streetcars not allow bikes? What about the K car which you could pick up say in West Portal or a few blocks before that on Juniperio Serra...it goes right down (under) Market as well I think. I still think the park/panhandle and then if you can deal with the Hayes St hill maybe up van Ness to Geary and then Geary down to Montgomerey and left to N.Beach...(I think Montgomerey may be the quickest way thru to N.Beach from Market)

  6. #6
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Any chance you could spring for a folder that fits in a carry-on bag for the judah line?
    This space open

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    Find your route

    What Ave. in the sunset are you?

  8. #8
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    hi, no a folding bike is not an option for me sadly.

    im going to be around 25th and judah - i'm right by the enterance to the park.

    also - i dont know what the 'wiggle' is and maybe it could help me? it's tough because im still in the east bay right now and want to figure this out so badly but can't go riding for a few days in the city

    the thing that kindof makes sense about going through the presidio is that my destination is right off of bay street - a fairly north east part of the city. so it kindof makes sense to go north for a while.

  9. #9
    Senior Member O-Town's Avatar
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    You could skip the Presidio by going up Pacific Ave (there is a nice hill though). Good thing about that...it's all downhill from there to Bay.

    Check out Google Maps you'll figure it out. Getting through SF is a hell of a lot easier than Orlando Florida.
    Geee that would be nice.

  10. #10
    ll0
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    If you're concerned about hills, I would go through the park. Then take Page St down to Market st. Market to north beach.

    Though, I would mix it up and take different routes. There are a bunch of beautiful spots between your place and North Beach.

  11. #11
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    bina: I know you said you were using the online map- but go get one of the SF Bike Coalition (paper) maps from a bike store out near you in the Sunset (like Nomad or Roaring Mouse). They're only $4 and they're well worth it to have all the bike routes in SF listed. The best part is that they're color-coded for how steep the streets are.

    It really helped me a lot w/ my rides and commute rides. I'm in the inner richmond

  12. #12
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    I live in the Outer Richmond. Based on my experience, the least-trafficked (and most scenic way) would be to go through the park, take 23rd through the Richmond until you get to Lake, take Lake to 25th, turn right on 25th, then right on El Camino Del Mar. At that point, you're in the Presidio, following along the coast toward the GG Bridge. There is about a mile of uphill here, but it's never super-steep. After you reach the top, it's almost all downhill to North Beach. The descents are fast but again, not super-steep. Eventually you'll wind up on Old Mason Road where there are bike paths or bike lanes that go all the way to Fort Mason. After you climb another small hill in Fort Mason, you'll be at Fisherman's Wharf. From there, take North Point to wherever you want to go in North Beach.

    Another way would be to take 23rd to Lake and then turn right and stay on Lake until you get to Arguello. Turn left on Arguello and eventually that will take you into the Presidio. Stay on Arguello as it drops down into the heart of the Presidio (i.e., you'll be passing houses, buildings, etc.) At the stop sign at the bottom of the hill, turn right, then make an immediate left on Graham. Turn right on Lincoln, then left on Halleck (there's a fire station there). Then you'll pass beneath some overpasses and end up on Old Mason, where you'd turn right and be on your way to Fort Mason. This route is more direct, but on the return trip, the climb back up Arguello is steeper than anything on the first route.
    Last edited by ConstantRider; 06-11-06 at 09:21 AM.

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