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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-10-07, 12:42 AM   #1
marcusprice
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san diego commuting

hey, guys i searched a bit to see if this was addressed. couldnt find much.
im moving from philadelphia to san diego this week. ill be biking as much as i can. im wondering if there are good bike routes or how easy it is to get around. i know there are some pretty heavy traffic areas out there, but i dunno how easy it is to get around.

ill be living in hillcrest and working in spring valley, so ill probably have to do a combo of biking and public trans.

any insight would be great.

p.s. im riding a fixed.

::edit::
im realizing this might be more appropriate for the "commuting" forum.
but, i am intending on living carfree in sd.

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Old 09-10-07, 08:10 AM   #2
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I used to live in San Diego and was car-lite.

My first bit of advice is to get yourself a multi-gear bike (n+1 bike) . San Diego has a mesa and canyon type terrain that can be pretty tough on a fixed gear bike. Hills like Texas Canyon just east of Hillcrest and Morley Field Dr. in Balboa Park between the Velodrome just east of Florida Canyon in Balboa Park and the rest of the park are good examples.

Actually you will likely want to visit the Velodrome in Balboa Park just to meet large numbers of bicyclists. It's close by Hillcrest. http://www.sdvelodrome.com/

I would guess at your route would be down University to College to Broadway and follow it till it becomes Campo. I'm not sure you will want to use the public transit. You'll have to check. But for public transit you'll probably have to take the bus downtown and then make your connections either on the bus or trolley. The orange line on the trolley might make it a 3 mile ride to the trolley from your home, and then a short ride from the Lemon Grove depot to your work. Bikes can go on both the buses and the Trolley.

Yes, there are heavy traffic areas, downtown and on the freeways, but San Diego is pretty decent to get around in. It's fairly bike friendly. And the weather is very mild. There are neighborhoods in South East San Diego that you may want to avoid, but nothing worse than you might find in Philly.

Here's a transit link.
http://www.efgh.com/bike/transit.htm

There's lots of mountain bike riding opportunities in San Diego as well. (n+2, bike)
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Old 09-10-07, 09:03 AM   #3
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I lived in San Diego years ago. The main problems are the sheer distances, especially if you go to a lot of out-county locations. The other problem is the geography. It's hilly, that's OK, but the canyons have led to the city being set up as a lot of distinct neighborhoods or communities. These communities are connected by big old arterial highways, multi-lane with very high speed limits for cars. Often there are no alternative streets due to the geography. There's little problem if you're confident and skilled at this kind of riding.

If I lived in SD I would probably ride a MTB and explore the off-road single-track trails and social paths that go everywhere. You can see some of them in Google satellite views.
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Old 09-10-07, 11:38 AM   #4
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Like others have said, SD is hilly. You might want to check this site: www.sdcommute.com for public transit info. You might be able to incorporate the trolley into your commute. Also check out www.ridelink.org and see the biking section to request a free bike route map of the area. Good luck! Most of SD is actually pretty nice for riding.
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Old 09-10-07, 12:01 PM   #5
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Well, you sure can't beat the weather!
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Old 09-10-07, 12:53 PM   #6
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Well, you sure can't beat the weather!
haha, thats for certain. the only think ill have to worry about is sweat fest.
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Old 09-10-07, 03:33 PM   #7
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haha, thats for certain. the only think ill have to worry about is sweat fest.
Nah....near the bay it's almost always between 60 and 80 degrees. The farther inland you go, the hotter it gets. I remember that El Cajon was usually at least 20 degrees warmer than downtown SD.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:33 PM   #8
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Although I don't specifically know any Hillcrest to Spring Valley routes, I'm sure there are plenty. I bet if you post this in the Southern California forum, you'll get a bunch of good responses.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:40 AM   #9
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Here are a few streets to avoid:

San Diego's steepest streets
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Old 09-12-07, 09:05 AM   #10
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Here are a few streets to avoid:

San Diego's steepest streets
That's a great list. But you shouldn't necessarily avoid them. Just don't go up them.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:41 AM   #11
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That's a great list. But you shouldn't necessarily avoid them. Just don't go up them.
Just thinking about cycling up some of them, which I often did as a youth, makes me glad I now live in Seville. I can think of no flatter city.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:18 AM   #12
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Hardest part would be getting across the 94th and 125. I'm thinkin Washington to El Cajon Blv to Fairmount to probably University once it widens a bit from there to Chollas. Then from there to College and College would let you cross over the 94. Take Broadway to Sweetwater to Troy and Bancroft.
Good luck
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Old 09-12-07, 11:43 AM   #13
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Just thinking about cycling up some of them, which I often did as a youth, makes me glad I now live in Seville. I can think of no flatter city.
Try Coachella, CA. Not only is it flat, but it's 71 feet below sea level.

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