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Old 09-16-12, 09:24 AM   #1
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Any SF riders here?

How is it riding in the city?
I have only been to SF once.
But it looked like massive hill grades and didn't notice bike lanes.
Looked like the roads were wide, but not alotta traffic that I saw.

Is it a pleasant experience biking in the city?
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Old 09-16-12, 10:25 AM   #2
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Lots of tourists all over the place, but there are lots of bike lanes and flat bike routes across town. Also lots of scenic rides around the area, like this one:
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Old 09-16-12, 10:37 AM   #3
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I used to, too bloody expensive to stay.

the routes around the hills, naturally became the major arteries,
in a century + of growth.

Market, Van Ness Geary and so forth..
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Old 09-16-12, 10:42 AM   #4
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I used to live in the area and have ridden in SFO quite a bit. My rides were mainly on city streets with no bike lanes and lots of traffic. It's OK and I'm comfortable with that, but there's lots of great riding in the Bay Area outside of SF proper so my riding in the city was usually on my way out of or back into town, rather than riding around town.
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Old 09-16-12, 01:39 PM   #5
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There is excellent biking in and around San Francisco. With the 12,000+ member SF Bike Coalition leading the way and advocating greater awareness by all road users, and with new bike lanes being added, biking here gets better all the time. SF biking map here:
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Old 09-16-12, 05:19 PM   #6
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I live in SF. It is an awesome bike town. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has been instrumental in getting miles of bike lanes added in the last decade. You really don't need to ride any of the steeper hills unless you live on one. The weather is mild year around. Yes, there are lots of tourists along the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf, but once you get away from there it's a real city and not a tourist trap.

Wide roads with not a lot of traffic? I'm wondering if you were actually in San Francisco... That doesn't really describe the city at all. Come back for a visit and check out the Mission District, especially Valencia Street.

I'm totally biased, but in my opinion it's the best cycling city in the USA. I'd like to spend more time in Portland, but from what I saw there it seemed more spread out than SF and the rainy winters would kill my soul. SF has microclimates - the ocean side of town is foggy as heck in the summer, but on the other side of town it's nice and sunny. It doesn't rain at all for at least 5 months of the year and even in the dead of winter there are still plenty of sunny days.

But before anyone decides to move here, keep in mind that the rents are sky high and availability is low. Take a look at the rental listings on Craigslist and be prepared to spit your coffee all over your keyboard in horror. It's turning into a city that only the rich can afford. (I live in 400 square feet with another person - that's the trade off I've made to stay here).
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Old 09-16-12, 05:32 PM   #7
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Thor, I agree with your cooments. Two of my daughters live in SF, near the Presidio. They couldn't do it w/o help from me (rents are scary high).

I just came back from spending a few days with them. I do enjoy the bike culture (and the fact that people walk and/or use public transportation). It seems to me, from my largely exuburbian point of view, however, that SF is not an easy place to commute by bike. Traffic congestion, narrow streets and crazy drivers make it tough to bike in SF. But again, that's coming from a guy who rides mostly in open, rural areas and hills w/o much traffic.

For anyone visiting SF I recommend the Velo Rouge Cafe. The place is bike "themed." The coffee is FANTASTIC!

SF is a fun city, but living there takes a lot of planning ahead.

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