Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Skipping over San Francisco?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Skipping over San Francisco?

Old 10-17-18, 04:13 PM
  #1  
chrisx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 924
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 406 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Skipping over San Francisco?

How could a person use public transit to bypass San Francisco?
Say you were steaming south on the Pacific Coast bike route.
and,
Think Big cities are bad for bicycles.
Could a person take a bus from Ft Bragg too Salinas, or Half Moon Bay, or avoid the million car city some how?

Any ideas?
chrisx is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 05:07 PM
  #2  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,540

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3391 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
San Francisco is one of the better big cities I have ridden through. At no time did I feel uncomfortable riding in that city. The only issue was Devils Slide but now that is a nice bike path. You will be missing out if you take public transit. That is a really nice ride to Montara and Half Moon Bay.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 05:13 PM
  #3  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,284 Times in 801 Posts
Used to live there , rode from there, south.. (and day trips around the area)
Cross the GG Bridge , hug the pacific coast,
and You will be through SF City/County in a few, maybe 10, miles,
Cannot Sprawl because it is on a peninsula ... it is a compact area.





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-17-18 at 05:16 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 05:24 PM
  #4  
chrisx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 924
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 406 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
I found a list of hiker biker state parks in California,
Find a Park

Golden gate bridge to Half Moon Bay is 36 miles, and a million cars. Not to mention the narrow curvy roads and the bad bad drivers leading up to the bridge for few days before you cross.

Not for me. As far as I am concerned, about 2 counties in any direction from San Francisco is the worst place to ride a bike.

My question was =
how to avoid San Francisco?

Last edited by chrisx; 10-17-18 at 05:30 PM.
chrisx is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 05:25 PM
  #5  
davester
Senior Member
 
davester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 1,793

Bikes: 1981 Ron Cooper, 1974 Cinelli Super Corsa, 2000 Gary Fisher Sugar 1, 1986 Miyata 710, 1983 Nishiki Cresta, 1982 Raleigh "International"

Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 543 Post(s)
Liked 168 Times in 99 Posts
As others have indicated, SF is one of the nicest US cities to ride through. After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge (a really nice ride) it would only take you about 2 hours of riding until you were south of Pacifica and back on PCH proper. Much of that 2 hours would be very pleasant riding (through Presidio National Park, Golden Gate Park, and along the shoreline. It makes no sense to me to skip the city. Also, Fort Bragg is about 2 days ride north of SF and you'd miss some epic land- and seascapes if you skipped the area between there and SF.
davester is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 06:19 PM
  #6  
Doug64
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 5,865
Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 907 Post(s)
Liked 260 Times in 150 Posts
There are several large cities between San Francisco and San Diego. You can hop the train in Oakland and take it to San Diego, missing all of them. Having ridden through SF twice, I agree that riding trough there is pretty safe and easy. Besides, you'll miss Ghirardelli's chocolate store.

After dumping our panniers at a motel we hopped on our bikes and explored the city.


Skip it if you want, but you are missing some fun riding.
[/url]
Doug64 is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 06:55 PM
  #7  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,540

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3391 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
There are several large cities between San Francisco and San Diego. You can hop the train in Oakland and take it to San Diego, missing all of them. Having ridden through SF twice, I agree that riding trough there is pretty safe and easy. Besides, you'll miss Ghirardelli's chocolate store.

After dumping our panniers at a motel we hopped on our bikes and explored the city.


Skip it if you want, but you are missing some fun riding.
What time of day was this? 6AM? When I crossed it was more of a walk than a ride. Tourists were wall to wall

Don't miss a turkey sandwich at Arguello Market

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Arguello%20Super%20Market%20San%20Francisco%20CA&ss=ypid.YN114x2055908&ppois=37.775638 5803223_-122.458198547363_Arguello%20Super%20Market_YN114x2055908~&cp=37.775639~-122.458199&v=2&sV=1

They have (or had) a big sign out front. Something like best turkey sandwich in the US, world or whatever. They weren't bragging.

The hostel at Montara is excellent. good first stop if leaving late from San Francisco.

The hostel down by the water in San Francisco front is excellent as well
spinnaker is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 07:03 PM
  #8  
skidder
Bipsycorider
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,126

Bikes: Why yes, I do have a few! Thank you for asking!

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 483 Post(s)
Liked 175 Times in 137 Posts
As others mentioned, you'll miss some really nice miles if you skip the San Francisco area. Do like the other above mention and take the coast road south through Marin County, cross the Golden Gate bridge (VERY cool on a bicycle!) and then follow the Pacific coastline (generally) to go farther south through the Presidio and the west edge of Golden Gate Park. Don't plan on hitting SF until about 9AM and you should only experience light traffic in the City. And don't go through the center of town; I was there last January on a business trip and it was amazing how many homeless/crazy homeless are in the streets up there! Heck, I'd be more worried about the crazy traffic on Hwy 1 south of Big Sur than the traffic along the coast between SF and PAcifica.

Q: If you don't like San Francisco, what are you going to do when you get to the Los Angeles area? Skip the whole thing and just take Amtrak to San Diego?
skidder is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 07:06 PM
  #9  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,540

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3391 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by chrisx View Post
I found a list of hiker biker state parks in California,
Find a Park

Golden gate bridge to Half Moon Bay is 36 miles, and a million cars. Not to mention the narrow curvy roads and the bad bad drivers leading up to the bridge for few days before you cross.

Not for me. As far as I am concerned, about 2 counties in any direction from San Francisco is the worst place to ride a bike.

My question was =
how to avoid San Francisco?
Have you been there? It isn't that bad really. Riding in the city is probably far safer than the rest of the coast (which is no that bad if you ride off season and stay aware). You are going to have narrow curvy roads pretty much all the way down the coast with a few exceptions. Much of the road has a decent shoulder but other parts don't. If I had to chose I would ride through San Francisco any day over the rest of the coast. That is if I didn't care about seeing the great views.

If you insist on taking public transit just look on google maps. There are a couple of options but it is going to mean more than one bus. One option is to go through San Diego which I imagine is on BART. It would be easier with the bike. But San Diego to Half Moon Bay is going to be bus anyway.

Perhaps this route is not for you? Consider another area like the Selkirk Loop. Probably the least road traffic on all the tours I have done.
spinnaker is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 08:08 PM
  #10  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 7,130

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1820 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 258 Times in 218 Posts
I agree with the others that think a ride over the Golden Gate is worth it.

I stayed at the HI Hostel at Fishermans Wharf in San Fransisco for a few days of sight seeing. Very affordable. But they fill up so you should make a reservation in advance. There was a Safeway grocery store a short distance from the hostel, you can stock up there before you leave to continue your trip.






Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 10-17-18 at 08:15 PM.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 08:51 PM
  #11  
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 6,373

Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, MB3

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 317 Times in 231 Posts
[QUOTE=spinnaker;20621625]What time of day was this? 6AM? When I crossed it was more of a walk than a ride. Tourists were wall to wall/QUOTE]
That's the West side of the bridge, I think it's open after 3 pm.
curbtender is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 08:55 PM
  #12  
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 6,373

Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, MB3

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 317 Times in 231 Posts
https://www.yellowpages.com/fort-bra...nd-bus-station
curbtender is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 09:41 PM
  #13  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,926
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1468 Post(s)
Liked 158 Times in 109 Posts
Google Maps has a route on public transportation that takes 8-9 hours from Ft. Bragg to Half Moon Bay. You’ll need to call ahead and see if you can bring a bike with you. If not, ship your bike to a bike shop and pick it up. Personally, I’d just ride it or rent a car.
alan s is online now  
Old 10-17-18, 10:19 PM
  #14  
raybo
Bike touring webrarian
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,945

Bikes: I tour on a Waterford Adventurecycle. It is a fabulous touring bike.

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 67 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 12 Posts
I live and ride my bike in San Francisco. First off, there aren’t a million people in San Francisco, let alone a million cars! Second, there are many bike routes throughout the city. Third, going from north of San Francisco to the south of San Francisco will involve buses from, at least, 3 different counties. Finally, San Francisco is a nice city to ride a bike through, if you know the best way.

I’ve mapped the route I take from the GG Bridge to Ocean Beach, where you pick up the ACA route. You can see it here: GG Bridge Alternative at Bikely.com .

If you’ve never been on the GG Bridge, there is a huge difference between riding a bicycle over it and going across on a bus. Do what you want, but I think it would be a shame to ride down the Pacific Coast and skip San Francisco.
raybo is offline  
Old 10-17-18, 10:24 PM
  #15  
Rollfast
What happened?
 
Rollfast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Around here somewhere
Posts: 8,029

Bikes: 3 Rollfasts, 3 Schwinns, a Shelby and a Higgins Flightliner in a pear tree!

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1834 Post(s)
Liked 282 Times in 246 Posts
I haven't been there in 36 years but once you get over the Golden Gate it's really going to be like homey, with tourist traps and nice sites.
__________________
I don't know nothing, and I memorized it in school and got this here paper I'm proud of to show it.
Rollfast is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 03:06 AM
  #16  
3speed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 3,439
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
There were definitely multiple spots along the coast that were sketchier riding that SF. Once you ride along curvy hilly roads with hardly any shoulder and cars looking at the ocean rather than you flying past at 45mph, you’ll welcome the bike lanes all over the Very bike friendly city of SF, with light traffic never going over 25mph max, that is used to driving with cyclists. Hell, there are enough paths you could probably practically avoid the streets most of the way of it were that much of a concern. As mentioned, you can be through SF very quickly if you wish, though I’d argue that you shouldn’t unless you just hate being around people. I’d recommend at least stopljng at the Japanese gardens there. They’re Really cool.
3speed is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 10:03 AM
  #17  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 6,223

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM, 2008 BikeFriday tikit T-11, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i5, 2019 Surly ˝DT14

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 696 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 125 Posts
Greyhound runs from Santa Rosa to Santa Cruz. Bicycles as luggage policy.

Uber from Sausalito to Linda Mar is estimated $50~$175.

Hmm. Up and over Fairfax-Bolinas Rd. to Center Blvd. Bike lane/parallel street to Sir Francis Drake Blvd., bike lane to start of Corte Madera Creek bike path. That will eventually lead you to the ferry terminal in Larkspur. Ferry from Larkspur to the Embarcadero, Muni 14R to Daly City, SamTrans 110 to Pacifica, SamTrans 17 to Half Moon Bay? Buses seem to have bike racks.

Last edited by tcs; 10-18-18 at 10:42 AM.
tcs is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 04:07 PM
  #18  
stardognine
Senior Member
 
stardognine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Arid Arizona, for now.
Posts: 2,769

Bikes: 1995 Cannondale Killer V

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 721 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 281 Times in 212 Posts
OP probably wants to avoid cow patties, at the Cow Palace. 😉
stardognine is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 05:41 PM
  #19  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,784

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 253 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 42 Posts
Expedia gives me a $58 cost for a one-way car rental from the Santa Rosa airport to the Monterey airport.
mev is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 08:43 PM
  #20  
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 6,373

Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, MB3

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 317 Times in 231 Posts
Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
OP probably wants to avoid cow patties, at the Cow Palace. 😉
Yes, I take it for granted riding here. Pretty awesome in fact. I'm more disturbed by motor homes and logging trucks.
curbtender is offline  
Old 10-18-18, 11:53 PM
  #21  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,048
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 509 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
You could turn inland at the Russian River and either pick up a bus in Santa Rosa or ride over the hill to Napa and then roll around lake Berryessa and then along through Davis and on into Sacramento (train station is easily reached without any traffic issues typical of a real city). Take the San Joaquin train south out of Sacramento and get off at someplace like Merced and cross the valley and coast range back over to Salinas. You might consider finding a place to leave your bike behind in Merced and take the tourist bus into Yosemite Valley for a day or two of sauntering, if that's something that interests you.

Depending on what time of year, you might not enjoy the contrast of temperature between the coast and the valley. In summer, it can be in the low 50's along the coast but well over 100F in the valley.

Alternatively, catch the ferry out of Larkspur Landing, take it to the SF Ferry building, then catch another ferry over to Oakland. From there, get on the Amtrak Capital Corridor (self-serve roll-on bike) and ride on down to San Jose and then find a way back over the hills to the coast. (Sorry, I really don't know the south bay well enough to advise.)

Like others have said, it seems like a lot of trouble, but if you really just dread riding in a certain place, it can make a trip much more enjoyable to know you have a way of avoiding it. I happen to like ferries and Yosemite more than I like SF, but I'm not sure I would detour quite so far out for the pleasure.
B. Carfree is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 07:19 AM
  #22  
spinnaker
Every day a winding road
 
spinnaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 6,540

Bikes: 2005 Cannondale SR500, 2008 Trek 7.3 FX, Jamis Aurora

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3391 Post(s)
Liked 62 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
Yes, I take it for granted riding here. Pretty awesome in fact. I'm more disturbed by motor homes and logging trucks.
And how many logging trucks have you seen rolling through San Fransisco?
spinnaker is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 09:31 AM
  #23  
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 6,373

Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, MB3

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 842 Post(s)
Liked 317 Times in 231 Posts
Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
And how many logging trucks have you seen rolling through San Fransisco?
Actually, with all the fires, quite a few. They've been harvesting the burn areas and the port in Richmond was turning into a big lumber yard. But was talking about the overlength vehicles out on the winding backroads. Not that big of a deal either, just saying...

Last edited by curbtender; 10-19-18 at 06:05 PM.
curbtender is offline  
Old 10-19-18, 10:52 AM
  #24  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,284 Times in 801 Posts
Following on 21st post, If you want, The Napa Valley is nice.. (I grew up there)
if you continue south and either :
use the road across the north bay , you can rejoin a bike path that follows 101
Thru Marin county, and will put you back on the GG bridge,

Or at Vallejo , there is a commuter ferry running between it and a ferry slip on fisherman's wharf..




...
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-24-18, 02:18 PM
  #25  
chrisx
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
chrisx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 924
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 406 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
I got the 65 from Fort Brag to San Francisco, 14r from the wino district, er I mean 14th and Mission to Daly city, than the 110 to linda Vista, then the 18 to Half Moon Bay.
glad to have missed all that traffic, cars passing close enough to touch etc.

Now there is a shoulder on the road again.
Glad to be in the country side again.

this is more appealing than a concert jungle surrounding me




Is bike touring about getting too cities, or away from them?

I hiked in the Pasayaten Wilderness for couple of weeks, and spent my days walking up creeks taking photos of water falls.

What sounds better,
looking for wild blueberries, or looking for a restaurant without a line?

Last edited by chrisx; 10-24-18 at 02:41 PM.
chrisx is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.