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  1. #1
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    Visit SF 9/3 - 9/7 - Need some riding suggestions PLEASE

    Hey All,

    I'm visiting family in San Fran (Western Addition area) this coming labor day weekend (Sat thru Wed). No wife, no kids, no comittments!! Just me and mountain biking. I will have a vehicle/car ride at my disposal so I can venture outside of SF if worthwhile.

    I need to rent a good mountain bike (pref at least 5" travel full susp.) and am open to suggestions for shops either in SF or near the desired trail system. I am hoping to get in a couple days of good mountain biking and taste the flavor of the area and need some guidance here.

    A little background about me - I live in Arizona, ride local chunk at South Mountain, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, Sedona, Flagstaff. Been riding for over 20 years. I ride a Yeti 575 with Float 36 fork, so I'm looking for something similar to rent. I've ridden all over the USA: Maui to Bend, including Fruita, Moab, Brianhead, UT., Crested Butte, Durango, Keystone Mtn, Winter Park, etc... Denver Front range (used to live in Colorado) so I'm pretty experienced. I like to ride sweet singletrack and chunky stuff, but don't care to get too 'airborne'.

    I've done some research and there seems to be a lot of issues with the local trails around the city not allowing mtn bikes. So here I am, requesting the expertise of you all!

    If you could ride 1-3 days within about an hour of SF (not including rush hour traffic), where would you take your buddies and why? I will be solo, unless someone wants to accompany me, so keep that in mind also.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide, it is greatly appreciated!!
    It's not how good you look......it's how well you ride !

  2. #2
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    sounds like you'd like annadel in santa rosa, pacifica, and demo/other stuff in santa cruz.

    Supposedly the new roaring mouse has some sweet rentals, but I'll let the locals chime in.

  3. #3
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    My website could allow you to explore for yourself the kinds of rides you might like around here. Try the link in my signature below.

    Since you're pretty experienced, I'd recommend mainly those rides that are at "Technical" rating of 7 or above. Maybe down to 6, in the worst case... (Of course, if you'd like to pick based on other criteria instead, such as scenery, you can do that too.)

    In terms of bike shops where you kind find serious mountain bikes to demo/rent, the main two that I'm aware of are Roaring Mouse Cycles in San Francisco and (especially) Passion Trail Bikes in Belmont. Still, you should call ahead and check for yourself before showing up at their doorstep in full biking gear, though.
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

  4. #4
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    thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by erginguney View Post
    My website could allow you to explore for yourself the kinds of rides you might like around here. Try the link in my signature below.

    Since you're pretty experienced, I'd recommend mainly those rides that are at "Technical" rating of 7 or above. Maybe down to 6, in the worst case... (Of course, if you'd like to pick based on other criteria instead, such as scenery, you can do that too.)

    In terms of bike shops where you kind find serious mountain bikes to demo/rent, the main two that I'm aware of are Roaring Mouse Cycles in San Francisco and (especially) Passion Trail Bikes in Belmont. Still, you should call ahead and check for yourself before showing up at their doorstep in full biking gear, though.
    First off, let me say nice job on your web site. Tons of information! Thanks. I saw it the other day but got a little overwhelmed with the Mt. Tam trail descriptions and never made it to any other trail descriptions.

    Seems like a lot of politics involved in riding in the Mt. Tam/Marin area so I am a little gun-shy to ride there. Is it worth a re-visit? Obviously the views must be spectacular. Any suggestions for that area based on what you've read about my riding style?

    The suggestion to hit Annadel looks like a pretty good fit. I'll definitely hit that. Thanks to redmr2_man for pointing that one out.

    I figure - 1 day in Annadel and another day riding closer to the city, with a wide open option for day 3.

    Thanks again to you both for assisting! Let me know if I can ever return the favor.
    It's not how good you look......it's how well you ride !

  5. #5
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    Great website. I will be out for a visit next week and am trying to figure out some riding. I will have to rent a bike and be spending time in SF or just north so it's great to have some trail info.

  6. #6
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    Anyone have experience on the trails just beyond the GG in the marin headlands? I've only hiked out that way but it looked like it could have potential.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mckshred View Post
    Seems like a lot of politics involved in riding in the Mt. Tam/Marin area so I am a little gun-shy to ride there.
    There's not much to be gun-shy about. In Marin, the rules are simple. The legal singletracks are in China Camp State Park and in the Tamarancho Boy Scouts Camp. Outside of these, there are only a handful of legal singletrack trails in the entire Marin County. The ones I can name off the top of my head:

    * A portion of Coastal Trail (included in this ride)
    * Old Springs Trail (included in this ride)
    * Olema Valley Trail (I believe)
    * Bill's Trail

    All of those are fairly short stretches. So, in a nutshell, if you're riding on a singletrack in Marin outside of China Camp or Tamarancho, unless you know for a fact that you're on one of the trails listed above, then you can be pretty sure that you're riding illegally.

    There are hardly any restrictions about riding fire roads in Marin, though (except for the rare example that's uphill-only for bikes).

    Quote Originally Posted by mckshred View Post
    Is it worth a re-visit? Obviously the views must be spectacular. Any suggestions for that area based on what you've read about my riding style?
    Having explained what I explained above, it should be fairly clear that it's not worth visiting if singletracks are your only turn-on. But, there's still a lot of fun to be had with fire-road riding in Marin, as long as you're okay with fire roads. There are quirky trail-side attractions, historic curiosities, surprise vistas that could blow your mind around any corner, and some fire-roads that still hold some serious mountain-biking interest (like Eldridge Grade, Pine Mountain Fire Road, or Repack Road). I would recommend the Pine Mountain Loop or this ride as good examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenme View Post
    Anyone have experience on the trails just beyond the GG in the marin headlands? I've only hiked out that way but it looked like it could have potential.
    Pretty much the same comments as above would apply. Nothing but fire roads; less tree cover than on Mount Tam; and lower elevation. Pretty much the only bike-legal singletrack in the Marin Headlands is Old Springs Trail. But, still, I like riding in that area. You can punctuate your ride with a stop at a beach or with the exploration of old military defenses, and have views in every direction from every hill top. One of the rides I've recommended above is in the headlands.
    Looking for local rides? You'll find plenty on my website: Bay Area Mountain Bike Rides.

  8. #8
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    Looking at your Mtb resume, you may find our local areas lacking in the chunk department. Annadel is a good start, but you try to find a local take you up to Tam + Pine Mountain/San geronimo ridge and you won't be disappointed- so long you dont mind putting in some serious mileage + elevation. I'll leave it at that.

  9. #9
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    If you get up to the north bay Tamarancho and China Camp state park are great riding spots. You can connect Tamarancho to longer rides if you like. Bike n Bean in San Rafael rents a plethora of rigs if you call and arrange I'm sure they would rent you a bike for multi days. If you get up to the north bay pm me I'll show you the goods.

  10. #10
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    You can call Brian @ Big Swingin' Cycles in SF. His shop has a bunch of nice bikes. I demo'd a Yeti 575 there a few years ago. They have a few different things to choose from. Agree with the above recs for trails.

  11. #11
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    PM sent to you

    Quote Originally Posted by exocetaaron View Post
    If you get up to the north bay Tamarancho and China Camp state park are great riding spots. You can connect Tamarancho to longer rides if you like. Bike n Bean in San Rafael rents a plethora of rigs if you call and arrange I'm sure they would rent you a bike for multi days. If you get up to the north bay pm me I'll show you the goods.
    PM Sent. Let me know. Thx,
    It's not how good you look......it's how well you ride !

  12. #12
    mikeb
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    you don't need five inches of travel to ride most bay area locations...

  13. #13
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    Rockville, Skyline Parks near Napa and OatHill Mine trail in Calistoga though not the "chunk" you're used to would give you the most use of a 5"ish bike.

    I'm in northbay aswell with Annadel close by with possible 30+ miles of trails.
    Last edited by JMac47; 09-03-2011 at 08:10 PM. Reason: typo
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

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