Moving to San Fran, How's the Mtn. Biking??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Moving to San Fran, How's the Mtn. Biking??

    Hi-
    My wife and I are thinking about moving from the Boston area to San Francisco. How good is the mountain biking around that area? I've read alot of things on marin county off the net, and it seems like that area is promising, but I've also read alot about legal access issues concerning quality singletrack?

    Whats the lowdown on San Fran area Mtn. biking?
    Is there quality singletrack in the area?
    I'm into night riding, what night riding opportunities are there?

    Thanks for all the help! I'm sacrificing my whitewater paddling with this move, so I'm hoping the Mtn. biking is sweet!

  2. #2
    smw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Harris
    Hi-
    My wife and I are thinking about moving from the Boston area to San Francisco. How good is the mountain biking around that area? I've read alot of things on marin county off the net, and it seems like that area is promising, but I've also read alot about legal access issues concerning quality singletrack?

    Whats the lowdown on San Fran area Mtn. biking?
    Is there quality singletrack in the area?
    I'm into night riding, what night riding opportunities are there?

    Thanks for all the help! I'm sacrificing my whitewater paddling with this move, so I'm hoping the Mtn. biking is sweet!

    The San Francisco Bay Area is a mt biking mecca. There is lots to choose from, and it will take you years to ride all of it. Nite riding is also alive and well. White water rivers are also availabl within a couple hours drive. For off the hook riding, summer in Tahoe is hard to beat. Its prolly differant then what you normally ride, but it is great stuff.
    Check the reviews pages on places like Downiville, Soquel Demo Forest, Mt Tam, China Camp, Annadel. Lots of goods, and let us know when you'll be coming.

    Sean
    Gears and suspension are for girls and old men. Feel free to quote me in your signature. - Fast Eddy

  3. #3
    aka baycat
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    Welcome and anytime you want a tour de Marin let me know!

    Marin doesn't have copious amounts of singletrack, Tamarancho is an awesome, technical in my mind around 10 mile loop. China Camp in San Rafael has much tamer singletrack, but has a great backside of gray area/ahem/morning egg trails. Each are within a 25 minute drive from the bridge w/o traffic.
    http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=466 China Camp
    http://www.boyscouts-marin.org/ Tamarancho

    Mt. Tam has two legal singletracks on it and of course the boring fireroads, but the views are second to none and are always great for a nice 6 mile grind up and a 6 mile flying descent.

    Go south to a place called "Skeggs" El Corte de Madera, tons of great, very technical IMHO singletrack. About a 35-45 minute drive from SF and no bridge toll.
    http://www.openspace.org/preserves/pr_madera.asp

    Legal Nightriding is right across the Golden Gate Bridge in the Marin Headlands, all fireroads but a popular destination amongs a lot of people.
    http://www.nps.gov/goga/mahe/

    Post up a ride request when you get out here and you will have many willing bodies to show you around

    Ryan

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Harris
    Hi-
    My wife and I are thinking about moving from the Boston area to San Francisco. How good is the mountain biking around that area? I've read alot of things on marin county off the net, and it seems like that area is promising, but I've also read alot about legal access issues concerning quality singletrack?

    Whats the lowdown on San Fran area Mtn. biking?
    Is there quality singletrack in the area?
    I'm into night riding, what night riding opportunities are there?

    Thanks for all the help! I'm sacrificing my whitewater paddling with this move, so I'm hoping the Mtn. biking is sweet!
    Spend one weekend in nearby auburn and you will forget all about the biking and whitewater back east. (although I don't know what you got back there). Might not be able to do it every weekend, but then you can paddle the bay.

    The biking will speak for itself. There is plenty of singletrack around the bay area.

  5. #5
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    I moved from the Boston area to SF about 2 years ago (Blue Hills, Lynn Woods, Foxboro being my favorite areas). The biking in the Bay Area isn't necessarily better, just different. The trails are much more strenous in terms of cardio. The downhills are definately more intense. I really don't think there is as much single track here as there is out there although baycat made some great suggestions for some.

    (My theory on why there's less single track is that the geography and climate is more prone to erosion + the poplution is greater, biking is more popluar, and the season is longer, which adds to more wear and tear on the trails.)

    I don't think nightriding is as neccessary here as it is in the Boston area. The days are a bit longer and while boston is on the easter part of it's timezone, SF is on the western part (It's darker in the morning, but lighter in the eve). Nightriding is probably pretty nice for the winter though (yes, there is still great biking in the winter).

  6. #6
    Trip the Bike Fantastic
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    yo, have you visited California yet? i'm from the boston area, and am familiar with beantown riding and climbing. there is NO comparison in terms of availalbility of outdoor activities. The biking here is off the hook - and year round. Whitewater up north and in the sierra is epic. This is the promised land, dude. Hop on!

  7. #7
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    Do it.

    My wife and I moved here from Boston 10 years ago. We were going to stay for 3 years and then go back but pretty much decided within a month that we were here for good.

    The main problem with mountain biking out here is that there is so much else to do - you have to be dedicated to squeeze it in with all the other outdoor sports . And when you need a change of scenery (doubtful, but heard it happens) the Sierra is much closer than you think. Driving 3-6 hours in CA is not the same as in MA. Getting to Tahoe from SF is easier than getting to Franconia Notch from Boston. Yosemite only seems a little farther. Drive 4-5 hours and you have the eastern Sierra...

    -slide

  8. #8
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    Looking good

    Thanks for all the help.
    From what you guys are saying, it looks like I will be very happy with the riding. I know there's whitewater near by, but it just takes 3 hours to get to it. Oh well, I guess I can get into kayak surfing, but I dont know if I can get used to Great White sharks swimming under my boat. Thats freaky man!!!!

    No I havn't been to the bay area yet. My wife and I will be making our first visit in August.

  9. #9
    aka baycat
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    Do not worry about great white in the kayak, look into cherry creek when you get out here.

    Only if your boogie boarding, a friend of mine was attacked out in stinson a few years back

  10. #10
    Totally, and to the max.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Harris
    I'm sacrificing my whitewater paddling with this move, so I'm hoping the Mtn. biking is sweet!
    The riding is sweet and if you drive 3 hours to the Sierras, you will find some of the gnarliest whitewater in the States.

  11. #11
    ballbuster
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    Let us know when you come out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Harris
    Thanks for all the help.
    From what you guys are saying, it looks like I will be very happy with the riding. I know there's whitewater near by, but it just takes 3 hours to get to it. Oh well, I guess I can get into kayak surfing, but I dont know if I can get used to Great White sharks swimming under my boat. Thats freaky man!!!!

    No I havn't been to the bay area yet. My wife and I will be making our first visit in August.
    I have one spare bike, two if we end up some place I can ride my SS, providing you ride a med/large -ish bike. Bring your riding gear, pedals and shoes!

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