Thinking about moving to San Rafael..- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    62

    Thinking about moving to San Rafael..

    Just curious to hear what everyone thinks about San Rafael -- Gerstle Park area.. I'll be working in the city (Financial District) 3 times a week and from home the rest of the week. I've found a place for a cheap and I'm hoping I'm closer to trails than I am now. Commute to work would be slightly better, but not great.

    I'm currently in the Fremont/Union City area and commute to the city on BART. On most weekends, I drive out to Santa Cruz to ride. That being said, I pretty much have to drive a bit to ride anything decent @ my current location.

    I'm not super familiar with North Bay riding, but I know there's some fun stuff in Fairfax. It also looks like I'm close to China Camp.. and Annadel is not too far either. The stuff in Fairfax and China Camp looks close, but not exactly right out my doorstep. Is it possible to ride from home?

    And also, if anyone is familiar with the commute, any information would be helpful too. I can take GG Transit and it will be slightly cheaper than my current bart commute. Another idea I had was riding to work (partially, one way, or the entire way) depending on the difficulty as I'm unfamiliar with the area. Is that possible?

    Any info would be much appreciated. Feel free to PM me.

  2. #2
    (slight return)
    Reputation: slide mon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,135
    Quote Originally Posted by ShralpSauce View Post
    Just curious to hear what everyone thinks about San Rafael -- Gerstle Park area.. I'll be working in the city (Financial District) 3 times a week and from home the rest of the week. I've found a place for a cheap and I'm hoping I'm closer to trails than I am now. Commute to work would be slightly better, but not great.

    I'm currently in the Fremont/Union City area and commute to the city on BART. On most weekends, I drive out to Santa Cruz to ride. That being said, I pretty much have to drive a bit to ride anything decent @ my current location.

    I'm not super familiar with North Bay riding, but I know there's some fun stuff in Fairfax. It also looks like I'm close to China Camp.. and Annadel is not too far either. The stuff in Fairfax and China Camp looks close, but not exactly right out my doorstep. Is it possible to ride from home?

    And also, if anyone is familiar with the commute, any information would be helpful too. I can take GG Transit and it will be slightly cheaper than my current bart commute. Another idea I had was riding to work (partially, one way, or the entire way) depending on the difficulty as I'm unfamiliar with the area. Is that possible?

    Any info would be much appreciated. Feel free to PM me.
    Your life will be good. The riding is great, and you can ride from home no problem. In Gerstle Park you can easily ride Tam or CC from home, although personally I'd still drive to Fairfax.

    Commute-wise, Financial district is about a 21 mile ride from Gerstle Park. You can take ferry in ($6) and ride home. Ride is fairly flat and I do it on a single speed at 48:18, 1 hill in and 1 hill out. You can always extend the ride home through the Paradise loop or through the headlands as well.

    There is also the bus. I've taken the 4 bus from Mill Valley because of my schedule but there's a bus from downtown SR as well. You are subject to traffic on the bus though, I've gone back to the ferry.

    Shoot me your email address in a PM if you have more questions. Happy to give the locals tour some weekend as well.

    -slide

  3. #3
    (slight return)
    Reputation: slide mon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,135
    One more option on the commute if you're off peak hours. Drive to the bridge and ride from there. 7.5 miles to downtown and takes about half an hour. You're on bike paths or bike lanes for almost the entire way. Overall the cheapest and fastest way in as long as you're not commuting during peak hours. Drive to the bridge after 9 and back from the bridge after 7 and you're golden.

    -slide

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hikers Only's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    527
    From Gerstle Park you can be at the trail head for CC in about 10 mins riding. One thing I did when I commuted to the city was to drive, park my car in the Marina for free and then ride the rest of the way.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    422
    Ferry is the way to go, although traffic is a little better over the last few years with some new lanes.. They also have opened the tunnel between SR and Larkspur terminal, making the ride a little easier. As far as ride options, china camp is probably your closest, although Wolfe Grade right above Gerstle will take you towards Kentifeld/Mt Tam watershed.

    If you are looking for somewhere cheap, Fairfax, although quieter and a little removed from SR, has cheaper rent overall. This is because (my opinion) people don't like the extra 10 -15 minute drive down Sir Francis Drake, which can be a pain. But in my opinion living in Fairfax cannot be beat.. Trails to all corners of Marin 5-10 minutes from any direction, total biker community, great restaurants and music. Spend enough time there and you will learn things about the Mt. and watershed you never knew existed. Totally different feel than SR, but just thought I would throw that in there..

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    62
    Thanks for the tips everyone.

    Ferry won't work for me I think.. I work from 6AM-Noon and I may be wrong* but I don't think the ferry starts moving early enough for me to get in by 6. Otherwise, all the other options you guys shared sound great (driving to bridge and riding from there.. or the entire way) or the bus on a lazy day.

    Good to know about Fairfax. Ill look into it a bit more..

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    664
    Ahh, Gerstle Park, I have some really fun high school memories there. It's a nice area. You can easily ride to work every day, I used to ride to 3rd and Bryant daily. Marin has so much riding most people (even many locals) know nothing about; you won't be disappointed. Fairfax, San Geronimo Valley and China Camp (and the backside of China Camp) are all within striking distance, and if you head out to West Marin there's a whole other world of trails to explore.

  8. #8
    Old School
    Reputation: Joe Steel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,039
    There are some trails up there at the top of the hill on Lucas Valley Rd that don't seem too far away. Never ridden them though.

    Some of my favorite road bike routes are in the area too (if you ever venture to the dark side).

  9. #9
    WWYD?
    Reputation: johnnyb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,592
    I used to live on Ross St. in Gerstle Park, great area in the early nineties. You'll like the park and being close to town and the freeway.

    I now live in Fairfax, next to Bolinas and West Marin it has to be the most mellow and fun of all Marin towns. It has four bars, lots of restaurants, a multi-plex theatre and two great bike shops.

    I've been bike commuting from the Mission district in SF for 17 years now. Ride time from there to Fairfax is about 1 hour 40-45 minutes, ferry ride and pedal home works out to about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Gerstle Park, I would take away 15 minutes.

    That said, Gerstle Park does put you in the middle of a lot of great stuff to explore.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: etuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,033
    You can do a lot worse than having China Camp in your backyard. Its a small park but the diversity of riding is really great once you learn your way around. I grew up at the base of China Camp and still find new trails on occasion. Also, with your hours the commute to SF will be super minor. 30 minutes door to door. San Rafael has turned into a real little city in the last 10 years. Pretty interesting town. Great food, a couple of cool little bars, live music all the time, diversity. Not bad.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EBrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    3,469
    I lived in San Rafael and worked in the financial district in the late 90s,,so this could be out of date. Took the bus from the larkspur ferry terminal and got in by 6.took the ferry home. Also drivng was always a reasonable option. Not like trying to cross the bay bridge.

    This was before my mountain biking days, but china camp doesnt seem like a bad local option. Also you are very close to annadel and tamarancho

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Haus Boss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,495
    If you do make the move, you'll soon learn that Tamarancho, China camp, and the fire roads onTam are only a small fraction of the riding opportunities here. Whether you have a SS hardtail or 160mm enduro bike, you'll find a mixture of trails to suit your needs.

  13. #13
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,904
    I am jealous. Awesome schedule you have. Grew up in Marin, now live in Oakland. I Miss Marin.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sfgiantsfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,140
    I do the opposite commute, SF to Marin. I ride to the ferry, take it across then ride to work. I would throw my bike on the bus in the am to make it by six, then take the ferry home. It's a beautiful, relaxing ride, and they have a bar. It is also great to have a bike in the city.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thinking about moving to San Rafael..-ferry-2.jpg  

    Thinking about moving to San Rafael..-ferry.jpg  

    Thinking about moving to San Rafael..-ferry-3.jpg  

    Last edited by sfgiantsfan; 11-23-2012 at 11:45 AM.
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    531
    Move to San Anselmo or Fairfax. The easier access to better trails is worth it.

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.