South San Fransisco Commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    South San Fransisco Commuting

    I currently live in Ventura County CA and am looking into an opportunity in South San Francisco. How is the riding there and how is the bike commuting?

  2. #2
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    My commute is from San Francisco to Sunnyvale, 45 miles, and I have done most of the routes thru SSF.

    The first question is what you think is an acceptable commute? For example, my commute in New York City was thru the South Bronx, Harlem, and Midtown, so SSF seems like I'm riding thru the country.

    The road conditions are decent, although I have to use puncture resistant tires to prevent blow-outs. Traffic is not too bad either for an industrial area, and I haven't been buzzed by any trucks or cars.

    The worst part is the heavy wind gusts. At night, it can be very depressing to head north into the wind.

    Finally, Caltrain and BART are close by, so you always have a good bike bail-out.

  3. #3
    PCC
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    South City (San Francisco is known locally as "The City" so SSF is known as "South City") is pretty big with a wide variety of terrain and neighborhoods. Where do you expect to be working and where do you expect to be going there from? If you are on the west side of El Camino Real then it's rolling hills and narrow streets. East of ECR is fairly flat and a mix of residential neighborhoods to industrial areas. Further east, beyond Highway 101, it is an industrial area. Riding around those areas is not bad but I usually avoid these areas, preferring to stay on Highway 35 and riding past SSF altogether.

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    I would say an acceptable commute would be about 30 miles one way. I have done about 25 miles in the past and it was very doable. I think my destination would be a little north of the airport but I have no idea where I would be living. I would probably want to stay out of the hills in the morning and during winter.

    This whole thing happened rather suddenly. Sounds like it is not too bad there though.

    I am used to heavy traffic but our roads here are pretty good compared to most of the country.

  5. #5
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    Are you planning on living AND working in South City? Bike commuting to South City is pretty good as the area is bike commute friendly. If you live either south on the Peninsula or South Bay or even SF there are existing bike routes you can use. Just don't try to ride up and down El Camino unless you like traffic lights. Check out the SF2G group on Google groups. It's a great cycling group set up by that posts commute routes/rides to and from SF and Google in Mountain View.
    Like sanjuro said, there's a Caltrain and Bart stop in SSF that are bike friendly if you decide to use public transportation as an option. And the wind gusts in the afternoon do suck.
    Amolan

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    Not sure where I would live. I am thinking South though. I need something reasonably priced to rent for now. Apartment or condo.

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    I hope the job you're looking at pays well, because living in the Bay Area can be quite expensive. That being said, it is a great place to ride. Can't promise you that you'll be able to avoid the hills, and like Sanjuro said the headwinds can be a *****, but the Bay Area in general can be pretty bike-friendly.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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    I am not worried about the money. I know what I need to make it work. It aint cheap here either. It is hilly here as well.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  9. #9
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    I live in SF, and commuted to SSF for a couple of years. It isn't bad, nice ride, but as someone pointed out, the wind can be brutal. I only had a 6.5 mile commute, but with the wind it definitely sucked at times. Is was great other times as well, but if you are riding into the wind, a 30 mile commute home might be a little brutal. Oh, and BTW, the wind in SSF is FREEZING, not like the Santa Anas you get down in socal.

    Just a head's up. It's definintely doable though.

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    I like colder weather anyway. I have wind here as well on a regular basis and I just get used to it. So much so that it feels weird on days without it.

    So far, I am encouraged by the comments.

    Thanks!

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    I did an area overview yesterday and I think I am looking at the penninsula or possibly at the top of the hill above Pacifica. The hill would be foggy but it would be cheaper and give me a straight shot down to where I would work a few miles above SFO.

    Any issues with Foster City? That would give me a decent commute and the condos have private garages. That seems to be less the case with Burlingame and San Mateo.

  12. #12
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    Just a head's up Maximus, before committing to any of the towns you mentioned, it will be well worth it to come up here and check them out. Not sure how long you are planning on being up here, but there is a big difference between living on the outskirts of Pacifica, Foster City, Burlingame, and San Mateo. They are all fairly different areas, and aside from the accessibility of commuting to work, there are some differences for sure.

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    Sorry, the area overview was a 5 hour drive through all those cities and a couple of others. I like Pacifica/San Mateo by 35 and also Foster City. Burlinghame seems a bit more expensive for what you get.

    They are all big city compared to what I am used to and Foster City is closest to that. Ventura County manages to be a bit more rural even though we are very close to LA.

  14. #14
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    Foster City is nice and you can probably take the Bay Trail most of the way to work. It's actually easier to get around there by bike anyway IMHO. Just as long as you don't mind lots and lots of wind.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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    Is the prevailing wind there South? That may work for me because I would be headed North very early in the morning before too much wind picks up and then head South on the way home.

  16. #16
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    South to south-east, yes. If you're leaving that early then you'll miss the headwinds most of the time. Be advised though that winds on the bay are known to shift from time to time. Meh, that's life. It's doable.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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    I took the job today and will be up there in 2 weeks. I started to build a bike with fenders a rack and a few Magicshine lights. I am thinking Dinotte on the rear as well. I also need to scope out my new job for showers. I am hoping they have a few in some of their buildings but will see. I know they are supportive of this kind of thing.

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