1 day to ride in and around San Francisco

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by katanarama, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. katanarama

    katanarama riding > posting

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    I am in SF for business early next month. I plan to rent a bike for a day. Who has a favorite ride starting downtown SF and returning for 4-5 hours?

    thanks all!
    #1
  2. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,667
    Location:
    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    You are making me homesick.

    Anyway, it depends on if you want to head north or south. North will take you over the Golden Gate and put you around Point Reyes and Muir Woods and the like. The roads around Mt. Tam are fun and some good stuff there. Personally, I think there is too much traffic and too much traffic enforcement up there to enjoy any spirited or solitary riding.

    If you head south, then you would want to go to Alice's and there are literally hundreds of roads in the area from the over populated and squid filled Hwy 9 and 84, to the uninhabited roads like Ice Cream Grade. Pescadero road, Stage Road, and 236 all in that general area are within striking distance and are frankly some of the best riding I've ever done- and that includes wasting my time in the Alps here in Europe (riding here is really lame).

    All of those roads can funnel you out to Pescadero Beach where you can enjoy some good coast time and then do a nice leisurely cruise up Hwy 1 back to the City to drop off you bike.

    Seriously, just look at a map- even Google Maps- and look for squiggly lines and you will not be disappointed. Avoid what look like main roads and stick to the secondary ones and you will see very little if any traffic despite being so close to such a huge population.
    #2
  3. T O Double D

    T O Double D Pogue Mahone

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    931
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Sally: What's up Bryce, been awhile. Have you tried Slovenia? I was there without my bike, but it looked like an amazing place to ride. Check out Triglav National Park. Here's a cool RR from the area. Bled was cool as well.

    Katanarama: Everything Sally said is spot on. Also check this list of roads out. It's tough to go wrong riding in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Just watch for cops.

    *edit* I don't know why the link brings the map up small like that. If you go through the main southbayriders.com/forums site and click on "Riding Areas" in the upper right corner it'll get you a bigger map.
    #3
  4. khan46

    khan46 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    Pakistan
    what motorcycle do you plan to rent?
    if your renting a sport bike. then head up north, take highway 1 all the way up when you get tired, make a u turn and come back.

    im sure when you get back to the city, ull want to do it all over again the very next day :p
    #4
  5. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,667
    Location:
    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    Yo! It has been a while. I just want to come home- this hamster cage isn't my style. Thanks for the links too. I may try to get a decent ride in before winter sets in here, and you may have found the winner for me.

    Katanarama, get a GS or RT, but not a potato cannon as some of the road surfaces are not the best.
    #5
  6. cafecubano

    cafecubano ride and let ride

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Talmage, Kansas
    I always went south down to Alices then made my way down to Pescadero. Early in the weekend mornings were the best times to go, less traffic. And should you decide to pass a slow moving cager JUST STAY ON YOUR SIDE OF THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINES. Alteast that what the Highway department told me when handing me the citation:mulie
    Also going south was always much cooler for me than going north. You've got the redwoods provdiing shade most of the way down, which is perfect with all your riding gear. where the sun is beating down on you most of the way up north. Plus I just enjoyed talking it up with all the other rider at Alices come the weekend, there aren't that many other riders out there during the week, but come the weekend:freaky The other cool thing about showing up there on the weekend is that you can ask any one there for which direction to go for a good ride, though it is all good riding.
    The trip down to Pescadero and back to the city, after stopping at Alices, took me about 3 hours.
    oh, I also I have no Idea where you are coming from but just a heads up YOU CAN SPLIT LINES IN CALIFORNIA:deal just so long as you pass under the speed limit and no more than ten mph from the cars your passing. Most of us that do spit lanes only do it in between the far LEFT two lanes, that where the cagers know to be looking for us on two wheels.

    enjoy the Bay Area it is one of the best places to ride.
    #6
  7. Schtum

    Schtum Free Genie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,975
    Location:
    Howe of Fife, Scotland.
    Rent a GS or a Multistrada or a Tiger from Dubbelju on Bryant. Ride to Alice's, have breakfast. Head up Mt Hamilton and visit the Lick Observatory. If you have time, head over Del Puerto Canyon Road to Paterson for lunch. Take Mines Road back to Livermore and get back to SF by whichever route takes your fantasy.

    Mt Hamilton, as I'm sure many on here will know, has the potential to be very demanding. My son and I did this ride a couple of weekends ago and he described it as "intense". It would be supermoto heaven. Del Puerto Canyon rivals some of the very best roads that I've ridden here in Scotland. Mines is lost in a haze of 5 days, 1200 miles and lots of mountain passes. :D
    #7
  8. Meter Man

    Meter Man Living on a prayer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,595
    Location:
    Colorado
    The northern route is fantastic, as suggested above.

    go down south on Highway 1, take Hwy 92 to Hwy 35 and then ride all the way down, you can hop off on Hwy 84 or Pescadero, there are a few great side roads sprinkled around down there.

    The key I found while living down there was to go early or later to avoid crowds.
    #8
  9. katanarama

    katanarama riding > posting

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Thanks! After reading all this great info I am thinking I will rent for two days.

    What is the weather like early October? Predictable?

    If anyone here live in the bay area and wants to ride Saturday October 9, just let me know. :wink:
    #9
  10. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,667
    Location:
    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    Weather will be hit or miss. Most likely it will be mildly cool, but certainly not cold.

    If you have 2 days, I'd do one day to Alice's and then another over to Hamilton and Del Puerto and the like. The north bay has some nice places, but it is just not for me unless you head WAY up. I've got a really cool track that we did on a 2 day ride last year if you want to head up that way.

    After reading Todd's RRs, I am REALLY homesick now... :cry
    #10
  11. ddecarlo

    ddecarlo n00b

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    NorCal
    #11
  12. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    25,484
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    What Sally said.
    #12
  13. katanarama

    katanarama riding > posting

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Yeah I have read some things about cyclists around the area. As a (former) cyclist myself I kinda see both sides. Long and short is that when bicycle meets car, car wins. Cyclists are crazy if they don't ride defensively.

    The cyclists in Vancouver are a pretty self empowered bunch and often blow thru' stop signs and flaunt the law. I will be on the lookout for the southern breed in the hills.

    Man I excited about this ride out!
    #13
  14. Meter Man

    Meter Man Living on a prayer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    8,595
    Location:
    Colorado
    This thread is making me homesick for the Bay Area. So much good riding, year round.:cry
    #14
  15. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    25,484
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    On the weekends, Chainreaction isn't who you need to worry about, it's the Webcor dudes--in green. They can be pretty self righteous. The guys in the back will bitch because you don't pass and the guys in the middle won't move out of both lanes of a two lane road.
    #15
  16. Happy Monkey

    Happy Monkey n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    If you are renting for two days, does this mean a two day trip, or two one day trips?

    If you are going for a two-day, I would recommend heading up North to the redwoods (check my previous posts, there aren't many so it should be easy to find). You may not have time for everything, but highway 1 and the Northern stretches of 101 are worth doing.

    For one-dayers, I would go North across the Golden Gate, and pick up highway 1. There are a number of roads that head back East to 101 so you can pick the length of ride you want (I like 116 along the Russian River). For the other day, I would find a good backroad South of SF on the pennisula. As mentioned, there are many. This would give you plenty of good riding, and still be close to "home". If you want to do Mt. Hamilton, that is a good suggestion as well (I just did it a few weeks ago with my brother), but it is a bit of a hike from SF. Head up Alum Rock from East San Jose, stop at Lick Observitory, then follow it down the other side. At Junction you can then head East to Patterson or North to Livermore.

    Rent a GS if you can, because, well, if you can ride a GS, why wouldn't you?? Nah, any bike will do just fine for these roads. Mt. Hamilton is probably the worst, but only on the way up. The backside is pretty smooth and Mines road into Livermore could be a lot of fun on a sport bike.
    #16
  17. katanarama

    katanarama riding > posting

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Ha Ha. I am thinking I will try to get a Tiger, it looks like a good choice for the varied road conditions I am reading about. I tried the GS once, it is great for what it is but not my cup of tea. Not just because I ride a 990 Adventure. :D
    #17
  18. dlearl476

    dlearl476 Two-bit Throttle Bum

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    30,652
    Location:
    Between Here and There
    Got an iPhone?
    http://www.madmaps.com/

    If not, these maps are sold in just about every MC shop in SF. The rental place will most likely have them.

    King's Mountain Rd to Tunitas Creek to Hwy 1 Down to Pesacadero the up Pesacadero Rd to Hwy 84 back to Skyline then back to the San Jose area is a pretty good ride. It's been a while but that might be about 4 hours.

    OTOH, if you are renting downtown, you may want to head North. (IIRC, it's about an hour just to get to the good roads South from downtown.

    Take the Golden Gate Br to Sausalito then head towards Stinson Beach and the John Muir Woods. Stay North on 1. Point Reyes is a good ride but you have to backtrack. The above map lists very few roads North but just about any route from 1 back over to 101 and back to SF is good. My favorites are Bodega Hwy and the road through Nicasio and Novato. You can find those on the link above on the "Sir Francis Drake" map.

    You like Oysters? If so, make sure you look out for a little spot on the left (West as you're going North) side of the road just as you get to Tomales Bay. Good stop for lunch. Tomales Bay Oyster Company
    #18
  19. Schtum

    Schtum Free Genie

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,975
    Location:
    Howe of Fife, Scotland.
    If you want to stay with what you know, Dubbelju are taking delivery of two 990 Adventures.
    #19
  20. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    25,484
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    If you're used to a 990, the Tiger will feel small. Really small.
    #20