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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I'll be in San Francisco for about five nights at the end of April & first of May. Not sure if I can bring a bike or not, but give me some pointers here:

If I can bring a bike, which one? MTB or road / cross bike?

I'll be staying near the Moscone Center, I won't have a car. Is it safe to ride right from a hotel in that area?

If I can't bring a bike, is there a decent shop in the area I could rent from?

If I were to rent a car & bring or rent an MTB, what is the one "must do" ride destination? I won't have more than a day (maybe only 6 hours or so) free to escape in one sitting, so where should I go?

If all else fails and I decide to resort to running, is there a park within easy distance of the Convention Center? I enjoy trail running, not so much asphalt. Am I going to be reasonably safe or am I likely to get mugged in that part of town?

It's been 20 years since I've been on the West Coast; I appreciate your patience & guidance.

Thanks!
 

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aka baycat
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CX bike. Depending on how much time you have you can put together some nice rides leaving from the City and hitting nicely graded fireroad in the Headlands. Do this loop all the time. Cross the GG bridge and ride way out to Mt. Tam and take the road back.

Area is safe. The only ehhh area is 6th between Market and Harrison. And even during the night it is not the worst. You have to be more careful of cars, taxis and buses on the bike.

If you go the rent a car route and bring a MTB. And have a 6 hour time frame check out Tamarancho in Fairfax, El Corte de Madera Skeggs or Annadel.

No dirt right near Moscone, you can run along the piers towards Fisherman's Wharf. A nice flat dirt run is Crissy Field. You can hop on Muni and get over there or run. While I cannot 100% assure you will not get mugged, I have been most places in SF at night and nary a problem.

Drop me a PM if you need more information, or some route suggestions.
 

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+1 on the Marin ride. The views are great. Just google "mtn bike rentals san francisco" and it gives you 3 in the north beach area. Their bikes come with maps of the Marin area and I see people ride them through the Marina greens/Crissy Field area. That area is totally safe.

The Moscone area is safe as long as you don't go too far west (towards city hall). The area north and east of Moscone is pretty safe too.
 

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sftrydr
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If I only had 1 day, and wanted dirt, I'd hop on bart to Daly City, (15-20 minute ride)
http://bart.gov/
Then hop on the Samtrans bus#110 to Linda Mar in Pacifica
http://www.samtrans.com/schedules.html#Colma, Daly City

And from there, head up to the planet of the apes rd(old san pedro) which is a 5 minute ride to Higgins rd gate.
http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/pacifica/690377998714

This route will allow options of 2,000 ft elevation gain, singletrack over in Mcnee Ranch State Park, views of the Pacific from Devils Slide -Montara Mt.

Fine post ride Italian cuisine at Luigi's , which is located at Linda Mar blvd+ Adobe st.

Feel free to PM me for more info
 

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Ancient Chinese Secret
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veritechy said:
+1 on the Marin ride. The views are great. Just google "mtn bike rentals san francisco" and it gives you 3 in the north beach area. Their bikes come with maps of the Marin area and I see people ride them through the Marina greens/Crissy Field area. That area is totally safe.

The Moscone area is safe as long as you don't go too far west (towards city hall). The area north and east of Moscone is pretty safe too.
+ 1 on the Marin ride as well. You'll get to see the City along the way and have impressive views of the Bay once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm not into CX riding myself, but the views are not to be missed. There's also some amount of riding in the SF area, like Golden Gate Park, Mt. Davidson and Pacifica, but you need some local knowledge to maximize those rides.

Another alternative is to take the train (http://www.caltrain.com/timetable.html) 30 minutes south to Belmont and ride Waterdog. The train station is about a 10 minute walk from Moscone. Great views of the Bay from a different angle, and you can do a 1.5-2 hour loop in there. When you get off the train in Belmont, go rent your bike from Passion Trail Bikes (http://www.passiontrailbikes.com/), they'll hook you up with directions to Waterdog. You can walk to their shop (10 minutes or so), or if you call ahead, they might be able to pick you up. They may even have a group ride that is going out that day that you can ride with.

Yes, if you can get a car, your options become much more open. El Corte de Madera is probably the best riding on the Peninsula if you can get there. Again, Passion is probably most convenient to rent the bike from. Waterdog can be quite hot sometimes, and is steep, so if that's not your cup of tea I would try to figure out a way to get to ECdM. It's all in the redwoods, and Manzanita trail has killa views of the Pacific Ocean. Waterdog, in contrast, is relatively exposed to the sun, for the most part, and only has views of the Bay.
 

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SocialClimber
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My $0.02, as a local...

You can't miss with any type of bike (Road/Mtn/Cross). As others have said, if you are heading out from Moscone, you will spend a fair amount of time on the road before you hit dirt, which leans toward a road or cross option. There is some spectacular road riding just across the bridge, that you can easily ride from SF. If you want urban, then the "Seven Hills of San Francisco" loop is my personal favorite.

If you are really looking for MTB or cross, then the Marin Headlands is probably the best "ride to" option. In a 5-6 hour ride, you can actually put together a pretty good sampling of the headlands and Mt. Tam, and still limp back to your hotel.

If you do rent a car, then either a Marin option or Skeggs is probably your best bet, given your time constraints.

If you want to rent a bike, there are a few shops around that do it. Roaring Mouse will let you demo a few different high end bikes for about $50 a day. They are a streetcar ride away from downtown, though (The N line).

As for running, Golden Gate Park is the best option for trail running in the city. Again, it is an N line ride away from downtown, though. I run there all the time and have yet to be mugged (knock wood) . Alternatively, you can just run the waterfront from the ballpark to aquatic park and back. Not trail running, but a pretty pleasant trip just the same.

Except for a couple of areas, SF is a pretty safe town. Your biggest threat will probably come from the Taxis and cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the input and advice. I really appreciate the response.

Keep the ideas coming. I'll post again closer to the trip; I'd be all about tagging along on a group ride if you folks can put up with a ******* from Tennessee ;-)

Sounds like the cross bike might be a good option. I can probably budget time for the one longer ride, but can most certainly get one to two hour rides in each day. It'd be an easier bike to fly with as well I suppose.
 
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