Urban Mountain Biking

Sometimes a good mountain bike ride takes more time than I have to spare.  The main reason is that to get to the fun, challenging trails worth riding, I have to load up the car and drive to the trailhead, whether it is up in Marin or down the Peninsula.  When I only have time for a quick city spin, I usually grab the road bike, and shoot for a 20 mile hilly loop.  There are lots of options with Lake Merced, Golden Gate Park, and the Presidio nearby.  But more often than not for me, that itch to hit the dirt just needs to be scratched. 

Well, rumor has it that there has been lots of work done by local mountain bikers to open up and maintain fun and challenging single-track trails (yes! Single-track!) in city parks and preserves.  Mount Sutro is a great example of such efforts.  Volunteers and neighborhood locals have worked hard to repair and maintain a multi-use trail system suitable for hikers and bikers.

I decided to go and explore these trails for the first time, with the hope of finding a new mountain bike loop that I can do right from my front door.  I found some great resources courtesy of SFMTB and the folks at Soil Saloon, and discovered I could link up Golden Gate Park, Mt. Sutro, Twin Peaks, and Mt. Davidson in one ride with lots of great single-track.  Of course, we are in the city still, and some portaging and curb hopping is unavoidable, but believe me, it’s a small price to pay. You can find a map here, and as you can see, it also makes for a perfect cylcocross ride!

Next Stop, Sutro Tower

City View from Twin Peaks (I think I can see Steve’s house)

Perfect Single Speed Route

Mt. Davidson

Different type of climbing
Next Stop, Mt. Davidson