I’ve spent the last 6 months passively scouting (bike) commute routes up and down the Peninsula, in preparation for my upcoming move back to San Francisco and continued work/study at Stanford. I know I’m not alone in this – there’s a fair number of people who live in the city these days and commute down to the Silicon Valley, and a fair number of them are cyclists, and a fair number of those cyclists would bike to work occasionally if there was a decent route. So let’s find (build?) a route!
Unfortunately, I don’t believe there is a silver bullet of a route to find. This is the best I’ve came up with thus far… it’s reasonable. Most of the route I’d rate at a 3 (out of 5) or better in terms of cyclist safety. Excluding the intersection of Ceasar Chavez, Potrero, Bayshore and 101. That’s bunk. That gets a 2.
There’s one part of the route that google maps can’t really handle. Along San Andreas Lake and the Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir, there’s an awesome mixed use path. The path does have a 15mph bike speed limit – but the alternative is to add a couple hundred feet of climbing along with a short (but legal) stretch on 280. Ouch.
So, this route took me 2:17 today without commute bags, which would probably add another 20 lbs and 20 minutes. Doing this commute by car is generally 40-50 minutes, depending on the traffic. Add another 10 minutes on each side of that for parking. I guess to be fair, we should add 15 minutes of bike prep time, and 30 minutes for shower time at the far end. So ~1 hour by car, ~3 hours by bike.
Any ideas for improving that get-out-of-SF part? Or any other part of the ride for that matter? The MTC has a set of ideas, but those are more long-term big picture ideas. I’m looking for a fast, safe route now… or as close to that ideal as possible.