A Love Letter to San Francisco

A Love Letter to San Francisco

San Francisco is most famous for its landmarks, neighbourhoods, rich history and diverse culture. What we've found from our visits over the years, is that it also hosts an unrivalled and alluring cycling community.

One minute you're climbing 15% gradients, the next you're flowing through a national park after crossing the Golden Gate bridge, finishing up with countless coffee and pastry options once you've come to a stop.

San Francisco is a special place to be a cyclist and we wanted to share some insights from riders close to QUOC, who live and breathe not only the city, but the culture that comes along with it.

Maude Farrell

Adventurer Maude Farrell has raced bikes professionally since 2021. Looking ahead to the 2024 racing season with her place in the newly-announced PAS Racing team, her focus will be firmly on gravel and long-distance mountain biking. When not training, you can find Maude mixing it up with backcountry skiing, running, or taking over the world within the electric vehicle space.

Maude's Insights into San Francisco:

"I've lived in the Bay going on 9 years now. My entire cycling career and history is rooted here in the Bay and that is not a coincidence. Living in San Francisco, you are enticed at every perch by the Marin Headlands - a nationally protected park of sagebrush, coyotes, wide gravel fire roads, and the glory of Mt Tamalpais.

Within an hour of pedalling from the density of the city, you can be at the foot of this 3,000ft mountain and access endless miles of trails and waterfalls. Even without crossing The Bridge the options for riders in our relatively small (7 miles by 7 mile) city limits feels like 20 different universes stitched together by dirt paths, single track, and protected bike lanes. You might need a local to squeeze out all the potential of the city loop, but the best part of SF beyond its access is the community of people waiting to welcome you with any flavor (length, intensity, or style) of ride you could possibly imagine."

Maude's Recommended Ride Route

Matt Wiebe

Matt, another member of PAS Racing team, is known for his 5am weekday rides and his effortless ability to float up climbs. Having spent most of his youth racing mountain bikes at the U23 Elite level, Matt has returned to the sport after taking some time off the bike to pursue a career in Architecture.

City insights from Matt:

"I have been practicing architecture and living in San Francisco for over a decade. There are many reasons the city is great and the cycling here is a big part of that for me. I can enjoy living in a vibrant urban environment and ride from my front door to some of the best riding in the world in about 30 minutes. Just get across the Golden Gate Bridge and a whole new world opens up to you. If I had one route from SF to show a visitor, this would be it. A mix of all the good views, the coast, Mount Tamalpais, pavement, and dirt. You'll want a bike with 32-34 slicks for the best time."

Matt's Recommended Ride Route

Away Message

Away Message (AM) is a unique blend of athletes, creatives, and producers, all united by a shared passion for venturing into uncharted territories. Their mission is to bring more people to the sport of cycling by showcasing it in a way that is fun, fast, and captivating. They ride hard and push into the unknown - but never at the expense of a good time.

What AM had to say:

"San Francisco is special - it's simply a stunningly beautiful area. The hills, the weather, the parks, the architecture, and the people, all help make any outing feel extraordinary. We're still in awe of the number of routes we can hit straight from our doorstep, whether it's 5k or 500k, the city offers too many options to ride despite the press, its still an outsider's city - you're really encouraged to follow your own path and Away Message wouldn't exist without the city's counter culture mindset inspiring us to start something for ourselves."

AM's Local recommendations:

The Coffee Movement - we have a very strong coffee culture, but this spot is a cut above.
Breck's - Cafe and aperitivos perfectly situated for a pit stop. You can catch us here posted up in kit and quocs most days.
Pizza Hacker - Beers and pizza before heading home from a ride.
Bon, Nene - Date night.
Evan Kinori - Clothes and Vibes.
City Loop - Just cruising the hills and coast line in the city is an amazing ride in itself.

A final recommendation from us would be to visit our friends over at Ornot. Not only are they a wonderful team, producing amazing kit, with a lovely community surrounding them, they also stock QUOC and can give you even more recommendations on routes, rides, cafes, bars, you name it. Theye a knowledgable bunch who will go out of their way to help. Keep an eye on their Strava page, too, as they are regularly hosting rides from the store.

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