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Chas Blackford

Five Great Bikes for Holiday Self-Gifting

The Yeti Big Top 29er

The holidays seem to bring out a lot of different qualities in people, ranging from overt outpourings of generosity to incredible instances of selfishness and greed. Fortunately, we tend to see more of the former, and perhaps even sense a trend as a growing segment embraces the notion that an economy based entirely on consumer consumption is unsustainable. That said, to get in the proper frame of mind for this article, we suggest you suspend any shopping repression tendencies and start thinking of yourself. We're talking about self-gifting here, people.

The Ultimate Sunday Ride: Paradise Loop

Paradise Loop

“Doing Paradise” has long been a popular option for San Franciscan cyclists looking for an easy opportunity to escape the confines of city streets and congestion. Today’s ride, a 38-miler with about 1600 feet of elevation, is suitable for all types of cyclists–whether you're on a fast paced group ride or wanting a laid back family day.

The Ultimate Sunday Ride: A Trip Through Local Mountain Biking History at SFO

70s Mountain Biking

As it looks like the weather this Sunday may not be conducive to riding, we suggest instead that you take a trip out to SFO Airport’s International terminal for a long look at a fabulous assemblage of local mountain biking history.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: Horseshoe Meadows

Horseshoe Map

Every two weeks, the Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride attempts to bring to you an interesting, challenging or scenic cycling adventure in the Bay Area and Northern California. This week’s ride combines all three of those elements at their extreme and the ride can, without hyperbole, be consider the quintessential Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: Hicks Valley Loop

Hick Valley Map

This nearly thirty six-mile loop through northeast Marin can satisfy the needs of a variety of cyclists. Just completed a century or long road race? Then this mellow cruise to Nicasio via the Hicks Valley makes a great recovery ride. Are you a beginning cyclist looking for something slightly more challenging? Once again, just what the spin doctor ordered. Want a leisurely ride in the country with a couple of great spots to have lunch? Right this way.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Map

Most Bay Area locals have a tendency to take San Bruno Mountain for granted, a grassy, often fog shrouded lump looming alongside the Bayshore freeway. Situated just south of the San Francisco - San Mateo county line, it’s considered to be the northernmost peak of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The majority of the mountain lies within the 2,300 plus acres of San Bruno Mountain State Park, a unique open-space island in the midst of the north peninsula's dense urbanization.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: The Sonoma Mountain Loop

To my mind, there’s no better way to spend a late summer day than to take a bike ride in Wine Country. This loop up and around Sonoma Mountain can done in as little as two hours or extended in to a day long excursion.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: The Mt. Tam Hill Climb

Climbing Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais has been a cycling challenge since bicycles began rolling over the first paved roads up this fabled mountain.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: Double Diablo Climbfest

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: Double Diablo Climbfest

Mount Diablo is one of the dominate features of the Bay Area landscape, visible from each of the surrounding nine bay counties. It’s one of a trifecta of local summit ascents that every climber should commune with on a regular basis.

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: West Petaluma

The Ultimate Sunday Bike Ride: West Petaluma

This ride can be a varied experience depending on your approach and riding goals, whether you are training or seeking a laid back recreational outing. It provides enough vertical to a make it challenging if you up the pace but it’s the lack of vehicular traffic and the sublime beauty of Sonoma dairy farms that make this a delightful countryside tour regardless of your cycling aspirations.

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