The San Francisco Peninsula
San Francisco and San Mateo Counties

The San Francisco Peninsula stretches from the city of San Francisco to the city of Palo Alto in the south, from San Francisco Bay in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. It encompasses the flatlands of the Santa Clara Valley, the redwood forests in the Santa Cruz mountains, and the rugged Pacific coastline so characteristic of Northern California.
Terrain: While the terrain is usually quite steep, and the hills quite high, the deep forests provide refreshing relief even on the hottest days of summer.
San Francisco: The northern end of the Peninsula is dominated by the city of San Francisco and spectacular Golden Gate Park, which is closed to traffic on Sundays. The park offers a virtual cornucopia of activities, including art and natural history museums, the Steinhart Aquarium, arboretums, and numerous lakes and athletic fields. Cycling along its busy streets offers the best means to really get to know the city.
Woodside: Nestled in the foothills on the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz mountains, Woodside is easily one of the most popular cycling areas in all of northern California. Recreational cyclists and top-level racing teams are often seen on most weekends sharing the roads as they cruise past the many local horse ranches and through the lush forests so typical of this area.
Pacific Coast: Just over the mountains is the Pacific coast, which enjoys a microclimate of its own. On summer days, when the Santa Clara Valley is sweltering, it is not unusual for coastal communities to be shrouded in fog and blessed with temperatures 20 degrees lower. Farms, ranches and forests dominate the coastal landscape, and car traffic along inland roads is almost non-existent. While there is considerable traffic on Highway 1, on the coast, an adequate shoulder is available for cycling safety.
Palo Alto, home of Stanford University and the high-tech revolution which spawned "Silicon Valley," lies at the southernmost end of the Peninsula, a cycling mecca for the urban and suburban dwellers who live in the vicinity and was. In fact, Palo Alto was one of the first cities to recognize the value of bicycle transportation and to establish an extensive network of bike lanes along local streets. Through pleasant residential neighborhoods and the architecturally fascinating Stanford campus, and along the many peaceful country roads in the foothills, cyclists can experience relative remoteness, even when very near to the population centers of the Santa Clara Valley.

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