On 5/13/05, B_C_Nelson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On May 12, 2005, at 4:43 PM, John Crowley, Jr. wrote:
> >
> > I have some observations/comments about all this SoCal talk.
> <<snip>>
> > (and I regularly ride over the Golden Gate into the Marin Headlands or
> > onto Mt. Tam and
> > hardly see another ride, if it's a weeknight or on a winter's evening).
> -- Ah, Mt. Tam... What a place that is.  Took an easy hike with my
> sister to West Point Lodge and was blown away by the views of San
> Francisco.
> What is amazing about Mt. Tam is it is so close to the city, yet so
> far.   The hiking/mtn biking opportunities there are amazing.
> Certainly less challenging than anything in Vermont from a ruggedness
> point of view (I thought).  But at this point in my life it sure looked
> good to me.

Having Mt. Tam so close to SF is probably analogous to having a 2500'
peak out on 128 relative to Boston, with much of the space between
covered by open bay/ocean and non- or hardly-inhabited rolling hills,
peaking at 900' to 1200'.  The legal riding is not that technically
challenging as you point out, but supposedly that's not the case on
some of the illegal trails (or so I'm told).

With much of the best singletrack "hiking only" trails in Marin, the
riding is primarily on fire protection roads (and they do get very
rocky and tricky in sections, especially after a rainy winter with
washouts, etc.)  Apparently, when people in Marin spawned mountain
biking 30 years ago (about the same time as denizens of Crested
Butte), the equestrians were a lot stronger in local politics than the
mountain biking.  I think I saw that studies since then have proven
mountain bikes do less damage to trails (erosion) than horses.  And
though this has changed a lot at the national level, in the 80's in
Marin I've been told, anyone who had time to be going to local policy
meetings about bikes would have rather been out riding (similar to
what I tell bike mechanics when they are aghast at my bike's dusty
condition: "I'd rather be riding it, than tuning it.")

And _expensive_ it is, as an average crappy 700 or 800 s.f. condo,
built in the 70's, with little storage, no garage and no walkable
public transit, will run you at least a half million in southern
Marin.  And more recently, likely 600K or 700K.  Comparable housing in
Tokyo or London might be higher-priced, but not by much.  Single
family home, small yard, 3 bd, 2bth, 1200 s.f. - you're probably
looking at over $1 million today in the average to good school

> I have to laugh about the California girl comments... because I AM a
> California girl (northern).  But I passed the "babe" days a long time
> ago and joined the ranks of those other women mentioned after the kids
> arrived.
>        I'm not a native Vermonter (see above) and if it weren't so impossibly
> expensive to live in California, that's where I'd be right now
> (northern CA).
> We're happy with the decision to retire to Vermont.  There are many
> many far worse places to be.   Meantime I can go visit my sister in
> Marin.   Now that's an  impossibly expensive county in an expensive
> state when it comes to real estate.  Lucky for her,  she's been there
> forever.
> Carol
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