Biking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Biking the Golden Gate Bridge (and around the city) in San Francisco was so much fun – and I took so many photos – that I decided to give it its own dedicated post! We got so lucky with the weather – the views were unreal.

My friend Ashley (who you guys will remember as my original running buddy back in the day) moved from DC to Oregon recently, and when I told her I was coming to San Fran she was able to come down for the weekend! She met up with some other friends on Friday/Saturday and then we had Sunday evening and most of Monday to spend together. On Monday, we decided that a bike tour would be fun. We were right!

Yep – you read that right – the day after the Nike Women’s half marathon I went on a nearly 20 mile bike ride that involved a lot of hills. My legs were a bit sore (actually, mostly my hip flexors were from the hills), but it was clearly worth it for such a fun adventure! That said: I totally walked the bike up a lot of the steep hills. No shame! 😉

Ashley and I rented bikes from a place called Blazing Saddles – they have locations around the city but we got our bikes right by Union Square. They gave us maps and directions to do the standard city/Golden Gate bridge route, which was super helpful. Clearly I was pumped!

There were two main route options. Both took us through the city then over to Golden Gate Park, but then you could either take a shorter/easier route right to the bridge, or keep going all the way to the ocean and come all the way up the coast (read: all the hills) to the bridge instead. We choose the hillier, but far more beautiful, option. Worth it!

It was a lot of fun biking through Golden Gate Park because we were right on the Nike Women’s Half Marathon route! Loved seeing it again in brighter lighting. 🙂 I remembered seeing this waterfall during the race – beautiful!

While biking, I snacked on this Perfect Bar – love their bars. This was in the bag of food we got right after finishing the half marathon the day before!

Soon, we had made it all the way through the park and to the Ocean! So beautiful.

There were some cool old ruins a little farther along the beach – this is what used to be Sutro Baths, a large, privately owned swimming pool/bathhouse that originally opened in 1896. It closed in 1966 – and shortly after a fire demolished the building.

Then we began the climb up to the bridge! Yes, because doing the climb up to the coast once during the half marathon wasn’t enough. 😉 We started way lower down this time, too – oof! Lots of walking the bikes involved – and tons of stops for scenic shots. It was stunning.

If you’re in San Francisco on a clear day and only have time to check out one spot that I’m writing about in this post, go to Lands End in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It’s a really cool little trail area and the views are this:

I couldn’t believe how clear it was. In all my visits to San Francisco I’ve never been treated to a view of the bridge like this.

Then, it was time to bike over it! It was a little crowded with pedestrians but we made it work. 🙂

Fun fact: I biked across this bridge once before, about 8 years ago, with my friend Kristen, and it was rainy, windy, and freezing. This was quite an upgrade. 😉

Ashley and I decided to bike on to Sausalito (and easy few miles downhill from the bridge) and take the ferry back to San Francisco from there (you bring your bike on!). Sadly we only had about 20 minutes in Sausalito by the time we got there – wish we’d been able to enjoy it more because it was super cute!

The ferry ride back was quick and beautiful.

Hello, Alcatraz! I took a tour of it on a previous trip to San Fran – really interesting.

And there you have it! An awesome self guided biking tour of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Sausalito. 🙂 When we got off the ferry, we somehow managed to choose the only insanely hilly street to bike back to downtown on – ahhh! My quads were dying. Whatever – worth it. 🙂

Have you ever done a biking tour in San Francisco? Did you bike the bridge?

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