Wednesday 16 August 2017

Biking the Bridge, San Francisco, California

Seemingly one of the most popular tourist outings in San Francisco, biking the bridge involves hiring a hybrid from one of the many Blazing Saddles outlets in the centre of the city at considerable expense and then following a coastal trail from Fisherman's Wharf up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Although there is one section where you are supposed to walk and a couple of short climbs, it is an easy ride with fine views of the bay and the iconic landmark itself, mist permitting. Once you are on the bridge, you may have to share an enclosed path with pedestrians, while the traffic hurtles noisily past just beyond the barriers. Thankfully, you can stop in the sheltered sections underneath the towers and take in the distant view back to the city and contemplate the vertiginous drop into the waters below. On the other side, most people seem to ride down into the prosperous coastal town of Sausalito, get refreshments and then catch the ferry back. Beware, Sausalito has strict rules on where you can leave your bike and tries to charge you for parking, but there are some free berths next to some of the coffee shops and restaurants. If you choose to cycle back, the climb up to the bridge from Sausalito is quite tough, particularly if it is windy. If you can, bike the bridge in the morning because the bike/pedestrian path seems to get busier and busier as the day progresses.