Who wants to go for a spin?
When thinking about bikeable cities, San Francisco isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind. It might be that street with a 41% grade (Bradford above Tompkins, anyone?) or some of the sharp turns… but it turns out that there are some very beautiful spots to take your bike for a spin, and the City has some stellar infrastructure for cyclists! Especially if you’re a first-time cyclist in the City, consider planning your next outing at these 5 beautiful routes.
1. Golden Gate Park
At 1,017 acres, Golden Gate Park is one of the largest public parks in the world. It’s also one of the United States’ most visited parks, and for good reason. It’s home to the California Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, de Young Museum, and much more. But if the 6.3-mile loop sounds like too much to walk, consider hopping on a bike so as to zip between attractions or simply admire the beautiful green space. Even better, most of this park is car-free so you don’t have to share the road with any vehicles.
2. The Wiggle
The Wiggle is one of San Francisco’s most iconic bike routes, cruising through the City and avoiding the steep hills. You’ll find a clearly marked green path that zigzags from Duboce to Steiner, Waller, Pierce, Haight, Scott, and then Oak and Fell Streets, before ending up on the Panhandle, which takes you right to Golden Gate Park. It’s quite a biker-friendly route that even puts the lane in the middle of the street, so you don’t have to cut across traffic.
3. Golden Gate Bridge
Here’s a classic biking destination for tourists and residents alike. The Golden Gate Bridge is a world-famous landmark that you really can’t visit too many times. Whether you want to stop and look for the harbor porpoises playing in the water, or get a good view of Alcatraz Island from above, biking really is a great way to see it up close. Consider hopping over to Tiburon for a day, or just do a loop and come back to cycle around the Presidio. The bridge is 1.7 miles long – but be warned, it gets windy!
4. Angel Island
Angel Island is famous for having been a quarantine facility, a military base, an immigration facility, and more. Despite its tumultuous history (this is where the US enforced the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882), it is now a picturesque State Park and a California Historical Landmark. Take the ferry from Pier 41 and bike around the perimeter of the island for great views of the Bay, Mt. Tamalpais, and more. You can rent even a bike on the island! The Angel Island Perimeter Loop is 5.9 miles long and pretty flat, save for a few inclines. Plan to stop for photo ops and pack a lunch to enjoy on Perles Beach!
5. Fort Funston
This picturesque, slightly less touristy area of the City is worth a trip for beach views and exploring. Take the Great Highway trail, which starts at Fulton Street, and bike down through the park. You can stop to watch the hang gliders, loop around Lake Merced, and breathe in some fresh sea air.
[Featured image: @68cherokeeflyer via Instagram]