Bike Riding Over the Golden Gate
Whether you live for the crystal clear sunny days SF has to offer, or love the serenade of foghorns announcing summer’s daily fogpocalypse, biking across the Golden Gate is always a treat, even for locals. You don’t have to be a tourist to experience awe when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, 220 feet above the frigid water of the bay, and glancing back to take in the view of the most beautiful city in the country.
The towers of the Golden Gate Bridge were the tallest in the world until 1998, and at its opening, it was the longest suspension bridge ever built at 1.7 miles. Its construction also inspired heated debates about ruining the pristine beauty of the Golden Gate straight with what some feared would be a monumental eye sore. Fortunately, the military lost out on their request to paint the bridge with stripes to the iconic color, “International Orange,” chosen because of how it blends with the bridge’s natural, scenic backdrop of golden, green, and reddish-brown hues.
But, let’s get back on the bike. Cyclists are allowed on the bridge toll-free 24 hours a day, though access hours on the east and west sides vary. The approach to the bridge is a bit of a climb, but worth the effort. A stunning route starts at the Ferry Building, and follows mostly flat bayfront paths through Fisherman’s Wharf, Aquatic Park, and Fort Mason, then along the Marina Green, and into the Presidio at Chrissy Field. From Fort Point, just under the south end of the bridge, a maze of steep paths wind their way up to the entrance of the bridge. Alexander Avenue, the first exit after Vista Point on the north side of the bridge, winds downhill into equally scenic Sausalito. From there, hardy cyclists can continue on to Mill Valley or Tiburon, and those ready to get back to The City can hop the Golden Gate ferry to the Ferry Building, a ride travel writers rank as one of the best in the world.