Bike riding in San Francisco is a great way to tour the city, whether you're a local or just visiting. Before you hit the pavement, there are a few things you should know about riding bikes in the Bay Area.
Going Bike Riding in San Francisco
San Francisco is a great place to ride bikes! The city is gorgeous and allows for some of the most amazing views the California coast has to offer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you go bike riding in San Francisco:
- If you have children or pets with you, it might be best to avoid riding bikes in high traffic areas such as downtown, North Beach, the Mission or along Van Ness and Lombard. These neighborhoods tend to get dicey - especially during rush hour - and it's common for there to be accidents involving both cars and bicyclists.
- Avoid major Muni routes, if you can. These large busses are busy corralling passengers and navigating traffic, and they often don't see bicycles until the last minute. If you do ride near Muni, do yourself a favor and give bus drivers a wide berth.
- Locking your bike up is asking for it to get stolen, even with a lock. Your bike can get stolen in any part of the city, so try to be smart about where you leave it.
Where to Go?
There are many places that you can go bike riding in San Francisco, depending on your priorities and what sort of sites you're trying to see. Are you cycling for health and exercise, or are you interested in touring San Francisco attractions? Do you have kids or a dog that you'd like to bring along? Here are a few places you might enjoy:
- Golden Gate Park has many routes that are great for bikers, and the wide, meandering roads make for a fun ride. Make sure to watch out for confused tourists who often get lost in the park and drive erratically. For your convenience, here's more information on Golden Gate Park Maps.
- Highway 1 along Ocean Beach is a fun place to ride, with a long stretch of flat road that winds around the coast. Soak up the ocean air while getting some exercise! If you're up for a challenge, cruise up the hill near the Cliff House - but watch out for cars since the road narrows as it climbs.
- The Presidio is a wonderful place to ride bikes. Long swaths of smooth road, coupled with green meadows and tall trees, makes this area a picturesque place to view the city's sites.
- Farther up from the Presidio is Land's End, another gorgeous place to ride.
- And don't forget to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge!
San Francisco is a bike town, and as such there are many resources to accommodate bicyclists. Check out a few of these sites for more information:
- If you ride bikes in SF, then you should familiarize yourself with the San Francisco Bike Coalition. This organization is dedicated to make the streets of San Francisco safer for bicyclists by educating the public and sponsoring bike-friendly legislation. On their site you will find maps, safety tips and other important information to have if you bike in the city.
- If you ride in other parts of the Bay Area, then you should check out the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition.
- The San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee has created several maps of bike-friendly routes and a bike trip planner on their resources page.
- Planning a bike ride? Use this handy tool to plan a route that works best for bikes.
- Here's an article about safe bike riding with kids in San Francisco.
- Need a bike? Buy or rent one so that you can ride around the city.