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Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

story by: House of Travel Specialist

The views out to the Pacific Ocean and curving right around over the harbour, past Alcatraz to the city of San Francisco from 70 metres directly above the water, are immense. Knowing that you have got there under your own pedal power simply magnifies the pleasure.

2-3 hours is all that is required for what must be one of the most scenic and iconic bike rides in the world. Bikes can be hired from numerous hire places throughout the city. Bay City Bikes at Fisherman’s Wharf is a good place to start. Maps, locks and information are provided and the route generally sticks to cycleways and footpaths so interaction with the busy traffic is limited. 

Despite San Francisco being a somewhat hilly city (very similar to Wellington) most of the route is flat as it lips the edge of harbour with fine views out across the chilly harbour waters that provided such a deterrent to would be Alcatraz escapees.
 
The route passes the Presidio, a huge former fort and park, founded in 1776 and used by armies from Spain, Mexico and the US.  There are historic buildings, museums, war cemetery and some lovely walks.  

As the route goes around the harbour, the Golden Gate Bridge looms increasingly large in your sights. It means a short but steep climb up to the start of the bridge. The pathway on the bridge is separate from the roadway and the huge copper coloured cables and massive towers dominate on the 2.7km ride across the bridge.  There are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to enjoy the ever changing water, hill and city views. At the end of the bridge, scenic viewpoints up on the hills provide memorable vistas and photographic opportunities.

From there it is a downhill ride twisting between the tree covered hills into the quaint fishing village of Sausalito which is full of outdoor cafes, boutiques and galleries. 

The ferry goes regularly back to San Francisco dropping you back to Fishermans wharf where you can reward yourself with the famous local Clam Chowder.  Or if you still have the energy there is always the challenge of biking Lombard St, the world’s most winding street.    

By House of Travel Specialist: Paul Murray

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