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  1. #1
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Biking in San Francisco

    If all goes well, I'll be spending all of next week in San Francisco, attending a conference for 3 days and having 3 full days of free time. I've been planning to just walk and ride trolley cars around the city, but then I ran across this bike rental service that entices me to take a ride along the bay out to the Golden Gate Bridge, then ride over the bridge and back. Sounds like a blast. That is, if the winds don't blow me off of the bridge.

    http://www.blazingsaddles.com/sf_bike_ride_maps.html

    Have others done this? Is the ride along the bay from the Piers out to the Bridge along bike paths or streets? The ad reads like it is all along a bike path.

    The ride to Sausalito & back sounds very nice too. But none of those hilly rides into Marin County, my legs are not in shape for them.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  2. #2
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    You might want to post this in the "Northern California" regional discussion area.

    - Steve
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    lube addict
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    Yes, from the Aquatic Park to Fort Point is all pathway but you do share with pedestrians. I have driven to S.F. before and parked my car a little farther south near AT&T Ball Park. I unpacked and rode my folder along the Embarcadero to Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, Marina Green and Yacht Harbor, Crissy Field, Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and over to Larkspur Landing. Then I took a boat ride back across the bay to the Ferry Building where you can stop in for a bite and brew at several places (gotta love the caviar and champagne bar!). It's a short ride back to the car, fold up the bike and drive home south some 90 miles. On a clear, windless day it's a very memorable ride!

  4. #4
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    San Fransisco has been working on its Bay Trail system for a long time. It is not complete but there are a lot of long sections. It is multi-use but it is a pretty wide trail.

    http://baytrail.abag.ca.gov/
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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    My wife and kids and I did the blazing saddle rental and rode to Sausalito about 4 years ago. About 2 miles along the waterfront that is flat- then a short steep climb to get to the bridge, Carefully ride across the bridge then its almost all downhill to Sausalito, Spend some time there and take the ferry back. An enjoyable few hours. I rode a rented tandem with my then 11 year old son. Many people ride all over SF. We enjoyed it and yes there are a few amazing hills but usually a way around them.

  6. #6
    dck
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    Riding along the Embarcadero to the Bridge is an easy ride...there's bike lanes the whole way. You'll need to dodge tourists going through Fishermans Wharf and by the Cannery though. Riding over the bridge is worth the effort if only to say you've done it. The hills going into Sausalito are not too tough either. You could maybe take the ferry boat back to SF from Sausalito.

    Sounds like a great trip.

  7. #7
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Sounds like it would be fun. I do think riding over the bridge is one of those things worth doing just to say you've done it.

    I'd been planning my whole trip around walking & trolley cars & restaurants & going to a couple of Giants games. Now I'm rethinking one day to squeeze this in.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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    I've walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was really fun. While doing this, we saw quite a few obvious rental bikes crossing it also. It's an easy walk, so it should be even easier by bike, and a lot faster.

    Do it!

    Paul

  9. #9
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    So far, I have ridden across the GGB twice -once on the west side and once on the east- and it's well worth doing; I'll surely do it again (and maybe next time head on down to Sausalito). Both times, I've had to ride on the roadway at least a little but if you turn into the Presidio off of the Marina route, that's pretty minimal. The ride through the Presidio is worth the time, anyway.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the west side is for bikes only but I believe it's only open on the weekends. The east crossing gets pretty crowded so you'd be playing "Dodge-the-Pedestrian" and it's slow going.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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    +1 What others have said.

    Just to note that going over the GG Bridge to Sausalito for lunch is recommended. There is also a large scale, working model of SF Bay including up into the Sacremento Delta that is in Sausalito and interesting to see. From the GGB down into Sausalito is a considerable hill which you must then go back up to get back on the GG Birdge. That's why the ferry is so highly recommended in addition to being a great way to experience the Bay.
    Last edited by The Smokester; 04-16-08 at 09:51 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    ...One thing to keep in mind is that the west side is for bikes only but I believe it's only open on the weekends. The east crossing gets pretty crowded so you'd be playing "Dodge-the-Pedestrian" and it's slow going...
    There is a schedule of times for bicycle riding and the side you go on changes. Here is a link to the schedule...See part way down the page:

    http://goldengatebridge.org/bikesbridge/bikes.php

  12. #12
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    You might want to check out the Craigslist Bicycle forum. While it is open to anyone in the world, it is very Bay Area Centric. http://sfbay.craigslist.org/forums/?forumID=95
    They will probably have answers to any of your questions. Be sure to check back frequently after posting as many messages scroll off the bottom by the end of the day or sooner and you'll have to hunt them down on back pages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    The east crossing gets pretty crowded so you'd be playing "Dodge-the-Pedestrian" and it's slow going.
    Many of my rides are "slow going" even when the lanes are clear.

    Last fall I went out for a leisurely ride and did 30 miles on a flat, empty rail trail. My computer recorded my top speed as being 10.7 mph and my average speed (with stops removed) was 9.1 mph. With stops included my average was 4.3 mph, as I took 7 hours to complete the ride. Ate lunch and took 2 walks during the 7 hours.

    Usually my high will be around 17 and my average around 12, but I can ride slower and be perfectly fine with it.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  14. #14
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    So, hey, Mr Bombadil, what days will you be out here?
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  15. #15
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    From Sunday afternoon 4/20 until Sunday morning 4/27.

    I have business commitments from 8-5 Wed-Fri, but otherwise the time is mine to use as I wish. I'm flying single too as my wife had commitments she couldn't get out of. She knows she can trust me, I'm not much of a partier.

    I'm planning on going to the Giants games with Cincinnati on Fri & Sat evenings (I've been a Giants fan since 1962). Sunday afternoon, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday (until 4'ish) I'll just be exploring the city & eating good food. Looking at the weather forecast, mid-day Tuesday looks like the best time to take a bike ride.

    I visited SF in Jan '94, but had only 1 free day on that trip. I did make the most of it though and saw many of the sights. I'm looking forward to a more leisurely pace this time around.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  16. #16
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    It's a shame I have oncall commitments starting tomorrow for the next two weeks
    It really limits how far I can wander. It'd be nice to hook up for a ride together somewhere.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Yes that would be nice. Although even if I do rent a bike and do the Golden Gate ride, I most likely wouldn't ride for very long. I'm thinking maybe a 2-hour rental. There's a number of things I want to do and see in SF and so I doubt I'll want to spend a lot of time on a bike. There are other trips where I wouldn't mind spending several days mostly riding a bike.

    I'll probably even skip taking a hike in a redwood forest, even though that is one of my all-time favorite activities. I've done it three times in my life, all on trips to Monterey, CA. Getting up to Muir Woods and back is a bit of a hassle when I don't have a car, and takes too much of my limited time. And since I've already done it three times ...
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  18. #18
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Last weekend.
    We BARTed into the City and rode with BikeForums NorCal. Out across the bridge and out through Fairfax to Pt. Reyes Station. About 83 miles.
    Anyway, the bridge is a delight. Be prepared for cold fog, or a sunny warm day. It might b really windy. Or not. Or, as we had, both; One coming, one going.
    Check this thread for more photos and such.
    Pete's Magic Marin ride 4/13 report
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  19. #19
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Nice pics. That's a ride that I cannot imagine ever being able to complete.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  20. #20
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    If you do get over to Sausalito, make sure you ride in the bike lane if there is one. There's a thread in A&S about the cops writing a lot of tickets there.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  21. #21
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    We used to ride bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito when I was in high school. Great fun! I see lots of people renting bikes from Blazing Saddles. The bikes come with a handlebar pack with a map you can see while riding. I highly recommend you doing it! And Sausalito is so lovely. There's a nice path that starts at Mike's Bikes and heads north under the freeway and through some wetlands. Very nice easy ride. Have fun!
    Embrace diversity: hug a conservative.

  22. #22
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I'm really looking forward to making the trip. And I'm doing it on a budget - I found an old early-20th Century hotel that has been recently remodeled as a European-hostel style hotel. The weekly rate works out to just $59 a night, I'll have to pay for three nights. Small rooms but it gets surprisingly good reviews on some of the on-line ratings. It's across the street from the expensive Marriott, a block from Moscone.

    I've gleaned about 50 recommended lower-cost restaurants using about 5 different SF restaurant rankings. I have to laugh when a restaurant with $15-$20 entres is considered budget class. But that's SF for you. One advantage to not drinking alcohol is that it holds the dinner expenses down.

    For the four nights where I'm authorized for meal reimbursements, the University only covers up to a maximum of $20 for dinner. In rural Wisconsin, it can be difficult to spend that much. In SF the appetizers can run $20. Perhaps I'll be eating at lot at Mel's Diners?

    I'm hoping to keep my personal expenses down to around $$350 for the week. That means sitting in the bleachers at the ballgames. And renting the hybrid instead of the road bike (like I would want to ride the road bike).
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  23. #23
    Senior Member Rober's Avatar
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    I grew up there and lived in San Francisco and Belvedere/Tiburon. If you want, you can ride on from Sausalito to Tiburon on a rail-trail that has been there since the late 70s. Its all flat (except for one short small hill going onto Tiburon Blvd) and you can take the ferry back to the Embarcadero from Tiburon. I don't know how many miles it is round-trip, but this is a ride I have done often and it never really seemed like work. There are all sorts of "too cool" food, drink, and view possibilities everywhere along this route - including the margaritas at Guymas in Tiburon as you wait for the ferry. Have fun!

  24. #24
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    When you get to Sausalito, just keep going. You'll hit a bike path that will take you a few miles deeper in to Marin County. Actually, I will be there on the 26th., participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle Day on the Ride, a training ride that closely resembles that mentioned by cccorlew above, about 81 miles. I've ridden over the bridge about 5 times. Always fun. And you will see Blazing Saddles bikes everywhere. They will give you a map.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  25. #25
    Mo No steelblue's Avatar
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    Try this route. A bunch of us did this ride Saturday. It's a very scenic and flat except for one short hill that lead up to go across the GG bridge.

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...k-to-GG-bridge

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