SELF-GUIDED TOUR: The best way to bike the Golden Gate!
There's lots of ways to get from Point A (Basically Free Bike Rentals) to Point B (the Golden Gate Bridge), and a lot of them are absolutely gorgeous, too. But add some requirements like bike lanes and a minimal amount of hill climbing, and the single best way to bike the Golden Gate Bridge becomes clear.
Start out from our Basically Free Bike Rentals location at Bay and Columbus, and head towards Fisherman's Wharf, crossing Bay St. on Jones St. Once you can't go any further before riding straight into the Bay, turn left. You'll be following the edge of the water almost all the way to the Bridge itself!
You'll curve around Aquatic Park, maybe catching sight of wetsuit-clad swimmers. Then, you'll ride through Fort Mason. Bookmark that spot in your mind - on Friday nights, there's a massive gathering of food trucks called Off the Grid that is well worth a visit!
Once you've left Fort Mason, you'll travel along the very flat, very safe Marina Drive. Look out for a row of tall, dark cypress trees; if you turn left you can ride a short loop around the Palace of Fine Arts, a structure originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition! Two swans have a permanent residence on the pond there. See if you can find them (but don't try to feed them - they get a bit persnickety).
Continue onto Marina Drive as it turns into Old Mason Street. You'll be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge by now, so just keep heading towards it! On the way there, you'll see Sports Basement, where you can take a break and use your store credit. Grab some drinks or snacks (or whatever else you'd like!) and take a seat on our picnic benches. Crissy Field is right across the street, and is the perfect spot for a photo (or twelve) of the Bridge.
Now get ready, 'cause the only real hill climb is coming up next! Follow the bike path along Crissy Field until you see a street that turns left. That's Long Ave., but it's not as long as the name would imply! Take the right hand fork and ride all the way up. (Or walk! No one's judging you - I promise, everyone who's ridden that hill has walked it at one point or another.)
Then, you'll follow the bike path right to the Golden Gate Bridge itself! Be sure to take your time getting across. It's beautiful, but it's also a daily commute for a lot of people, and they might set a fast pace. Don't worry about keeping up! This is literally one of the 7 wonders of the modern world, so take all the time you need to soak it in!
After you've reached the other side (congratulations!) you can either turn around and come back the way you came, or continue on to Sausalito and take the ferry! We recommend the ferry - it'll give you time to sit down and grab a drink at one of the many quaint cafes in Sausalito, and the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the water is not to be missed. Best of all, the ferry drops you off right at Fisherman's Wharf, where you're just a few blocks away from Basically Free Bike Rentals!
Looking for other routes to explore the city? Ask our rentals staff for a recommendation! We're happy to help you explore San Francisco from the safety of the bike lane.