One of the many highlights of our recent trip to California was a bicycle trek across the Golden Gate Bridge in both directions. With a bit of planning, this is an easy and fun endeavor for travelers to the Bay Area.
Since we were not staying in the city itself on this trip, we rented our bikes from Sausalito Bike Rentals and Tours on Princess Street in downtown Sausalito (see photo at bottom of post). It is the nearest bike rental shop to the bridge and offers a nice range of riding options.
Due to the very hilly and steep terrain, we rented electric-assisted bikes, which were a godsend given how worn out other less-than-seasoned riders looked pedaling uphill on the steep terrain.
The ride was very enjoyable, though there are several obstacles/issues one must keep in mind:
- There are a lot of wandering and gawking pedestrians on and near the bridge and between them and the other bikers, one must be continuously cautious and patient.
- Both non-vehicular lanes (bay side and ocean side) are not always open at the same time. As a result you may have to carry/transport your bike down and up some rather steep stairs to cross under the north side of the bridge. There is a narrow ramp for the bike tires adjacent to the steps.
- The steep hills can be tiring going up, but also potentially dangerous going downhill at too fast of a speed.
- Plan on at least two (2) hours round-trip. Other options include biking one-way over the bridge and then taking the Sausalito Ferry back. Either way, budget accordingly
All-in-all, the experience was fantastic and blesses the rider with extraordinary vistas of the city, bay, mountains, and sea. Each direction offers new and delicious eye candy to savor. Peace!