Exploring San Francisco by Cycle


San Francisco Cycles, a set on Flickr.

Part of the series: “45°N to 41°S Portland, OR to Puerto Varas, Chile by Public Transit”

We rolled into San Francisco as the sun set on the Pacific, outlining cyclists’ shadows on the Golden Gate Bridge.

A quick hitchhike had brought us into the city by the bay with a lady who had never picked up hitchhikers, but she said we “looked like good folks!”

We had managed to ride public buses and hitchhike all the way to the Redwoods from Seattle. There were big gaps in the rural areas around the Bay Area for transit service. We would rely on Craigslist rideshare to later make it to Los Angeles.

Our old friend and amazing artist, Mick Larusso offered us a place to rest and some bikes to explore the city.

We had a beautiful day of pedaling all over San Francisco! It was one of the last days of Summer, and Fleet Week for the Bay Area. Crowds of people flocked to the shore with necks craned skyward searching for sight of the Blue Angels before their sonic booms arrived.

There were many people biking along the waterfront trail and throughout downtown.  With all the festivities, driving must have been a real mess.  I have not spent much time in California and was real surprised how motorcyclists would aggressively use the bike lanes with arrogance.  San Francisco seemed to be lacking safe bike infrastructure and these yahoos with something to prove on their motorcycles did not make you feel safer in the bike lane.

Though, the City of San Francisco is working hard to create more safe spaces for cyclists.  Within our first moments of being in town, we came across a cycle track style bike lane with green painted pavement and plastic pylons for safety.

Lale and i pedaled around the San Francisco Peninsula enjoying the nice breeze and taking in the sights. Pedicab drivers from many companies were super busy along the Embarcadero with Fleet Week guests. Ice Cream vendors with push carts also worked the weekend crowd. This was some of the first street based commerce we had seen since Portland.

Along the waterfront, there were bike rental kiosks parked along bike trails. These were just small trailers with a fleet of bikes for rent displayed alongside.

In Golden Gate Park, we stumbled across their weekly (?) car free day in the Park. Joggers, cyclists, tourists, and kids all walked, rolled, and played on the main road through the park. Within minutes, the gates must have reopened for cars, and our care free pedaling became stressful and defensive.

Overall, it was great to explore San Fransisco by cycle and to experience the city firsthand!

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Filed under Portland to Chile by Transit

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