Best Bike Tours
in the San Francisco Bay Area
Inside the City
San Francisco bike tours are interesting due to its small size(only 7 miles x 7 miles) and wide variety. You can see a lot in just a short distance. However, unless you are a very experienced urban rider cycling here can sometimes be quite dangerous. Below are a some top city bike tours which are great fun & yet avoid most of the risk by generally staying away from cars:
- Golden Gate Park – Sundays are best because on Sunday cars are not allowed on JF Kennedy Dr and a few other park streets.
- Golden Gate Bridge A fantastic ride or walk! We like to start at Fort Point under the southern end of the bridge. The west side of the bridge is for bikers only; walkers take the east sidewalk. Once you get over the bridge coming from SF follow the other bikers left, left again, then under the northern end of the bridge to Fort Baker. From there you can head on to Sausalito or the Marin Headlands.
Biking on Golden Gate BridgeBiking under south end of Bridge
- The Marina follow the northern shoreline west starting from Fisherman’s Wharf to Golden Gate bridge. See the Marina-Presidio map.
- The Embarcadero Taking the Embarcadero eastern shoreline sidewalk south from Fisherman’s Wharf to the SF Giant’s AT&T ballpark is a nice flat ride.
- The Presidio This is a big park with many nice winding rides throughout. There are some medium sized hills, unusual views, and it is rarely crowded.
Outside the City
Outside the City is where the fun really begins for serious bikers. Here are some excellent places to start:
- Marin County - There are several excellent rides immediately after you cross the Golden Gate Bridge. For example, to the Marin Headlands, Sausalito, or Tiburon.
- Skyline Ridge (Hwy 35) - On and around Skyline Blvd heading south from Hwy 92 in San Mateo to Hwy 9 at Saratoga Gap is a central location for many top road bike and mountain rides.
- McNee Ranch - Great mountain bike country with beautiful views including an 8 mile partial loop that goes 1840 feet up to the top of Montara mountain. Some of these steep, now partially paved trails were used by early settlers to get to SF as early as 1769. One good trail head heads east off Hwy 1 at the northend of Montara State Beach.
- Bicycle Sundays, Canada Rd This is a great ride for bikers of all skill levels.
- Redwood Shores and Foster City - Good for flat crowd-free rides on the levees and nature trails surrounding these cities.
- Stanford Campus - Biking is the best way to enjoy this campus in Palo Alto; it is rather big to walk. Years ago we’ve even seen Apple’s Steve Jobs and his kid riding bicycles together in the College Ave. neighborhood between Stanford & Stanford Industrial Park, home of Hewlett Packard.
There are literally hundreds of outstanding bike rides within a few minutes of most SF Bay area cities. These are only a few of the best.
One way to obtain more details is to check out a few of the better bicycle stores near your area of interest. Most will have a wide selection of books on local cycling routes. Many bike shops also sponsor friendly informal bicycling groups which ride weekly and will be happy to show you the ins and outs of local rides.
Be careful of cars and enjoy outstanding bike touring around the San Francisco Bay!