Monday, 30 August 2010

Biking the Golden Gate Bridge

Biking the Golden Gate Bridge is a big attraction, every day hundreds and hundreds of people do it.  A lot of them ride to Sausalito and take the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf.
I rented a bike in advance, a “mountain bike”.  What they gave me was nothing like a mountain bike, a Fuji something, very heavy, although fitted with an air shock.
Overlooking the Pacific
First I rode out the Golden Gate Park, which is a natural park some way to the south of the bridge, lots of natural trails and very steep climbs.  Spent a while there before reaching the Pacific Ocean, along the coast to the bridge.  There are cycle lanes to both sides of the bridge, but only one opened at any one time.  The path is shared by pedestrians as well.  There is no safety netting above the guardrail, on a windy way it would be scary, it’s a very long way down, being higher up on a bike makes it worse.  The traffic noise is tremendous, which detracts from the experience, but it is a road bridge.
Classic SF mist

The second tower marks the border to Marin County.  My plan was to ride the Marin County Headlands for a while.  There are lots of trails leading all over the headlands, most of them very steep and rocky, a difficult ride with the heavy bike.  I spent about 4 hours riding there doing as much as I could before riding down to Sausalito for a cup of coffee, when I looked at my watch it was already 6 pm.  Headed back over the bridge and took the bike back, feeling very tired and mile long walk back to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit System) to take the train back to my hotel near the airport.

Art Deco?
Marin Residents

Marin Headlands
When I calculated the mileage was astonished to see I had done more than 30 miles, no wonder I was tired.

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