Rule No. 1: Start from the right bicycle rental location
If you are planing to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and ride back, a good bike rentals spot to start will save you some valuable time and unnecessary hassle.
Reason No. 1: HILLS!
We will tell you the truth - there is a hill at the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge which you can't avoid no matter where you start your bike rentals. BUT! You can avoid some other crazy San Francisco hills by starting your bike rentals from us! If you rent a bike near Fisherman's Wharf where most of the San Francisco bike rentals shops are located, you will need to go through two hills before you can reach the bridge. The first hill is near the Fort Mason Park, shortly after you get to the bike path near Aquatic Park. However, you can avoid this hill by starting from us at Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals! Our unique bike rental location is chosen to be the most convenient for the Golden Gate Bridge bike ride; it's located only a few blocks away from the scenic waterfront bike path, surrounded by many hotels near the Chestnut shopping district with local restaurants, bars, and boutiques.
Reason No. 2: DISTANCE
If you check on Google map, it's almost 4 miles in distance from Fisherman's Wharf to the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge. You will save yourself not only one hill, but also one mile by renting from us at Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals! We are located only 20 minutes & up bike ride to the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge! Check out our bike route to the bridge here on Google map.
Tips: You can avoid 1 hill & ride 1 mile less compared to others from Fisherman's Wharf by renting from us at Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals!
Rule No. 2: Do not take the ferry if it's crowded - you will end up waiting for hours and returning late! (Peak time only)
Peak time is usually during the summer months from late June to mid September. Also during some holidays.
Here are some facts you may want to know:
1. The ferry is a public transportation and taking the ferry back is totally optional!
2. You can purchase a ferry ticket directly from Sausalito ferry station if you decide to take the ferry (around $13/adult). The ferry spot is first-come first-served.
3. You will bring the bikes on the ferry, and after it arrives in San Francisco, you will ride the bikes back to our bike rental shop to return.
4. You can cycle back from Sausalito, or take a taxi back (most taxis in Sausalito have bicycle racks), especially when the ferry is crowded and/or delayed.
5. Bike return service is available and provided by Sausalito Bike Return near the ferry in the bike parking lot. They collect $12/bike drop-off fee and they will return the bikes to their original rental companies in San Francisco so you can get priority ferry boarding and skip the line! (Only available from June - September from a third-party operator)
6. After the ferry drop you off in San Francisco, it will take you another 15-20 minutes to ride back from Pier 41 ferry station in Fisherman's Wharf, or 30-40 minutes from Ferry Building, Pier 1. Make sure you know which ferry you are boarding; both ferries departs from the same place in Sausalito but have different departure times.
Tips: 1. During peak season, take ferry before 2 pm to avoid the major crowd; 2. Take ferry to Pier 41, Fisherman's Wharf for a shorter return bike ride; 3. Leave the line and seek other return options if the ferry is delayed or if you've missed the ferry.
Rule No. 3: Choose the best time to bike the bridge
It is fun and exciting to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge! To avoid surprise and make your experience even better, check out these tips and plan ahead!
Reason No. 1: The Fog and the Weather
You've probably heard about the San Francisco fog, wind, and it's cool temperature in the summer. There is no way to predict the weather, but usually it is less foggy during late mornings and early afternoons. The rain season here is from November to early April. Check weather forecast before planing to rent bikes in San Francisco.
Wind: Yes, it's always windy on the bridge, so it's a good idea to bring a light jacket with you.
Reason No. 2: The Crowd on the Bridge
The bridge has two sidewalks for pedestrians and cyclists. It's free to cross the bridge by bike. The EAST sidewalk opens before 3:30pm during the weekdays for BOTH pedestrians and cyclists. The WEST sidewalk opens after 3:30pm during weekdays and all day during the weekends for cyclists only. You will see signs once you are at the beginning of the bridge that indicate which side is for cyclists at the moment. You can also see detail bridge sidewalks schedule from the official Golden Gate Bridge website here.
Generally speaking, it is less busy during the weekdays. Mornings are also less busy compared to the afternoons. During the weekends and also some peak days from July-August, the bridge gets crowded with tourists easily and might be harder to bike if you are on the EAST side with lots pedestrians. We recommend you to start early during these busy days. (Same thing with the Sausalito ferry; start early and return early to avoid the crowd during summer months)
FYI: About bridge closure & construction: the Golden Gate Bridge is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Occasionally, you may encounter road closure/detour near or on the bridge sidewalk, but it should be momentary. Some events like marathons and parades will also affect the bridge sidewalks opening hours. Please visit the Golden Gate Bridge website for more information about bridge work and the events calendar.
Tips: You can turn around at any point when biking on the bridge. Two-way traffic on the bridge sidewalks.