30 April 2011

Cycling in Golden Gate neighborhood, California

April 2011

Did a day cycling, about 50km, in Golden Gate neighborhood, including passings of Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands and Sausalito visits. The weather was nice, sunny, some wind from the Pacific.

Rented a hybrid model of a bicycle from Blazing Saddles, on Hyde Street, San Francisco.  Headed first to the marina and then to Crissy Field. It's sandy beach had lots of families enjoying the sun and a scenery (Golden Gate Bridge on left, Bay in front and Alcatraz island on right).

The next in the must-to-see-list was Fort Point building near Golden Gate Bridge. I've seen surfers there some times earlier but didn't see them now (but did see them earlier in Half Moon Bay). To me this place  became famous from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo movie.

Then came the climax, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Walkers on Bay side, cyclists on Pacific side and six lanes of cars humming in the middle. The bridge was quite high from the water level. Have to admit not liking high places (although hiked on the Alps many times!) and the bridge WAS high. Then there was a strong wind as well as tens of cyclists whose speed varied a lot. The bridge was almost 3km long.

After (north of) the bridge started the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. Unfortunately, the Coastal road, Conzelman, was closed due to some road construction. I had to take the tunnel on Bunker Rd through Marine Headlands towards Point Bonita. The Point Bonita had a lighthouse, directing boats and ships from Pacific Ocean into SF Bay. The lighthouse was my target there.

There are multiple species of animal living in Point Bonita region, including Seals, Sea Lions and Turkey Vultures and many others. Spotted several Seals and Turkey Vultures. Ultimate walking bridge to actual lighthouse was closed, but the scenery there was magnificent.

From the lighthouse took the same road back, climbing up all the way, but after the tunnel descended to Sausalito for a late lunch.  Cosy little seaside town, full of sail boats and especially tourists, quite many by bike from San Francisco and then returning by boat from Sausalito.  Had a lunch at Angelino, an Italian restaurant, can surely recommend to others. Saw the very first time some stand-up paddlers.

Off south from Sausalito was for climbers, not so easy task after lunch, ice cream etc.  Final view of the Bridge and San Francisco at Horseshoe Bay, then started climbing via Conzelman Rd back to Golden Gate Bridge. Tail wind on Bridge helped a lot.

After crossing the Bridge, stopped a while on Pacific side near North Baker Beach. In here, the small sandy path went on edge providing a beautiful scenery down to the beach itself. Never ending waves hitting coast was a spectacular view.

After some break, back on the saddle and returned the same route: Fort Point, Crissy Field, Fine Arts, Marina, Great Meadow. A short cycle on Fisherman's Wharf concluded the trip.

Here's the GPS route (View Larger Map):

Fort Point

If you stare at me, I stare at you!

The Golden Gate Bridge

Cyclist path on Bridge

Marin Headlands and Point Bonita

Seals lying on rock enjoying scenery

Turkey Vultures and a path to Lighthouse

Point Bonita Lighthouse

Nice trails e.g. for mountain biking


Where's mine?

San Francisco from Horseshoe Bay

North Baker Beach

Fisherman's Wharf

Is this A Streetcar Named Desire?

Love & Peace ... Which one is which?

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