Biking in San Francisco
As we sat on the harbour eating our fish and chips I was struck by just how similar it was to Sydney, my home. The harbour towns were perched on small hills, their bays overlooked by an iconic and much loved bridge.
It was the first time we had eaten take away greasy fried fish and chips since we had been in the States, which now had been two years. It even came wrapped in some butchers paper and we delighted in sitting down on the freshly mown grass, unwrapping the paper, licking the grease from our fingers and digging in.
We were in Sausalito, a quiet and charming town, popular for tourists with its captivating bay views, art galleries and souvenir shops. We stopped for lunch before continuing on with 26 km bike ride around the San Francisco Bay.
The sun had just peaked out from behind the clouds, and despite it being summer, it was the first we had felt its warmth in days. It felt glorious on my skin.
We had just cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, its chaotic madness adding to the thrill of riding over the icy waters below. The mist suspended just above our heads shrouded the sensory beauty of the red towers, sweeping main cables and great span that make this bridge so famous and so aesthetically impressive.
The fish and chips perked us up to continue the Fisherman Wharf to Tiburon ride, a trail popular with the locals and for those few tourists who dare to venture beyond the normal San Francisco attractions.
The fragrant smell of gum trees mixed in with the salt of the ocean embraced us as we rode through the small towns around the bay, making me excited to soon be connecting once again with my home country.
The bike path along Richardson Bay crosses a salt marsh where tidal streams of salt water quietly rolled between islands of reeds. The muddy streams soon stopped at dense oak-covered hills rising toward the Headlands. You can see egrets and other bird life roaming about the reeds and if you are lucky, which we weren’t, deer can also be spotted along the ride.
There is enough variation in the terrain to stop expert cyclists from getting bored and those beginners from falling on the ground with exhaustion. The gentle rolling hills gave rise to impressive views of Mount Tam and the bays populated by dream homes. Not only was the ride relaxing and enjoyable, but it also gave us an insight onto life lived gently on the San Francisco Bay.
With sore bums and tired legs we finally arrived at the picturesque Tiburon in the afternoon, the place from where we could catch the ferry back to San Francisco. The restaurants and beer gardens were inviting us to rest and enjoy the gorgeous sunset views of views of San Rafael Bridge and Angel Island with an ice-cold beer, but we had to get our hired bikes back and so regretfully declined.
Alcatraz greeted us in eerie mystery as we sailed past her stone cold walls that never once let down her guard to allow prisoners the freedom to escape. We would visit the inside of one of the world’s most notorious prisons tomorrow. For now we were content to bask in the feeling of having already experienced one of the best attractions of San Francisco.
Author Caz Makepeace has been living and travelling around the world since 1997. She is co-founder of the popular y travel blog where she shares her stories and travel tips to inspire you to make your life all about the memories. Join her facebook community for more fun or follow her on twitter.
Sign up now and get $10 off your next tour!
Wherever we go in the world, we take a responsible attitude with us. That means travelling in a way which both respects and benefits local people, their culture, their economy, and their environment. Please read on for more information on our Responsible Travel policy and how you can be a responsible traveller for your entire journey.