Editors: This story was originally published in Issue 155 of our quarterly Tube Times magazine.
San Francisco has some of the highest ridership rates in the country, and there’s a reason why! Whether you’re looking for an afternoon cruise or a more intensive workout, there’s a route for you. Grab a friend and enjoy these rides around the city.
1. Twin Peaks from Golden Gate Park
10 miles, Elevation gain: 876 feet
This ride is a classic! Watching the sunrise over SF from atop Twin Peaks is incredible, but the sunset is just as nice. You can include this loop in any of your rides and add extra climbing. (Fitness!) This is a great ride to show off our beautiful city to visiting friends.
2. Ocean Beach to the De Young
6 miles, Elevation gain: 326 feet
Looking for something mellow? Enjoy car-free Sundays in Golden Gate Park, along part of your route from Beach Chalet and Ocean Beach to the de Young museum. Bring a lock! You’ll want to park and check out the art.
17 miles, Elevation gain: 999 feet
This route is named after an actual ride that goes out after work from the Ferry Building each week. Meet your friends at Cupid’s Span and enjoy the Embarcadero, Presidio, Legion of Honor and a gorgeous descent along the ocean into Golden Gate Park. End your ride at Bender’s Bar, and grab a grilled cheesus and a beer with your friends — you’ve earned it!
4. Golden Gate Park and Lake Merced
23 miles, Elevation gain: 1,084 feet
A flat route (for SF), this is a great morning ride. Ride along Ocean Beach in the bike lanes or on the off-street bicycle and pedestrian path. Stop by Trouble Coffee in the Outer Sunset for a mid-ride espresso or Devil’s Teeth Bakery for a special breakfast sandwich.
5. San Bruno Mountain and Twin Peaks
20 miles, Elevation gain: 2,169 feet
Head for the hills! This ride has a lot of elevation, but the views are worth it. On a clear day you can see Mt. Diablo across the Bay. Add on the Merced and Golden Gate Park loop and you’ll have a worthy day in the saddle.
If you want to get off the roads and into the dirt, SF has a surprising amount of mountain biking and off-road trails in the city. Check out SF Urban Riders for more info: sfurbanriders.org/trail-maps.