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March 8, 2016

Biking the Golden Gate Bridge with Blazing Saddles


The bridge wasn't even visible at one point.

Biking over the Golden Gate Bridge was a bucket list item of mine and I decided to make it happen on a recent trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley.  As someone without a clue and who has not biked since elementary school, I envisioned conveniently parking at the mouth of the Golden Gate Bridge and renting a bike from a vendor that I could ride across and return.  Funny right?  I had no idea I needed to find street parking, feed the meter for four hours, rent a bicycle, bike it about 4 miles to the bridge, about 2 miles across the bridge, and another 2 miles to Sausalito to catch the ferry to the Ferry building, and bike it another 2 miles to return the bikes.  But I did it.  And happily.  And in the rain.

Our goal was to take the 10am guided tour with Blazing Saddles, but we were a little late to the party.  Their website said there is limited on site parking, but this wasn't true for us.  They said we couldn't park there and we found some street parking nearby.  There isn't a restroom on site, but there are clean restrooms at the Starbucks across the street.

As we got fitted for our bikes the process felt a little rushed, but they remained friendly answering our questions, especially the ones on how to work the gears.  I liked that they offered us ponchos and as we were hesitating, they said to take it and if we didn't use it, we could return it.
 
We didn't get very far on the bike path before hitting a detour.  It took us some time to figure out where we were going so for beginners, I think the guided tour would be really helpful.  I was worried about my riding skills, but Blazing Saddles assures the tour is at the beginners to intermediate level.  There were some parts that were pretty steep so I just walked my bike when I needed a break or couldn't get enough momentum going.

Then the rain came down and about 10 minutes later we remembered we had ponchos.  Thank goodness for that.  It really helped us with the motivation to complete our trip.  It was so sad that it was raining.  The bridge wasn't visible because of the fog and nothing looked like the sunny safety video they had showed us.  It was so awful that we just had to laugh about it.

As I was riding on the bridge, I was just so happy and couldn't stop smiling.  It was a great feeling for me.   


A little rain wasn't going to stop us!

We made it to Sausalito - seriously be careful that no one runs you down in the narrow lane- but couldn't enjoy the quaint town because it was raining and we were already soaked.  We went directly to the ferry and caught it back to the ferry building. 

At this point, it was even colder and had stopped being fun about 40 minutes ago.  We still had to bike it 2 miles to return our bikes and get our car.  As I started to bike, I was fantasizing about calling an uber big enough to haul us and the two bikes back, but powered through it.  If you aren't familiar with the area, just map the route using bicycle mode of transport and it will map you on the bike lanes. 

It was an amazing albeit wet experience, but I loved all of it!  Blazing Saddles was awesome.  No complaints at all.  After about 3 hours or so, the cost of the rental, ferry ticket, water and poncho was $46 - a bit less expensive than the $55 guided tour (but that includes all day rental).

I am so happy to have another bucket list item checked!


Blazing Saddles
2715 Hyde Street
San Francisco, California 
  

2 comments:

  1. Hey Nadia,
    Thank you for riding with us and sharing your experience! We're glad you enjoyed the ride and kept a sunny disposition (even though the weather didn't match!).

    Sorry about the parking snafu - we usually offer this on the lower level of our Hyde Street shop, though due to recent construction this hasn't been available lately.

    Before construction began we had an FAQ saying we had parking at our facility, though we took it down when construction started. Can you let us know if you spotted the parking info somewhere else so we can update it? Thanks in advance and apologies again for the inconvenience!

    We hope you'll be able to visit us again - we'll try to arrange better weather for you next time, too :)

    -the Blazing Saddles team

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your note! I would love to take my kids on that ride when they are a little older! :D

      As for the parking info, I saw it on your Hyde location description. It states: Limited parking is available inside the facility.

      http://www.blazingsaddles.com/san-francisco/locations

      Thanks again for the amazing ride!

      Delete

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