With the wind running through your hair, the crispness of air soaring through your lungs, one of the best places to enjoy a bike ride in San Francisco is at the Golden Gate Park. Not only will you have the scenery of the Japanese Tea Garden, the Buffalo Pagoda, Stow Lake features, and the endless green, tree-laden fields filled with sporting events, but also the calmness and relaxation provided through surrounding waterfalls and gardens located along seven miles of paved trails.
Biking in Golden Gate Park
There is no denying that Golden Gate Park presents one of the best urban parks in the world. As you ride throughout this popular San Francisco attraction, grassy meadows appear at every turn, where secluded lakes offer moments for reflection. Along the way, you may choose to secure your bike and enjoy one of the museums, dining opportunities, or other points of interest scattered about the park.
Reaching the park is quite easy as cars, walkers, buses, and biking routes bring you to the layout of the land. As you venture further into the thick of the park, the confusion and noise of outside car traffic is quickly left behind. The north and south sides of Golden Gate Park offer 3 ½ miles of park exploration on both sides. When you wish to experience the entire park, biking might be the best approach to take.
The Best Time to Bike at Golden Gate Park
While the park is enjoyable at any time of the year and day, one of the most safest and least disruptive times to bike through Golden Gate is on Sundays. This is when the major entrance to the park during the week, which is situated at JFK Drive, is shut down to cars and completely open to pedestrians and bikers. Holidays also see the closing of this main Golden Gate Park auto pathway. During this time, the area swells with an abundance of bikers, walkers, joggers, runners, and roller-bladers. An assortment of major sights about the park is also easily accessible by bike at this time.
On Sundays, the park officially closes John F. Kennedy Drive from Stanyan Street, which leads to the Panhandle, extending all the way to the 20th Avenue area.
If you are in need of a bike during your visit to Golden Gate Park, there are numerous locations to consider. Below you will find some of the places situated close to the park that allow the renting of bicycles, as well as skates and other park-related equipment:
a) Stow Lake Bike & Boat Rentals: 50 Stow Lake Dr. (752-0347)
b) Golden Gate Park Bike and Skate: 3038 Fulton St. (668-1117)
c) Avenue Cyclery: 756 Stanyan St. (387-3155)
d) Skates on Haight: 1818 Haight St. (752-8375)