Holiday Mountain Biking: Cycling Across The Golden Gate Bridge


Officially opened on May 27th 1937 and measuring in at 1.7 miles long and 90 feet wide, the Golden Gate Bridge is a marvel of modern engineering. The Golden Gate Bridge is a global icon situated in San Francisco connecting the metropolitan city of San Francisco to its neighbors across the water, Golden Gate City. The Golden Gate Bridge can offer a truly extraordinary cycling experience if you can deal with the fog and strong winds that the weather and the suspension bridge can throw at you, read below to find out more…

Table Of Contents

  • Can I Ride My Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • How Much Does It Cost To Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • How Long Does It Take To Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • Is There A Guided Cycling Tour To Take When Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • Can I Rent A Bike To Cross The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Bike To Cross The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • Can I Cross The Gold Gate Bridge With My Kids Or Other Family Members?
  • Are There Cycling Lanes For Cyclists Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • Is It Difficult To Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?
  • Is The Golden Gate Bridge Safe To Bike Across?
  • What Weather Conditions Should I Expect To Experience When Biking Across The Golden Gate Bridge?

Can I Ride My Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?

Absolutely yes, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the best experiences you can have as a cycling enthusiast or as a tourist when visiting San Francisco. What makes biking across the Golden Gate Bridge such a thrill and once in a life opportunity is the spectacular views you will observe when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge is a wonderful opportunity to see one of the world’s modern engineering marvels up close and personal

The Golden Gate Bridge gives you the option to cycle across independently as an individual/group or in a guided cycling tour. The three Hour long Sausalito Cycle Tour is a guided cycling tour that will allow tourists and cyclists to experience the thrills of biking across the Golden Gate Bridge with an experienced guide to aid you, the three hour long excursion includes stops at many San Francisco landmarks along the cycling route

When cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge it is recommended that you go via the western sidewalk, this is usually reserved for cyclists. The other sidewalk is the eastern sidewalk, this is usually reserved for pedestrians so for all cyclists make sure to cross the bridge using the western sidewalk. Be Aware that this arrangement may change depending on the time of day, on weekends or special holiday dates 

When cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge you’ll want to make sure you cycle in a single file, this is applicable when you are an individual or in a small group (2+) of cyclists. If you cycle on the your right hand side (like when driving in San Francisco) then you will be good

Cyclists crossing the Golden Gate Bridge follows a two way traffic system, this allows faster and slower cyclists to navigate around each other in an organised fashion. If you happen to be in a position of needing to overtake another cyclist, then the same rules apply when driving and overtaking on a two way road. Before passing slower cyclists in front of you, look over your left shoulder to make sure someone isn’t already trying to pass you, make sure the lane on the left is clear before overtaking the cyclist in front and avoid pull out in front of another cyclist and causing an accident

How Much Does It Cost To Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?

This will depend on the option you choose to cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge is free to walk and cycle across. However there can be a cost when you choose to cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge with a guided tour or by renting a bike Vs using your own bike. So it’s absolutely 100% free to cross the Golden Gate Bridge as a cyclists and a walker, if you rent a bike or take a guide tour only then there will be a cost to cross the Golden Gate Bridge from the rental or guide tour costs

How Long Does It Take To Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?

The answer to this question will greatly depend on your own personal fitness and health situation, for the average fit and healthy cyclist, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge will take between/around 15 to 30 minutes to bike across. This is a generalization so it’s best to take this advice on 15 to 30 minutes to cross the Golden Gate bridge with a pinch of salt! 

Be aware that the Golden Gate Bridge (only the bridge itself) is 1.7 miles long, many of the cycling routes start much further away before you even reach the Golden Gate Bridge so the guided tours can be significantly longer

A great way to see how long it would take you, personally to cycle across the Golden Gate bridge is to time yourself (in your own home town) cycling in a 1.7 miles long straight line. This will give you a pretty accurate idea of how long it would take you personally to cycle across the Golden Gate bridge at your current fitness level and at a comfortable cycling speed

Other factors that may contribute to a longer time in cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge is the weather conditions, how strong of a cyclist you are, if you have underlying health conditions that mean you have to cycle at a slower speed, how often you stop and how busy the cycling path is on the day that you cross the Golden Gate Bridge is

If you decide to cross the Golden Gate Bridge with a guided cycling tour, then it will take significantly longer to cross the Golden Gate bridge, typically the guided cycling tours can take up to 2 to 3 hours from the beginning to the very end

The guided cycling tours are designed to take tourists on an enjoyable day-out/experience when crossing the Golden Gate bridge allowing tourists to enjoy the shops, many art galleries, and the delicious food on offer that are situated in close proximity of the Golden Gate Bridge

Is There A Guided Cycling Tour To Take When Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge?  

Yes there are many guided cycling tour providers that you can choose when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, this is perfect for any cyclist that has never crossed the Golden Gate Bridge or is slightly anxious about doing so. The Golden Gate Bridge Sausalito Cycle Tour is the best cycling tour you can take, this three hour long Sausalito Cycle tour takes you from San Francisco to Sausalito stopping along the way at many San Francisco landmarks

Some of the San Francisco landmarks that you will stop at includes world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf up (San Francisco waterfront area), regular stops to witness the breathtaking views of San Francisco’s skyline and Sausalito itself (on the other side of the bridge) where you’ll have time to enjoy the shops, many of the art galleries, and the delicious food on offer. You can then return to San Francisco right after the tour ends, with the ferry, at your own cost, or choose to bike back

The Golden Gate Bridge Sausalito Cycle Tour follows the San Francisco waterfront past the Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio, through Crissy Field and to Fort Point. You’ll cross the Golden Gate Bridge on a wide bike path, and then proceed to Vista Point and on to Old Fort Baker

The Golden Gate Bridge Sausalito Cycle Tour costs £43.86pp (per person), the cycling tour offers the use and rental of a their cycling bike, front handlebar bag, bicycle lock, helmet, rear gear rack, and a takeaway map of the cycling tour if you need any of that on the day all at an extra cost

It’s worth mentioning that the Golden Gate Bridge Sausalito Cycle Tour follows a cycling route that is mostly on a flat terrain, this means it is suitable for all ages and makes it accessible for cyclists or tourists that are in less of a physically fit state (perhaps a overweight cyclist) or a physically older cyclist

Can I Rent A Bike To Cross The Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, renting a bike to cross the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most popular options, there are some options you’ll want to be aware of when you are renting a bike. Not all bike rental companies have fees attached to renting their bikes. Below is a list of the most popular bike renting companies to use:

  • Bike Rental Office
  • San Francisco Bicycle Rentals
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Bay City Bike
  • Alcatraz Bikes & Tours
  • Extranomical Tour

There is a free bike renting option available, The bike rental office at 2568 Jones Street offer free bike rentals, the deal is that you have to spend a voucher at (the entire amount on anything) the Sports Basement store. This is how the bike rental office make money, the bikes are owned by the Sports Basement store so actually it’s not really a free bike rental in essence

The second option is to rent a bike for a small fee, here you have the option to choose pedal powered bikes or electric powered bikes. Typically you are going to pay between $26 to $40 for a standard range of mountain bike. Electric bikes come in a little higher, typically you are going to pay between $45 to $70

Another factor you’ll want to be aware of is the difference in price for an hourly rate and daily rate rental, hourly rate rental is significantly cheaper and has a minimum requirement of two (2) hours rental. Hourly rate rental can cost around $8 to $18 an hour, however daily rate rental which is for the entire day can cost around $26 to $40 for a pedal powered mountain bike, an electric bike can cost $75 for the entire day  

I would like to mention that it is worth paying a little extra to get a lighter bike, the cost can be as little as $1 more per hour to upgrade your bike which can make it far easier and more pleasant than cycling a heavy(ish) bike across the Golden Gate Bridge 

These prices may seem very expensive however you can save money on bike rental costs if you book in advance and online. You could typically save between 10% to 25% off the price if you book online before arrival. 

Another way to save on bike rental costs is if you go for the package deal, this is perfect if you’re in a small to large group. The package deals includes you getting a pass to visit other popular sites around the San Francisco Bay area, a City Sightseeing bus tour pass and bike rental with bay cruises

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Bike To Cross The Golden Gate Bridge?

Renting a bike to cross the Golden Gate Bridge comes down to rental on an hourly rate or a daily rate. Hourly rate rental is significantly cheaper and has a minimum requirement of two (2) hours rental as a requirement. Hourly rate rental can cost around $8 to $18 an hour, however daily rate rental which is for the entire day can cost around $26 to $40 for a pedal powered mountain bike, an electric bike can cost $75 for the entire day

Can I Cross The Gold Gate Bridge With My Kids Or Other Family Members?

All ages and family members are accepted when cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, there are many tourists that bring along their grandparents, grandkids, brother and sisters and aunties and uncles all at different ages so you can invite all of your family along for the ride when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge

A few points worth mentioning if you are bringing your young kids along is that your best making sure your kids can cycle some steeper or more challenging cycling incines (There are a few hills along the way but they are relatively easy ride, however your kids may find the inclines harder to cycle in a hotter weather conditions or because they may through a tantrum if they are finding cycling up a hill challenging if they are very excited about the day ahead)

One thing you’ll want to make sure that your kids or other family relatives can do is to cycle comfortably in a single file (either in front of you or behind you), I am saying this because the hardest, and sometimes the most dangerous part of this ride is passing or being passed by other cyclists. Cyclists crossing the Golden Gate Bridge follows a single file, two way traffic system, this allows faster and slower cyclists to navigate around each other in an organised fashion

Are There Cycling Lanes For Cyclists Crossing The Golden Gate Bridge?

There are no cycling lanes as the walking path for pedestrians and cycling route for cyclists crossing the Golden Gate Bridge are kept separate (most of the time that is). Cyclists usually access the Golden Gate Bridge western sidewalk which is exclusively reserved for cyclists and follows a two way bicycling system. The Golden Gate Bridge eastern sidewalk is exclusively for pedestrians walking across the Golden Gate Bridge

When cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge you’ll want to make sure you cycle in a single file, this is applicable when you are an individual or in a small group (2+) of cyclists. If you cycle on the your right hand side (like that of when driving in San Francisco) then you will be all good

Cyclists crossing the Golden Gate Bridge follows a two way traffic system, this allows faster and slower cyclists to navigate around each other in an organised fashion. If you happen to be in a position of needing to overtake another cyclist, then the same rules apply when driving and overtaking on a two way road

Before passing slower cyclists in front of you, look over your left shoulder to make sure someone isn’t already trying to pass you, make sure the lane on the left is clear before overtaking the cyclist in front and avoid pull out in front of another cyclist and cause an accident

Is It Difficult To Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge?

The answer to this question will greatly depend on your own fitness level, cycling experience and if you have any underlying health conditions. If you happen to be a regular cyclist with an average level of fitness then biking across the Golden Gate Bridge will be no problem at all and you’ll breeze through it

If you happen to have a lower level of fitness, or any underlying health conditions then cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge may be a little more challenging, however do not let this put you off. The Golden Gate Bridge is completely flat (the actual bridge itself, there may be inclines/hills on the cycling routes before you get to the Golden Gate Bridge however) which makes it easier to cycle

Another thing to note is if you can ever remember cycling a distance of 1.7 miles long in your life, because that is how long the Golden Gate Bridge is, if cycling 1.7 miles was a breeze then cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge will be a breeze to. If you are finding cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge challenging at any point along the way then you can always stop, have a rest, and then resume at your own pace of cycling, there is no rush or minimum cycling speed limit on the bridge

Is The Golden Gate Bridge Safe To Bike Across?

You are safe cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge however there are always risks that could happen or you want to be aware of at least. One of the biggest risks you will face when cycling acrossing the Golden Gate Bridge is high winds and fog (or poor visibility), high winds fog (or poor visibility) can pose a threat to yourself, other cyclists, pedestrians and motorists as accidents are more likely to happen

Strong gusts of winds can appear suddenly out of the blue and could potentially blow you off your bike or at least make you lose your balance. This can result in you colliding with another cyclists passing you or it could mean you lose you balance and colliding with a metal railing or even a car crossing the Golden Gate Bridge (be aware that there is a metal railing separating cyclists from the road crossing (only for cars), however losing your balance could potentially blow you between or past the safety railing)

The other risk that could potentially happen, however very unlikely is that a car could lose control and drive throw onto the cycling pathway, cars crossing the Golden Gate Bridge are doing so in a straight line so losing control is extremely unlikely however is the driver is under the influence of any drug, alcohol or have a medical condition then this could happen (however very unlikely)    

Of Course the elephant in the room is, Could you fall off the Golden Gate Bridge when cycling across it?, there is an extremely unlikely chance of this happening, but it could happen… This is only likely to happen if there were experiencing hurricane force winds when you were cycling across the bridge, or if you cycled off the Golden Gate Bridge deliberately, or were physically thrown. So as you can see falling of or cycling of the Golden Gate Bridge is extremely unlikely, you are more likely going to collide with another cyclists or fall of your bicycle when looking at possible accidents that could happen

I would always recommend wearing safety equipment when you are cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, just the basics are needed. Helmet is the number 1 choice of course for obvious reasons, knee and elbow pads are optional but well worth wearing as you don’t want to skid or fall on your knee or elbow, it’ll just make the cycle more unpleasant  

I am not trying to scaremonger with the answer to this question, simply just to make you aware of the possible risks that could happen so you are better prepared. These risks are very unlikely to happen and you are more likely to have a safe and pleasant cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge as most cyclists do on a daily basis (residents and tourists that use the bridge) 

What Weather Conditions Should I Expect To Experience When Biking Across The Golden Gate Bridge?

There is a wide variety of weather conditions that you may experience when cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, High winds are to be expected as the Golden Gate Bridge is an open designed suspension bridge (which means the wind blows between the metal construction and wires). Also note that because the Golden Gate Bridge is suspended higher up in the air, higher winds is a natural consequence and you should expect to experience higher winds

Other weather conditions can include thick fog (fog forms when water vapour cannot be held in the air and it condenses out into fog/clouds) which can hinder visibility when cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge but also any of the landmark views that the Golden Gate Bridge offers

All weather conditions can be experienced however I would suggest checking the weather forecast before you plan to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, this will give yourself the best chance of great sun shining, clear skies weather to enjoy the Golden Gate Bridge. Additionally better weather conditions will make for clearer and brighter conditions for sightseeing and photos of the breathtaking views and spectacles that the Golden Gate Bridge offer  

I hope you enjoyed this article on “Can I Ride My Bike Across The Golden Gate Bridge? ”, All of the information has been thoroughly researched and I have plenty of real world experience on this issue to add as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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