The Streets of San Francisco


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Cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge. Is there any other city in the world with such a dramatic entrance to the city? And when in town, the streets are super steep!

There were 7 of us in total cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge. Robert and Sabrina on the tandem, then there was Jeff, Hamilton, Ryan and Katie on the Quad tandem and myself. What a great way to enter town. At the other end of the bridge we all went our separate ways to our various places of accommodation with a view to catching up somewhere in town.

Reflecting on such a great journey so far.
Reflecting on such a great journey so far.
About to ride the bridge. On top Ryan, Jeff, Robert and below, Katie, Hamilton, Sabrina and myself. The quad tandem is also there.
About to ride the bridge. On top Ryan, Jeff, Robert and below, Katie, Hamilton, Sabrina and myself. The quad tandem is also there.
The bike train
The bike train, cycling across the Golden gate Bridge
Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge
Cycling the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge, the postcard photo!

I was graciously hosted by Miles and Megan, whom I met a week earlier while cycling through the Redwoods but before I went to their house I had some exploring to do.

I wanted to visit and try and cycle the steepest streets in San Francisco. I went to the 31.5% grade section of Filbert street near the famed Lombard street. I managed to cycle up it with all my gear. It was not possible for me to sit in the seat while peddling as the front wheel would lift off the ground.

After some deep breaths I made my way only a couple of blocks away to Lombard Street which is a tourist attraction because of its steep street, sharp bends and beautiful flowers. The evening meant Pizza and beer with Miles and Megan while watching the Baseball World Series. San Francisco is in the finals so its a big deal here at the moment.

At the top of Filbert street looking down
At the top of Filbert street looking down, 31.5% Grade!
Lombard Street
Lombard Street, I cycled down that one.

Just before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at a random part of a small town I met Lucile again. We cycled together for 7 weeks in Alaska, she is now traveling with her boyfriend. She was waiting for a bus and saw me pass on my bike. I had no idea she was in the San Francisco area.

We all organised to meet up for lunch and play tourist together. So the following day, Lucile and Luic was joined by Robert, Sabrina, Henry and myself to catch up, have lunch etc.

Everybody decided to have go at climbing and descending the steep hills, even Robert and Sabrina made it up the steep hill on their tandem! Don’t think that would have ever been done before, there is so much weight to drag up the hill.

While wandering around town some other interesting things occurred. I observed two suspected drug deals on Market street. The part of Market street that smells like a combination of urine and cannabis.

While sitting in the Castro district eating and updating my long neglected diary I had 2 people use pick up lines on me. Would have been awesome and would have worked if they were women. I decided to leave when I observed an elderly guy walking down the main street wearing nothing but a sock. That’s only one (small) sock and it wasn’t on his feet.

While at Fisherman’s Wharf there was a guy begging for spare change while holding a sign. Nothing unusual about that, except the sign said, “Spare change for beer, Why lie!“. Interesting city, San Francisco!

Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf
Cycling the steepest street in the world in San Francisco!
Cycling the steepest street in the world in San Francisco!
Strange architecture
Strange architecture
or steep streets
or steep streets
The view over San Francisco from 'The Painted Ladies'.
The view over San Francisco from ‘The Painted Ladies’.

Winter is fast approaching and my route from San Francisco takes to a high altitude pass that will close any day now with one dump of snow. I don’t have a plan B, so as much as I would love to stay longer in San Francisco to explore the place, rest and relax I must keep moving.

Samuel Taylor State Park to San Francisco = 60km

Next : Hiking and Biking Yosemite National Park

Bicycle Touring and Bikepacking Pages might like:
Bicycle Touring Gear List
Bicycle Touring Spares and Tool Kit
Cycling from Alaska to Argentina

Where to buy all the best gear for Bicycle Touring and Bikepacking:
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|  | | | MEC Canada -Bicycle Touring Gear |

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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7 thoughts on “The Streets of San Francisco”

    • I just arrived right now. They are predicting a storm on Friday that might close the pass so I plan to be over on Thursday, but forecasts are sketchy so should know more in 1-2 days. Are you in Yosemite yet?

      • Didn’t make it over the pass, got there one day late. So I went down into the Yosemite Valley for a few days and now in Tehachapi for a bit, about to head up towards Death Valley and Nevada. How’d you go?

      • I made it over the pass in one day from Yosemite a day before it closed. Hard day. I’m now in Las Vegas and trying to convince myself that I should head north to the canyon country around Zion NP and Bryce Canyon NP despite the very colds temps. Death Valley and the Mojave Desert blew me away, have a look at my blog post to see the pics and read about it. Consider a loop through Mojave National Preserve on route to Death Valley and Vegas if that where you are heading. Enjoy, I certainly did.

      • Mate your Death Valley post is amazing! Can’t wait to tackle it myself, though not sure I’ll be jumping into the dirt roads haha.. Have fun out there and be safe!

  1. Beautiful post and I thought the mountains in Eastern Europe have been a challenge…San Fran is gonna have your glutes pumping!


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