A Bike Tour of San Francisco


My Bike Tour of San Francisco

One of the most breathtaking bicycle rides in America.


Walking down North Point St., Starbucks passion tea in one hand (grande, of course), leather clutch in the other, I couldn’t help myself from smiling as I took it all in. There I was in San Francisco, home of the Tanners from Full House, Raven from That’s So Raven, and, of course, (most importantly) the location when Ben Flajnik’s season on The Bachelor was filmed. Let’s be real- who wouldn’t die from happiness? San Francisco was already beginning to exceed my expectations.

My Bike Tour of San Francisco

As I proceeded down to the pier, the famous Golden Gate Bridge glistened in the distance, and rays sunshine captured its scarlet-red reflections in the water. I was able to see the figures of bike-riders (after squinting for several minutes), and it wasn’t long before I decided that I wanted to join the group of silhouettes.

Anyone who knows me would probably agree that I’m not exactly the “spontaneous” type. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have fun, but I generally don’t stray too far from the norm. And even if I do decide to do something extraordinary, it requires a lot of convincing and months of mental preparation.

My Bike Tour of San Francisco

So that’s why swiping my debit card in the rental-bike kiosk at Fisherman’s Wharf was even a surprise to me. I was the girl with the pre-set to-do list to the moon (and back). The girl with the two-foot monthly organized calendar hanging in her closet (no exaggeration there). The girl who was afraid to break out of her comfort zone.

There I stood, defying everything that had defined me with the swipe of a plastic card.

It may not seem like a big deal to most of you Urbanette’s, but hopping on two wheels, with no route or meals planned, was a big deal for me! I started off biking along the National Park Bike Path to the Golden Gate Bridge. The pavement was smooth, and the wind felt nice against my face. Biking was much better than I thought it would be; in the hilly city, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d imagined. I was actually enjoying myself! Seriously, what could be bad about touring one of the most beautiful cities in California while simultaneously completing a fat-burning workout?

My Bike Tour of San Francisco

After about fifty minutes, I had made it to the Golden Gate. I began to have misgivings about my biking abilities upon approaching the bridge, but nonetheless, I still peddled on (it wasn’t exactly like I had another choice at that point…) Upon reaching the center of the bridge, I was able to just make out the famous Ghirardelli Square sign through the fog; the sails of colorful sailboats were hazy in the mist. After focusing for a few more seconds, the distant outlines of antiquated cable cars transporting people down streets came into my view. I put the kickstand down on my bike so that I could observe San Francisco from a bird’s eye perspective for just a few moments longer.

My Bike Tour of San Francisco

The famous Ghirardelli Square

Everything was so orderly, yet perfectly laid back; old-fashioned, yet astonishingly modern, but most importantly, gracefully classic, while still capricious and unexpected. How could there be so much variation in forty-seven miles? My perseverance had led me to appreciate the uniqueness of this beautiful city. Nothing was more perfect than that moment, when I realized how mellifluously provincial and contemporary had combined, to result in a truly unique travel destination.

My Bike Tour of San Francisco

A cable car in the streets of San Francisco

It wasn’t long before I completed my expedition, finding myself in Sausalito. I took a ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf, where I thanked the bike rental shop for the amazing ride I had enjoyed. The thought of leaving pained me. There was no way I would be able to get on a plane in less than twenty-four hours! How I envied those who called my vacation spot home!

As I drove on the Golden Gate to the San Francisco International Airport, I took to social media to reminisce on the wonderful time I had, and thanked San Francisco for allowing me to enjoy its pleasures. I guess the words of Rudyard Kipling really are true – “San Francisco has only one drawback—‘tis hard to leave.” You bet it is.

Dena Gershkovich is a blogger and entrepreneur from New York. Dena loves pretty much anything creative from art and hairstyling/fashion to writing and cooking. Writing helps her to combine her passions for nutrition and creativity with her love of writing.

Reader Discussion: 60 Comments

  1. Debra Whaley

    More power to you. You pushed past your phobias and that’s inspiring. I wish I had the same personality as you. A brave, and ready to go, person. Lol.

  2. It’s all worth it, right? Don’t lock yourself on your comfort zone.

  3. Wilma Moore

    whenever I’m traveling, I assure that everything is on my list. I’m organized when it comes to traveling. There’s no room for a simple mistake to me.

  4. Kelly Gonzales

    I’m excited to visit San Francisco! I can imagine how breathtaking the view from the bridge. Yay!!!!!

  5. Evelyn Harris

    My husband and I are now planning to visit San Francisco. I hope you write more about what are the best places in San Francisco. 🙂

  6. Jeweli Prater

    That’s why I adore you a lot, Hilary. You do stuff and take some risk. I wish I’m as courageous as you.

  7. I had a great time when I and my girlfriend visited San Francisco. We are planning to get back there on our honeymoon.

  8. Juli Woods

    San Francisco is one of my favorite places. Whenever I’m there, I feel at home. Plus, the golden gate bridge, it’s really amazing.

  9. Hena Taylor

    I will visit San Francisco, but I’ll never ride a bicycle. Lol. I will still enjoy the bridge without that.

  10. Honey Smith

    You’ll never experience the best things in life if you’re afraid to come out of your comfort zone.

  11. Bela Christo

    I love San Francisco, but NYC is still the best for me. San Francisco is a wonderful place, but NYC is the place where I live.

  12. Anila William

    Biking is fun if you’re with someone. You can’t feel the pain if you’re with someone because you’re enjoying the moment.

  13. Brett Lee

    I’m an avid cyclist, and I salute you. It’s hard to pedal that long if you’re not used to it. Keep it up – it’s very rewarding.

  14. I’m a fan of yours. Your traveling articles are amazing.

  15. Cristina Joseff

    Yay! Your article makes me want to travel to San Francisco just to ride a bike at the bridge, Lol.

  16. Dawn Katz

    You’re an amazing person, Hilary. My friends and I adore you so much. I love how you tried to come out of your comfort zone. The fact that you ride a bicycle at the Golden Gate Bridge. Amazing.

  17. Luisa Rodriguez

    That’s great. You come out from your comfort zone. If I were you, I’ll do the same. It was once in a lifetime experience. 👍

  18. Kimberly Holder

    Wow. I only see the golden gate at the movies. I can say you had a great time there. Who wouldn’t have, right?

  19. Lancy Stanford

    All the pain that you felt after the long ride was all worth it. If I were you, I will still ride the bike going back to the fisherman’s wharf.

  20. Zerin Martin

    OMG! You’ve tried to ride a ferry going back? That’s awesome. I guess you’re tired of pedaling. Lol

  21. Marina Josef

    I had the same feeling too when we had our vacation in San Francisco. I almost cried at the cab going to the airport. A great place to visit.

  22. Luthi Sanders

    I love San Francisco more than NYC. I used to live there for 2 years, and NYC is nothing. It’s my opinion.

  23. Marina Bozek

    I’ve been to San Francisco when I was a kid. I can say that it’s a great place to go for a vacation. There’s a lot of tourist spot where you can enjoy the beauty of San Francisco.

  24. Kseniya Tomlin

    You’re an inspiration, Hilary. I always read your articles here in Urbanette. It inspires me a lot. More power to you! 💋

  25. Nataliya Smith

    When I was a kid, I always wanted to ride a bicycle. It’s not just a way of transportation, but you can enjoy the ambiance of the place as well.

  26. Jurik Smith

    I salute you, girl. How did you manage to bike the whole bridge? Wow! What an amazing strength.

  27. Angelo Henderso

    I like how San Francisco preserves its beauty. It’s rare to find a place where they can look modern, but at the same time, they preserved the old look of the province.

  28. Ani Hoker

    I want to go there too. I’ve been dreaming of riding at the golden gate bridge.

  29. Eloisa Clay

    You’re the best, Hilary. I admire you a lot. You’re living your life to the fullest.

  30. Katherine Donnelly

    My friend and I went to San Francisco. I’ve been to the golden gate bridge as well. There’s nothing I can say about that place, it’s amazing.

  31. George Sumanta

    I love your articles, Hilary. When I’m reading your articles, I can imagine the fun you’re experiencing. I love your job so much! Traveling, and writing.

  32. Britni Baynes

    Don’t be afraid to do things that you’re unfamiliar with. It is nice to have new experiences so that in the future you can say that you’ve done that before.

  33. Jesse Wyss

    I can see myself to you. I’m the type of person who is super organized in everything. I have lots of planners so that I can plan everything before I take some action.

  34. Jessie Fernande

    Yay! When I go to San Francisco, I will do that. I love to ride a bicycle. I can imagine the beautiful scenery from the center of the golden gate bridge.

  35. Yuliya Bruce

    Oh, I’ve heard so much about San Francisco. I guess it’s all true. Every person I knew told me that San Francisco is one of the best places to visit for a vacation. I will probably tell my husband about this.

  36. Lana Wiliam

    Happy to know that you’ve come out of your comfort zone. If I were you, I wouldn’t do that. But if you didn’t do that, you’ll never see the beauty of San Francisco.

  37. Maria Bruce

    I brought my girlfriend at the Golden Gate Bridge. Men, the view from the center of the bridge is breathtaking.

  38. Quin Meri

    I’ve been to San Francisco, and I agree with you. San Francisco is an amazing place. If you’re planning to visit San Francisco, don’t forget to visit the Golden Gate Bridge.

  39. Ana Brose

    Riding a bicycle is a big no to me. I used to have one when I was a kid. But after I got involved in an accident, I never use a bicycle again. It’s very traumatic to me. 😕

  40. Jenifer Jeni

    It is not bad to come out of your comfort zone once in a while. If you never try, you’ll never know the feeling.

  41. Alena Martin

    Oh, San Francisco is an amazing place. It’s very different from the busy city of NYC. Visiting San Francisco is one of the greatest happenings in my life. The Golden Gate Bridge is gorgeous.

  42. Selli Coaze

    I like biking! It’s my transportation every day. Instead of riding a cab going to school, I usually use my bicycle. It’s my way to save the nature, money, and to stay fit.

  43. Jessi Agusta

    Biking is good for the body. There are lots of benefits that you can get from biking. You can burn fats with that, and at the same time, you can enjoy the view of San Francisco.

  44. Nancy Smith

    That’s So Raven is one of my favorite series! I want to go to San Francisco. Any tips where can I get a cheap accommodation?

  45. Jeni Morgan

    Whoa, I’ve never been in San Francisco. Reading your article makes me want to visit the place. I also want to try the biking at the Golden Gate bridge.

  46. Carol Joyner

    In plain and simple words, bike tour is the best tour of a city a tourist can experience!

  47. Olive Williams


  48. Blanche Martina

    Majestic! Awesome! Amazing!

  49. Monique Malick

    Thank you! I appreciate your writing style. I hope I can try and experience SF bike tour. 👍

  50. Kathryn Gibson

    I think your bike tour is the highlight of your SF visit! Love it!

  51. Mildred Davis

    I can relate to your experience. The bike tour is a perfect experience. I’m so glad I tried, I would never have seen or learned so much about SF, it’s history, it’s people.

  52. Michelle Lee

    Fantastic! Bike tour is definitely on top of my list!

  53. Linda Williams

    WOW! I believe bike tour is an outstanding way to see a lot of the city that goes beyond just the main sights.

  54. Veola Sancho

    Bookmarked! I’m going to share this article with my friends! We can consider bike tour for our SF trip.

  55. Frances Shapiro

    I’m planning a trip to SF and I’m guessing bike tour can be a highlight of my trip. That might be an authentic SF experience?! 🤔🤔🤔

  56. Josephine Murphy

    I absolutely loved this article, what a great way to see an amazingly beautiful city.

  57. Jennifer varner

    The city of San Francisco will show its majestic beauty when when you get out of the heart of it!

  58. Mary Beyer

    So jealous of your wonderful experience!

  59. Francis Woods

    I have been to San Francisco several times on business but have never gotten to go for pleasure and this article about the bike tour just might be the catalyst needed to get me over there again! Does anyone know of any good bike rentals in the area? 🙂

  60. Andrew Givens

    San Francisco has so much architectural beauty, it would be a shame to see it any other way! A bicycle tour would be the best way to finish off a trip to San Fran and it could be the highlight of the vacation. I will let you know when I get back! 🙂

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