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Round-trip biking to Sausalito: time, difficulty level, etc.

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sandy, utah
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Round-trip biking to Sausalito: time, difficulty level, etc.

We will be renting bikes around 2:30 on Sat. 9/1 after arriving at SFO, dropping off our luggage at the downtown Marrriott around 11:15 and doing a quick tour of Chinatown. This is the only day we can do both (my husband will be in a conference the next 5 days) and I'm not looking forward to the hordes of tourists I hear will be in Sausalito for the Art Festival. My questions are: If we pick up the bikes from Bay City Rentals at 1325 Columbus Ave (or is 2661 Taylor St. a better location?) how easy of a detour will it be to bike over to the Palace of Fine Arts and take some pictures? Is the detour biker friendly? With another quick stop for photos at Fort Point and on the bridge, about how many hours will it take us to get to Sausalito? Other than taking a few spinning classes, I haven't been on a road bike in many years. The big problem is the limited p.m. ferry departures from Sausalito. We'd either have to be on the 6 pm ferry to Pier 41 or the 6:20 ferry to the Ferry Bldg. in order to get our bikes back before the 8:30 closing time. I was told we'd want to get in line for the ferry l/2 hour earlier because they limit the # of bikes they let board. I'm assuming on a busy holidy weekend they'll fill up fast. My husband says we should just skip the ferries and bike back across the bridge at a later time. Just how steep is the 2 miles from Sausalito to the bridge? If I end up pushing my bike most of the way to the bridge, about how long would the return trip to the bike shop take? Any other suggestions for making the above itinerary more doable would be greatly appreciated!

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Round-trip biking to Sausalito: time, difficulty level, etc.

Kcowley! For some reason, I know more about your posts than others!

I lived across the bridge and biked to work several times. It's hilly, there's no way around it. Up to Crissy Fields, there's that one hill in Fort Mason, but you can walk it or shift to a low gear, it's only about 3 blocks long. And there are no cars on that part. And the view is worth taking a break anyway.

The hill up to the GG Bridge, and down to Sausalito is another story. It's pretty intimidating. My wife and I ride a tandem, and she refuses to ride that hill anymore. Not just because of the steepness and length, but going into Sausalito you're right next to cars going in excess of 55 mph. She hates that part.

That being said, I LOVE riding that part. I try to race the cars (see why she hates it?!?). It's a gorgeous ride, but not for the faint of heart. Are you comfortable around fast moving cars?

If you're in good shape (how many spinning classes?) you can do it one way in less than an hour. If you're walking the bike, much much longer.

There's a bus that you can catch that will take you right to the waterfront (Bridgeway), that you can catch at the GG Bridge. Not part of Muni, called Golden Gate Transit. If you take the Muni #28 bus from Fort Mason to the Bridge, then you walk up some stairs to get to another bus platform, take bus #10 to Sausalito (#2, and 60 also go there in commute hours). It's $3.60, but their transfers are only good for traveling in the same direction, but it can't hurt to ask if you can use it for a return trip, since you are from out of town. OR you can do a bus/ferry combo, which would be great. OR the buses have spots to hook your bike onto, but there are only two spots and if they are taken up already you're out of luck.

I love sausalito and would try to do it, especially if it's foggy on the SF side, often it's sunny on the Sausalito side, and you can get out of the fog. AND you get the best view of SF from Sausalito.

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2. Re: Round-trip biking to Sausalito: time, difficulty level, etc.

To me, going from the Wharf (San Francisco) to Sausalito is a ride pretty much anyone can do that knows how to ride a bike reasonably well. Taking the Ferry back tops off the adventure with a relaxing different mode of transportation that provides great views and a bay cruise. Because of the hill going from Sausalito to the GG Bridge, I leave that ride for the SERIOUS bikers with the outifts, special shoes and $5,000 bikes.

3. Re: Round-trip biking to Sausalito: time, difficulty level, etc.

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