Destination: San Francisco California
Date: December 2013
Activity: Biking the Golden Gate in San Francisco
Okay I thought I’ve done as many fun activities with the kids as possible. We’ve experienced so much and since my kids range from ages 17-6 we’ve had lots of time to do many activities when on vacation, that at this point I feel like we are just rewinding and doing it again with everyone a little wiser, and a little more capable. However, one thing I’d never done with the kids was cycle a city. For obvious reasons I’ve worried about their ability, their stamina, and of course their chances of being hit by traffic. All of these things have made me pass over a cycle tour, but not this time.
Being from Northern California I felt like I’d done it all in San Francisco. One of the major things I haven’t done was visit Alcatraz (someday when the weather is right is what I tell myself) and walk or ride across the Golden Gate. This time I decided I would accomplish one of these two items.
After arriving in San Francisco after a 24 hour car ride from Texas the kids were ready to get out and stretch their legs. That is why cycling the Golden Gate was so appealing. We first did a little site seeing in San Fran, took the kids through China Town, visited the Fortune Cookie Factory (mentioned in my San Francisco Couples post). We also drove down Lombard street in our twelve passenger van and had so much fun doing that… we did it again! The kids screamed and put their hands above their heads to simulate the roller coaster affect they were feeling.
Once we were done with these few activities we drove over to Pier 39 for some clam chowder and bread bowls, and to visit the seal habitat at the end of the pier. Soon we were ready for our bike ride adventure. I feel like I should mention that we ate at the Fog Harbor Fish House at Pier 39 and reserved our table on OpenTable.com The food at the Fog Harbor Fish House was some of the best I’ve ever had, especially the cajun crabs. This is one of the few foods that will go on my list of things I will dream about for many meals to come. It was really that good!
From the Fog Harbor Fish House just outside of the Pier 39 entrance we found Blazing Saddles bike rentals. Their customer care was superb and soon my kids each had a bike fit to size. My oldest Colton and one of my twins, Leah, opted for a tandem bike, and Trent had an “add on” put on his bike for our youngest Bella. We were soon pointed in the direction of the Golden Gate. We were told it was about a 3 1/2 mile ride to the entrance of the bridge and directions on how to catch the ferry on the opposite side of the bridge that would bring us, and our bike safely back to Pier 39. It would be about a 9 mile ride but we were ready for it!
We had such a great time biking through the crowds that had assembled in San Francisco after Christmas. The kids were relatively obedient navigating the crowds and the cars as we made it to open spaces out past Ghirardelli Square. The ride wasn’t the easiest especially on the way to the bridge. The kids had to use the gear shifts on the bikes as we climbed the hilly terrain of San Francisco. Finally we made it to the bridge and again hit big crowds all having the same idea of walking or riding the bridge.
We had decided since we were in town for a BYU bowl game that night, that we might not have the necessary time to ride across the entire bridge so once we got to the middle we turned around and rode back. The kids were excited for this because they knew the ride would be mostly down hill!
At the end it was an exhausting day but so much fun! We really had a blast and I would recommend this activity to anyone visiting the area with kids or not! Next time I’d pack a picnic lunch and not be on such a strict time schedule so I could better enjoy the beauty of the bay and the laughter of my kids!
Safe and Happy biking!!!