San Francisco is home to a little bit of everything. Whether you’re a first time visitor or a long-time local, San Francisco’s Golden Gates welcome all. The best way to see San Francisco’s best side is to use a bike. Truly. With the huge bike culture and bike lances criss-crossing every neighborhood, it’s by far the greatest and most fun way to commute. And now you get all the tips you should know before biking in SF.
First of all you should definitely know the rules on the road. Stop at stop signs and lights, yield to pedestrians, front and rear lights required at night, sidewalks are for pedestrians and kids on bikes and you can ride in the middle of a lane if you need to.
A good lock is everything. If you’d like to discover SF with your bike you really need a good bike lock, because bike theft is prevalent in SF. Cut down your chances by getting a solid U-lock. And don’t forget: Always lock your bike to the frame, not to the wheel. Nothing worse than seeing a well-locked wheel sitting frameless on the sidewalk.
Be Mindful. Locals love that visitor appreciate the City by the Bay and all its various delights. But local cyclists, don’t love the fact that tourists on the bikes are often guilty of stopping in the bike lanes to snap photos. Especially around popular spots like the Golden Gate Bridge. So always remember to pull aside and stay right if you’re on a sightseeing ride and want to take pictures. Don’t stop too abrupt.
Let’s talk about public transport. All riders can bring their bikes on the MUNI buses, BART subway trains and Caltrains. Bikes are not allowed on the MUNI Light Rail, the historic streetcars or the cable cars.
The helmet discussion. Based on the slogan “helmet hair, don’t care!” you should always wear a helmet. While California laws mandate that only people under 18 must wear a helmet at all times, it is highly recommended that every rider does.
Now you know all the tips. And with a little pre-ride planning and attention to basic rules, cycling in San Francisco can be the best way to explore this beautiful city with its iconic spots!