UPDATE: Golden Gate Bridge West Sidewalk Still Closed — April 1, 2012 through May 15, 2012


UPDATE:  The West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge will continue to remain closed for renovations through May 15, 2012.  The renovations were scheduled to last thru April 1, 2012, but they have taken longer to complete than originally anticipated.  For more information, see the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District information page here.

This West side reopened in mid-September 2011 from the last round of repairs and seismic renovations.  The East Side reopened to pedestrians to cross the full extent of the Golden Gate Bridge in December 2011 after seismic renovations.

This next round of construction is the final phase of improvements on the San Francisco side of the bridge including the Battery East Bay Trail (the bike/pedestrian trail from Long Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge). The renovations will include installation of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, trail re-surfacing and grade improvements, replaced fencing and lighting, and construction of the Fort Point Vista.

These renovations will affect how you get on to the bridge as both a cyclist and pedestrian. From Long Avenue, either make a right and go up Lincoln Avenue and follow the road to the upper parking area and follow the signs to the bridge. Or you can go up the Bay Trail to the lower parking area and then transition over to Lincoln Avenue and follow the detour.

This round of renovations is not taking place during the high season for tourists fortunately. That fact alone may make this a better interaction than the last round that occurred over the Summer of 2011.

Lane markers and signs were placed on the East Side of the Bridge during the last round of renovations which helped make pedestrians aware and gave cyclists a dedicated lane for movement.

On a typical weekend, over 5,000 bicyclists cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians and bicyclists alike will need to be aware of how crowded the bridge will be.  No matter the time of year, the hardest part of crossing on the pedestrian side of the bridge is inattentive tourists who don’t think bikes belong on their side.  Or the teenagers with headphones in who don’t hear the bikes announcing their presence over their music. To experience what it is like to bike across the pedestrian side of the bridge, check out Ridin’ Dirty below.

These next few months will require lots and lots of patience from the bicyclists and understanding from pedestrians.  Just remember to be vigilant and patient as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Golden Gate Bridge Sidewalk Closed (Again?) — January 17, 2012 – April 1, 2012


Bicyclists Traverse the East Side of the Golden Gate Bridge

Once again the West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge is close for renovations starting on January 17, 2012.  The renovations are scheduled to last thru April 1, 2012.  For more information, see the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District information page here.

This West side reopened in mid-September 2011 from the last round of repairs and seismic renovations.  The East Side reopened to pedestrians to cross the full extent of the Golden Gate Bridge in December 2011 after seismic renovations.

This next round of construction is the final phase of improvements on the San Francisco side of the bridge including the Battery East Bay Trail (the bike/pedestrian trail from Long Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge). The renovations will include installation of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, trail re-surfacing and grade improvements, replaced fencing and lighting, and construction of the Fort Point Vista.

These renovations will affect how you get on to the bridge as both a cyclist and pedestrian. From Long Avenue, either make a right and go up Lincoln Avenue and follow the road to the upper parking area and follow the signs to the bridge. Or you can go up the Bay Trail to the lower parking area and then transition over to Lincoln Avenue and follow the detour.

This round of renovations is not taking place during the high season for tourists fortunately. That fact alone may make this a better interaction than the last round that occurred over the Summer of 2011.

Lane markers and signs were placed on the East Side of the Bridge during the last round of renovations which helped make pedestrians aware and gave cyclists a dedicated lane for movement.

On a typical weekend, over 5,000 bicyclists cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians and bicyclists alike will need to be aware of how crowded the bridge will be.  No matter the time of year, the hardest part of crossing on the pedestrian side of the bridge is inattentive tourists who don’t think bikes belong on their side.  Or the teenagers with headphones in who don’t hear the bikes announcing their presence over their music. To experience what it is like to bike across the pedestrian side of the bridge, check out Ridin’ Dirty below.

These next few months will require lots and lots of patience from the bicyclists and understanding from pedestrians.  Just remember to be vigilant and patient as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge West Side Reopened!


Jon and Miko Like Totally Pause Near Fort Point

On September 10, 2011 the West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge reopened to bicyclists. The West Side of the bridge will now be open 24/7 until seismic renovations are completed on the East Side of the Bridge. However, there are some restrictions on bikers during the week in the construction zone where the repainting is occuring. See the release for full details.

The East Side of the Bridge has limited access until mid-January 2012

As of September 12, 2011 pedestrians are unable to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Presently, pedestrians entering from Vista Point in Marin County are limited to the area immediately surrounding Vista Point and a 700 foot section of the Bridge. The renovations will be at the north anchor-housing and will last through mid-January 2012. Visitors from the San Francisco side of the Bridge are able to walk past the second tower, but must turn around at that point.

BIKES ONLY on the West Side! NO Pedestrians, Joggers, Rollerbladers or Skateboarders!

This effectively means that pedestrians, joggers, skateboarders and everyone else, EXCEPT bicyclists WILL NOT be able to cross the Bridge until it reopens in mid-January 2012. If you are a jogger and feel you should be able to run on the bike side of the bridge, DON’T! Bridge Police will be out and cite pedestrians trying to cross on the West Side of the Bridge. So if you want to walk to Sausalito, you will have to park in Marin County to do so.

Although tempting, pedestrians are not to ender the West Side of the Bridge

Bicyclists, you can now rejoice in the fact we can once again ride across the bridge without dealing with pedestrians. So don’t be bike douches, just slow down around the towers and in the construction zone because we all paused for pictures on the Golden Gate Bridge at one point in time and may do so once again.

Miko pauses for a picture at the south tower on the West Side

Golden Gate Bridge Sidewalk Closed — May 31, 2011


On May 31, 2011 the West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge closed for renovations.  The renovations are scheduled to last thru September 2011.  For more information, see the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District information page here.

The West Side is known as the “bike side” of the bridge.  Typically, this side is open for cyclists from 3:30 pm to sunset Monday through Friday and 5am to sunset on the weekends.

But now, cyclists at all times of day will have to deal with the pedestrians and tourists present on the East Side of the bridge.

 

The interaction between pedestrians and cyclists is tenuous at best and hostile at worst. On a typical weekend, over 5,000 bicyclists cross the Golden Gate Bridge. The next four months are high season for tourists and for cyclists who are training for tours and competitions.

The hardest part of crossing on the pedestrian side of the bridge is inattentive tourists who don’t think bikes belong on their side.  Or the teenagers with headphones in who don’t hear the bikes announcing their presence over their music. To experience what it is like to bike across the pedestrian side of the bridge, check out Ridin’ Dirty below.

Over the next four months, the pedestrians will need to be aware of how crowded the bridge will be.  Hopefully, signs will be posted to make the pedestrians more aware of the bikes and hopefully they will pay attention.

These next four months will require lots and lots of patience from the bicyclists and understanding from pedestrians.  Let’s hope this occurs.

Until then, be careful crossing the bridge.

Trail: THE GOLDEN GATEWAY – San Francisco to Sausalito


San Francisco to Sausalito


Distance from the San Francisco Ferry Building  = 10.67 miles
Difficulty = An unfit tourist could do it . . . so can you.
Download your route sheet here: Directions – Golden Gateway

The GOLDEN GATEWAY RUN is just golden and the gateway to all the serene and spectacular runs in Marin. Detailed looks at all our maps can be found through gmap-pedometer.com, click on FULL GOLDEN GATEWAY ROUTE for this map or:

We resume at the end of Crissy field where you must ask yourself whether you’re the kind of person that removes a band aid by ripping it off or peeling it slowly . . . This kind of logic will help you decide which hill you climb up to the bridge.

 

The Stab Wound hill is a short, sharp, steep pain in the saddle, but if you like to get your suffering over with quickly (or like to “challenge” your inner bike douche) this is your best bet. Know your limits though, this hill is narrower and likely fraught with traffic so walking your bike is less of an option. Turn off Crissy Field Blvd at the Lincoln Blvd stop sign.

The less “deadly” option, Black Eye hill, is a punch in the face but actually looks a whole lot worse than it feels.

 

There’s no shame here in walking your bike or being overtaken by a jogger or puppy . . . OK that was admittedly humiliating. Find it at the end of Crissy Field on Long Ave which intersects with Lincoln Blvd.
 
At the top is a sweet picture opp and perhaps time for a water break? You’ll need your strength for the final climb up to the Golden Gate Bridge. (You can see bikers biking uphill behind Jon here.) This takes you directly to either side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

 For the East (pedestrian) side take a left at the striped poles, up the wooden fenced walkway . . . or just follow the tourists.

 For the West (bike only) side continue on the path under the bridge which will wind its way up to the bridge.

Eastside vs. Westside : Which side do I cross the bridge?

The cryptic symbols on the bridge’s signs indicating the hours for cycling across the different sides are practically hieroglyphic and as such make no sense to the literate.

The rules for the summer season are:
WEEKDAYS:
5:00 AM – 3:30 PM East Walkway
3:30 PM – 9:00 PM West Walkway
After hours – 5:00 AM Get buzzed in on East Walkway
WEEKENDS:
5:00 AM – 9:00 PM West Walkway
After hours – 5:00 AM Get buzzed in on East Walkway
The EAST is the side shared with PEDESTRIANS . . . which is an experience akin to driving through a heard of blind sheep. On the up side, this is the side to stop and take your pictures and your time. If you feel you may need to walk your bike use this side only. As for your frustration tolerance taking this route during the week try to remember that this is a pedestrian designated walkway and most aren’t expecting bike traffic. Deep breaths and hum the words to your favorite song inside your head.

The WEST side is reserved for BIKES ONLY . . . which the bike douches (see definition) have claimed as their own, race through at alarming speeds and treat as their training ground for whatever “Tour” they hope to race in (or just Tour de Douche for short). It is fast, exciting and highly efficient. It is also dangerous and frightening at times, with frequent passing and tight turns around the tower. While a spectacular day may merit a brief pause or perhaps a picture or two, it’s not recommended except in areas where there’s wide clearance where you will cause minimal obstruction to the through traffic. Just imagine that you’re about as convenient as someone stopping in the middle of a highway to do so – use your judgement.

**A word of caution: don’t let your enthrallment with the bridge dull your senses at the end as there is a very narrow opening at the end of the bridge that gives room to single file. The rule is generally the first person (or group) into the pass should clear first but don’t doubt the self-righteous bike douche who thinks his magic bike can go anywhere. Assume the worst, approach with caution, hope for the best.**
CHOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!
 
                                           (EAST to WEST)
Stairs at either side are available for cyclists to cross underneath the bridge to chose which path to take into Sausilito.
 
                                                     (WEST to EAST)
West Side: The Oh So Scenic Route 

Jon & Miko at the Golden Gate Bridge

(Disclaimer: We only now realize that this photo is oddly suggestive. If your mind instantly went there then you’d probably enjoy a different kind of website and different pastime. Good luck with that. We promise to keep it PG from now on.)
 
The twisty hill below that looks like a “NO WAY” is in fact the way down. Beware of the masochists cycling upwards, bizarre pedestrians looking lost and needlessly fast drivers charging up as you cycle down at “Weeee fun!” speed.
At the bottom views of the city and rock formations will only add to your thrills and picture album.
 
  As a rule in biking what goes down must come up and the thrill of the downhill is matched by the payback of the uphill – which begins after Horseshoe Bay and the Bay Area Discovery Museum up East Road. The sheer number of scenic spots to admire the view from the other side of the bridge make the hill climbs into Sausalito worth the huffing and puffing.
 

The climb continues along the coastline until reaching the crossroads into Sausalito. And it’s all downhill from there . . . and pure thrills into the town of Sausalito.

For a detailed look at this route consult the map for the FULL OH SO SCENIC ROUTE on gmap-pedometer.com.

East Side: The Wee Fast Fun Route
 
Off the East side of the bridge or from crossing underneath head towards the hills, literally, and follow the clearly marked bike path towards the highway. Follow the road signs for Alexander Avenue.
 
The bike path lines you up directly beside the highway and the exit for Alexander Avenue.
 

At the end of the bike trail there’s a messy merge onto Alexander Avenue where minding the oncoming traffic may mean the difference between eating hamburger in Sausalito and becoming hamburger on the way to Sausalito. Hug the curb as closely as you comfortably can and saddle up for some “weee!” fast fun. Continue to follow the signs to Sausalito . . . unless you want to end up somewhere else.

The Final Descent

For a detailed look at this route consult the map for the FULL WEE FAST FUN ROUTE on gmap-pedometer.com.

 

The hill into the town of Sausalito is steep and the two way traffic is constant on any given day. At the bottom there is a four way crossroads marked “SLOW” that could put your wee fast fun pace at a halt. Not to worry, you’ll have more than enough momentum to coast on to Sausalito’s main strip.

 

There’s something to be said for reaching your destination, or even the first check point along your Marin biking adventure. If the biking portion of your adventure is complete, Sausalito is a picturesque seaside town where there’s plenty of bike parking at the ferry terminal so you can explore unique boutiques and enjoy quaint (albeit sometimes pricey or touristy) restaurants. 

 
Sometimes motivation for some of those steep hills has been the promise of a superb wine tasting and in Sausalito at Bacchus and Venus located across from the ferry terminal parking lot on the main drag at 769 Bridgeway. Whether you’re in the mood for one of their carefully crafted flights before boarding the ferry or want to take a delicious but reasonably priced bottle on board, Bacchus and Venus is one of our secret spots to hit along the bike trail. They’re happy to uncork your bottle and give you plastic drinking cups if you decide to bring your bottle onboard for the ferry ride home. Cheers!
 
Having made it this far remember that you are FAR away and make sure you’re at the ferry WAY in advance. Blue and Gold Fleet have been known to turn down cyclists over regular ferry passengers and while you will eventually find a ferry that will take you, if you’re renting a bike you may not make it back for your return deadline. So get to the front of that line!
This is a photo of our first ride back from our trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. I couldn’t believe I’d made it. I felt like a rock star. I now ride over the bridge an average of three to four times a week. I guess we all start somewhere and this was the beginning of my love affair with biking. (And no, I wasn’t wearing high heals on this ride!) Hopefully you’ll go see what I mean . . .