11 Awesome Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rental Tips

There are many options for bike hire or rental to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. So we created 11 awesome tips for bike hire or rental across the Golden Gate Bridge to make your trip a memorable and hassle-free experience.

Not many people can say they have bicycled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to Sausalito, which makes it a rare and unique experience. When we tell our friends we biked through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge we always get the same reaction – wow that sounds cool!

And it is a really cool experience. You can bike all along the waterfront from Fisherman’s Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and then take the Ferry back to San Francisco. You can even get a good look at Alcatraz from the Ferry.

But to get the most enjoyment out of your bicycle rental it is best to have some info ahead of time so you know where to go, the best route to take, the best places to rent or hire your bike, the best times to bike across the bridge and a lot more.

1. How Much Does it Cost to Rent or Hire a Bike?

Generally speaking the cost for an adult bike is anywhere from $30 – $36 a day. Most bike rental companies in San Francisco offer a 20% discount when you book online. The cost for kids bikes, bike trailers, and baby seats are around $20 – $25 per day.

2. How Long Does it Take to Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge?

A leisurely bike ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, where many bike rental companies are located, across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito is approximately 8.2 miles and takes 1 to 2 hours depending on how often you stop for photo ops or snacks along the way.  The bridge itself is 1.7 miles across and it is an easy incline to bike over. You can bike back from Sausalito to San Francisco or take the beautiful 30 minute Ferry ride back, as many bikers decide to do. You will need to purchase Ferry tickets ahead of time or buy them as you board the Ferry.

3. When is the Best Time to Cross the Golden Gate Bridge?

The best time to cross the golden gate bridge is on weekday mornings. The crowds are lowest at that time. The crowds are non-existent if you bike across the bridge at night. Just be sure your bike is equipped with the proper reflectors and a front light.

4. What is the Best Route to Cross the Golden Gate Bridge?Round Hose Cafe

The best route to take is to start at Fisherman’s Wharf where the majority of bikes for hire and rentals are located. From there you can ride along the National Park Bike Path on a mostly flat bike ride through Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, the Marina, and Presidio National Park to the Golden Gate Bridge. HINT: If it’s cold outside stop at the Roundhouse Cafe’ and grab a cappuccino. The Roundhouse Cafe’ has huge windows and a great view of the bridge.

Then just follow the signs to cross the bridge and enjoy the amazing views of San Francisco and the bay. Once you reach the crest of the bridge it’s an easy downhill ride into the charming bayside town of Sausalito. Once in Sausalito, you can grab a bite to eat, relax, sightsee, shop and enjoy Sausalito’s famously colorful houseboats. When you are ready to head back to San Francisco you can return by ferry or ride your bike back.

5. How Will the Weather Affect Your Trip?

It seems like even on the nicest of days it can be cold, windy, foggy and possibly even rainy while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. The best tip for handling the weather is to be prepared for anything. Dress in layers and make sure you have a waterproof windbreaker in case it’s windy or damp. Be aware that in the winter months on rainy days some bike rentals are closed.

6. Should You Use a Tour Service or Take a Self-Guided Tour?

If you can read a map, observe the road signs and follow the crowd you really won’t need a guided tour to cross the Golden Gate Bridge From San Francisco to Sausalito. It’s a very easy route to follow and it’s nice to be able to cruise at your own pace, stop and take pictures, grab a bite to eat or explore at your own pace.

7. Should You Rent an Electric Hybrid or Ten Speed?

You can rent an electric hybrid bike but the prices are higher to rent or hire a hybrid bike. And, FYI, you cannot have the bike in electric mode while crossing the bridge. Also, you cannot ride roller skates, roller blades, scooters, or skateboards across the bridge.

8. What Should You Bring?More Than I Should Bring

Most bike hire and rental facilities include a helmet, bike lock, and map. You will need to bring everything else you will need. You should bring a backpack and pack only what you need to keep the backpack as light as possible. Some items to consider are water, sunglasses, sunscreen, chap-stick, hat, gloves, camera, selfie stick, binoculars, and a windbreaker. You should also plan to wear closed toe shoes and dress in layers as the weather changes constantly.

9. Can My Kids Bike Across the Golden Gate Bridge?

Yes, your kids can also bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. The ride is very easy but your child should be able to ride a bike for approximately 2 hours. For toddlers to ride in the baby seat or in the bike trailer just be aware that your child must be able to support their head by themselves and fit in a child helmet in order to ride. California law states that children must wear helmets while riding (or being transported) on a bike.

10. The Ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco

The Ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco costs about $12.50 per person and you can return with your bike. But if you’re tired, or the weather is bad and you don’t want to put your bike on the ferry, you can opt to use the Sausalito Bike Return if your bike hire or rental facility cooperates with the Sausalito Bike Return. You can leave your bike there by the end of your rental time and they’ll bring it back for you! The drop off location is at Parking Lot 1 on the corner of Anchor Street and Humboldt Avenue. See their website for more info and questions. Note: They do close for the winter months.

11. The Best-Rated Places to Rent Your Bike 

San Francisco Bike Rentals
  • Prices from $32- $38 for 24 hours
  • Kids Bikes from $20 for 24 hours
  • Bike Trailer from $20 for 24 hours
  • Baby Seat from $20 for 24 hours
  • Save 20% when you book online
  • Helmet, lock,
  • Map and large carry bag included
Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours
  • Adult Bikes from $30 – $36 for 24 hours
  • Kids Bikes from $20 for 24 hours
  • Bike Trailer from $20 for 24 hours
  • Baby Seat from $20 for 24 hours
  • Save 20% when you book online
  • 24-hour drop off locations
  • Helmet, lock, and map included
Basically Free Bike Rentals
  • Adult Bikes from $32 – $40 for 24 a day
  • Kids Bikes from $20 a day
  • Bike Trailer from $20 a day
  • Bikes must be returned the same day they are rented.
  • Bikes are 1/2 off for each additional day rented.
  • Save 20% when you book online
  • Helmet, lock, and map included

Rent your bike at their location on Columbus and Bay and get a store credit at Sports Basement equal to the value of your rental! (It’s located at 610 Mason Street on the way from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge) This will allow you to purchase snacks, apparel, and more with your credit. Enjoy an incredible (and basically free!) bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge!

Golden Gate Bridge Bike Rentals
  • Adult Bikes from $28 – $32 a day
  • Kids Bikes from $25 a day
  • Bike Trailer from $20 for 24 hours
  • Baby Seat from $20 for 24 hours
  • Save 15% when you book online
  • Helmet, lock, map and front handlebar bag included

Riding your bike across the Golden Gate Bridge is a bucket list type experience you will never forget. If you take the time to be prepared you will make a fun memory that you will enjoy forever.

Related Question

1. We will be in an RV when we visit San Francisco. Where can we park?

That is a great question because parking in San Francisco is tough and even more so in an RV. We Rv’d through San Francisco and even boondocked there one night so but since so many people have trouble parking there I wrote an article called The Complete Guide to RV Parking in San Francisco which discusses all aspects of parking for both cars and RVs in the city.

Do you have a great experience, question, or thought to share about biking over the Golden Gate Bridge? Please leave your comment below!

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11 Awesome Bike Tips to Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
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