For a city that can get so congested with traffic, biking in San Francisco offers an alternate way to get out and around. Beyond this, it is a good sport and outdoor activity that can help you stay fit. Whether you’re just relocating or you’re staying here permanently, riding bikes in San Francisco is one of the best things you can do around the area.
How easy is biking in San Francisco?
Relatively easy. There are bike lanes all around the city. However, sometimes you’ll still find the lanes congested with Ubers and Lyfts – especially in areas where there is no separation of lanes. When this happens, consider other users of the road – such as a car that needs to park or turn – to stay safe. Remember that a bike lane that is not separated belongs to the community.
You may need to learn the basic bicycle thoroughfares in San Francisco. You can easily find them by following the street signs or a map like this. Using the thoroughfare helps you avoid areas that are commonly congested for bikers.
Is Biking in San Francisco Safe?
Biking in San Francisco is generally safe. When you opt for a bicycle over a car, you’re actually choosing a statistically safer means of transport, with statistics showing that there are typically more car accidents than bike accidents yearly. Of the bike accidents that occur, most just involve the bicycle itself. Sometimes, the rider hits a pothole. Other times, they slip on a wet surface or get caught in a Muni track and lose control. In all these cases, the accidents are rarely fatal.
Practice caution and extra care while biking in San Francisco to keep yourself and others around you safe. For example, when biking in San Francisco on a wet day, you must watch out for visibility, and for slippery tires that can put you in danger. Make your riding even safer by wearing protective gear like a helmet (a legal requirement for under 18s), knee and elbow pads, etc.
What is the Best Kind of Weather for Riding Bikes in San Francisco?
Biking in San Francisco is something you can do anytime – whatever the weather. Of course, many prefer a clear day and mild weather to maximize comfort in the saddle. Try biking around in the dry season provided it is not too hot. When things heat up, drink plenty of water!
Comparatively, biking in San Francisco is considerably more difficult and dangerous when there is rain. It can become hard to stop, hard to see, and hard to maintain your balance. Consider leaving your bike at home and finding an alternative means of transport until the weather improves.
What should I do at a stop sign?
The same road signs apply to both cars and bikes. If there’s a car at the stop sign already, by all means, stop too. If there isn’t, you can follow the suggestions of Chris Roberts, a rider in San Francisco. He said, “As a rule of thumb, treat stop signs as yields, and red lights as stop signs.”
What this means is that if there is a car coming, yield to them by waving at them, and acknowledging them. This way, they know you’re aware of their presence (and they also become more aware of yours). If it is a pedestrian already on the cross walk, you may want to stop. However, if you can’t afford to stop abruptly, ensure you cut behind them. This way, even if your bicycle startles them, their panic won’t let you make a mistake and hit them.
Do I need a bike light?
You absolutely do. Especially in months like November, December and January when it usually gets darker earlier, biking without lights can be dangerous. If you ever find yourself riding out late without a light, exercise total caution and use major bike thoroughfares to get home safe and sound.
It helps to prepare for dark, rainy days by installing a bike light. White lights should go to the front of your bike while a red light should illuminate your rear end. Switching the lights can confuse motorists and other cyclists and could lead to accidents.
Can my bike get stolen?
The possibility exists but you can reduce the chances of losing your bike to theft. If biking in San Francisco is on your to-do list, begin by registering your bike with the city. This is free. Even if someone makes off with it, the chances are high that you’ll get it back
You can also buy a U-lock and lock the wheels and bicycle frame to any bicycle rack or street-sign pole which are common around San Francisco. Some riders even go as far as using a special cable lock to safeguard their seats to the frame. In any case, don’t forget to ensure your bicycle against theft, too.
5 Amazing Places to Bike in San Francisco
Beyond riding your bikes around the city of San Francisco, there are biking trails across the mountainous terrain that give you a view of the city, and are in themselves like a tour guide. Five of the most amazing ones are listed below:
- Valencia Street
- Golden Gate park
- Crissy Field and Marina Boulevard
- Angel Island Loop
- Baker Beach Coast Trail
Is Bike Sharing Possible?
Yes. Since 2013, there is a bike-sharing service in the city of San Francisco. Thanks to Lyft and Uber, you’ll find plenty of two-wheel enthusiasts willing to ride alongside you!
Biking is particularly great when you don’t have to ride for too long every day. With Roomi’s room finder, you can get an apartment smack in the center of wherever you want to be in San Francisco.
Roomi is your one-stop option to list or find rooms, find roommates to settle into a new city easily. Download the app and sign up today!