Sunday, May 13, 2012

Northbound: Golden Gate National Recreation Area

When it comes to above-water transit in the Bay Area, the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge have more in common than I first suspected.

  • Construction began in 1933
  • Steel suspension (Bay Bridge has a span that is not suspension, weirdly)
  • Toll only for going into San Francisco

So why does the Golden Gate Bridge get all the love when it comes to tremendous paint schemes, state driver's license fame, and general iconic status? My guess — Golden Gate leads to miles of the most beautiful coastline and protected park property I've seen, while the Bay Bridge leads to, well...Oakland (zing!).

Immediately on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge is a winding mountain road. A road built for scenery with many turnouts, as though the planners knew this path was more about stopping than going. Really, who can blame them for such an assumption?

Golden Gate Bridge

While that road is friendly initially, a driver quickly finds the point of no return; literally. The winding meets a ridiculously steep grade as one gets closer and closer to the ocean.


After the part that would make any fearless cyclist's day, there are plenty of places to get out and walk around. I'd even say it inspires running to the ocean.