A Beach Cruiser Ride On Ocean Beach
Here's a great idea for a bike ride the next time you want to get out and have a great ride, get some better than usual exercise and enjoy the beach like never before.
Beach Cruiser riding in Northern California isn't the same as it for our friends in So Cal. We don't have the miles of long flat giant beach coast that they have down south. It's harder to get that So Cal beach feel up here, even though we have great surfing and some times pretty good weather. Don't get me wrong- it's easier for us than, say, the Danes of Copenhagen, to get into the SoCal beach bike vibe, but I think I speak for all Californians when I say that we all like to go for a beach ride on a beach cruiser at sunset. Our weather is more prone to fog and chill than it is at the South, so not only do we have a more frigid beach culture, we don't have the surrounding amenities at the beach normally either: the babes in bikinis, the great beach shacks, cafes, bars and food stops. Up here it's more often an encounter with nature than it is a dance floor. Up here it's about sweaters, bon fires, beer and beanies and huddling under fog, surfing with thick wet suits, whale watching and kayaking and checking out the ocean from a mountain bike on a trail overlooking the ocean.
But, there IS Ocean Beach.
Ocean Beach is the perfect spot for dreamy, slow bike rides right at the ocean's water front, away from the cars and away from the confines of a narrow trail. The beach is miles long, scenic and full of friendly people. It's a great place for a bike ride.
The weather is not always the greatest, but so what. Throw on a warm wool sweater, beanie and a scarf or wrap yourself in a great blanket and just cruise.
More than likely you'll be the only person on the beach on a bike.
Beach cruising isn't a favorite past time in the San Francisco area. Our hills and rocky beaches and weather are to blame for this. With all of our attention on performance road and mountain biking, it's easy to forget about the simple pleasures of hopping on a fat tire beach cruiser and softly cruising along the beach absorbing the scenery and Vitamin E.
The length of Ocean Beach is a little over 3 miles from Sloat to Pt Lobos. Round trip that's a 6 mile ride in the sand on a cruiser, which makes for a good ride. To extend things, do the same on the paved trail adjacent to the beach and if you have even more time, ride up and down Golden Gate Park for the full monty.
Enjoy a ride along the beach and the park and then set your bars in the direction of a great pub or cafe or eatery. This ride is one of the safest rides in the city and it's also the least populated. Great views and great coastal air.
This ride goes great with a great micro beer or wine afterward. Pop into a fish restaurant, or stumble on some hard core ethnic authentic place to remind you of San Francisco's far reaching culture. You're in The City.
- joe witherspoon