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Bike rental in San Francisco

San Francisco has hills that you don't want to bicycle on...neither up nor down. Walking is enough of a challenge. That said, there are always errands to run and plenty of San Francisco easily explored on a bike, not least of all Golden Gate Park and a ride over the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Here are options for residents and visitors in operation around town.

Renting bikes in San Francisco
Renting bikes in San FranciscoPhotos: Laurie Jo Miller Farr

Notice those blue bikes

You don't need your own bike, and you can join for one day or three days, which makes the new bike share system great for visitors, too. Check it out at Bay Area Bike Share. Still small as these systems, go, there are 700 bikes in 70 stations including San Jose, Redwood City, Palo Alto and Mountain View. The down side is that trips longer than 30 minutes attract additional fees which are more than double the price scale in London. The initial membership is more than double the very large system in Paris.

Who runs it

Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., an American firm that is the only company in the world focused on operating large-scale bike share systems. Alta Bicycle Share, Inc. started it all by designing launching and operating bike shares in Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Chicago and other hubs. See the equipment described online.

Focus on parks

San Francisco Park Wide is another bike share program operated by San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. A wide variety of rentals means there's something for everyone, including those with children in tow. See the full range of tandem, trailer, tag-a-long, two- and four-person surrey. There's no membership required for the service which is found seven days a week in key outdoor locations around tow, including Golden Gate Park and in Union Square.

Lots of choice

Visitors have long had their fun on bikes when visiting San Francisco. Blazing Saddles has been operating for 25 years, has guided bike tours and offers an online booking discount. San Francisco Bike Rental has mountain bikes and racing bikes, among others and provides free helmets, maps and locks with every rental from locations such as Golden Gate Park and the Ferry Building.