A Great Post-Work Pedal Up Twin Peaks
Daylight Saving Time is here, and with it the return of the post-work bike ride. For working folks, this extra hour of daylight means there’s now enough time at the end of the day to bike to some gorgeous lookout and still be home in time for dinner.
Serious cyclists might be able to ride Paradise Loop or a jaunt through the Marin Headlands. But if you’re like me, you’re probably just getting your springtime legs back and need something a bit shorter. In my opinion, there’s no better early spring after-work ride than a quick, heart-racing jaunt up Twin Peaks.
There are a few different approaches to Twin Peaks. I prefer to go up through the Castro, around the backside via Portola Drive and make a loop back through the Castro. It’s a quick, sweat-inducing ride that will have you praising the return of evening light and remembering why you love San Francisco.
Directions: Start at Castro and Market Streets and make your way up 17th Street. A few blocks up, turn left on Douglas Street and follow the “mellower” grade up the hill. From Douglas, cut over to Corbett Street and follow it until Portola Drive. Turn right onto Portola and make your way to the 3rd light. There’s a nice buffered bike lane here now, so it’s a lot safer to navigate. Turn right on Twin Peaks Boulevard and pedal your way to the top.
At sunset, you might have to inch your way past tourists or teenagers making out (understandably, it is a really nice spot). Look west for some great sunset views and east for amazing city views. When you’ve had enough, either return the way you came, or coast down the other side, toward the Haight.
A few thrilling minutes later you’ll find yourself at the top of 17th Street. It’s a nice, easy pedal back to the Castro (or Cole Valley/Haight) from there. Catch your breath at this intersection and look at your watch; it’s probably still pretty early, and you might even have enough time to catch the tail end of happy hour. Ah, Daylight Savings!