This medium loop is good for a day when you want a challenging climb like Twin Peaks, but you want to get a little farther away from San Francisco. The hardest section is up San Bruno Mountain, but it is swiftly rewarded by a breathtaking descent where you will go upwards of 50 miles per hour with a view of the Sunset District and SF Bay that you just can’t get from Bernal Hill!
Starting at Mojo Bicycle Cafe (639 Divisadero), you can fill up on coffee, breakfast bagels, and the occasional offerings of a guest chef. Plus, you can hit the shop in the back for any last-minute supplies. I myself stopped in for some toe cages for my touring bike to help crank up some inclines.
In Daly City, there are lots of Burmese and Filipino restaurants to stop. I’ll save those for another tasty post and skip to the Dogpatch neighborhood, where the finish line is Hard Knox Café (2526 3rd St) ”southern homestyle cooking.”
For me, the highlight of Hard Knox was the hot-from-the-oven cornbread muffin that preceded the entrées. Perfectly baked from outside to inside and neither too sweet nor too salty, there’s a slight grainy crunch from the corn fibers. The award-winning fried chicken is served up a number of different ways, and if a three-piece meal is too large for you, you can order individuals! There aren’t a lot of vegetarian options – the collard greens and cabbage are both cooked in chicken broth. As for beer, Hard Knox sports a comprehensive selection, including their crisp and light house ale and southern delights like Purple Haze!
SECOND LEFT onto Baker St
RIGHT into the Panhandle
In 0.7 miles, CONTINUE into Golden Gate Park on Kezar Dr
STAY RIGHT and continue onto John F Kennedy Dr
In 4.5 miles, LEFT onto Great Hwy
In 3.2 miles, LEFT at the fork in front of Lake Merced
In about 100 ft, RIGHT into Lake Merced Parking lot entrance and SHARP RIGHT onto paved trail
Follow trail around Lake merced for 3.7 miles. You will pass a shooting range, wild pea plants, and once you go around the southern tip, you will pass a golf course.
RIGHT onto Font Blvd for 0.2 miles through two traffic circles
At the 3rd traffic circle, RIGHT onto Holloway Ave
In 0.5 miles, RIGHT on Beverly St (after Junipero Serra Blvd)
In 0.4 miles, LEFT onto 19th Ave
In 0.3 miles, LEFT onto Brotherhood Way
In 0.3 miles, CONTINUE onto Alemany Blvd
In 0.2 miles, RIGHT onto Crystal St and cross over De Long St onto Goethe St
In 0.2 miles, RIGHT onto Mission St
FIRST LEFT onto Crocker Ave
Now, climb through the suburbs for 1.1 miles until you reach Saddle Loop Trail on your RIGHT. There is no ramp here, you’ll have to get up onto the curb and walk your bike around the fence.
Don’t worry about the small signs that say “Saddle Loop Trail” that point to different dirt roads on the left. Just follow the paved road and stay to your right. Almost all the trails here are part of the “Saddle Loop Trail.”
In 0.8 miles, Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy will be on your right. Connect there through the parking lot and turn LEFT
Relax into 2.2 miles of smooth well-paved road and wide downhills!
At the end of Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy, LEFT onto Bayshore Blvd
This ride was inspired by “Right Around the City Part II” and “Ring Around the City Part III” from Short Bike Rides in and around San Francisco (Kingman 1998, pgs 49, 56)