Author Topic: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express  (Read 4874 times)

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Offline RoadHog

Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« on: April 02, 2013, 01:55:35 pm »
If flying into SFO, how do I get from the airport and connect to the western express route ?

Seems a little overwhelming riding around San Francisco.

Flight arrives from Europe mid afternoon

How would you go about this ?

« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 03:32:27 pm by JMilyko »

Offline CMajernik

Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 06:39:54 pm »
Here is a link to the San Francisco Bike Map that you can print. You can see the ferry location to reach Vallejo across the bay in the upper right corner.

The Vallejo ferry link to check schedules:

The airport is about 13 miles south of downtown. Here is one website that gives options on how to reach downtown.

I don't think you would want to bicycle downtown due to traffic but the BART train is a good option. You may want to put together your bicycle and take it onto BART. Here is info about bikes on BART:

The airport has several bike assembly stations:

Hope these links help.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 09:41:41 pm »
If I were flying into SFO from Europe, I'd be looking to check into a motel for a night -- you'll arrive in the middle of the night, body clock time.  That also gives you a chance to sort your gear, check the bike over, etc., as well as deal with jet lag.  Perhaps you can find a motel/hotel with an airport shuttle.

BART's an excellent idea as well.  Perhaps an arrival trip toward downtown, spend the night, and cross the bay the next morning?

Offline jamawani

Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 12:19:13 am »
I have flown into SFO with a bike lots of times.
Unless you have a hard case with wheels, it is tough to schlep around your bike and all the gear.
Assembling in the airport is tricky because of space and, sometimes, grumpy security.

If you have the $$$, a taxi to wherever you are going is easiest - but super expensive.
If you are getting in in mid-afternoon - unless it is a weekend -
By the time you clear customs it will be rush hour.
Bikes are not allowed on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) during rush hour.
Otherwise, BART is great since the station is next to the international terminal.

I always try to stay awake until sundown when I fly Europe to N. America.
It's the best way to get my body into the new time zone.

Have you heard about the hostel at Golden Gate National Recreation Area?
It's across Golden Gate Bridge and would require some riding -
But you could watch the sun set into the Pacific from the cliffs.

It's about an hour ride back to the ferry terminal - Baylink - to Vallejo.
The 11:30 ferry from Pier 41 gives you morning time in San Fran -
then you have 6-plus riding hours after arriving in Vallejo.

(If you do take BART - get off at Embarcadero and ride the Bay Trail across Golden Gate Bridge.)

PS - I stand corrected - didn't know about SFO's bike assembly stations.  Soooo San Fran & nice.
How long have they had them?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 12:21:55 am by jamawani »

Offline RoadHog

Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 12:02:53 pm »
Thanks for all the tips. Will check out your links ! :)

Offline Bclayden

Re: Cycling from SFO airport - Western express
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 07:15:30 pm »
I have ridden for many years between SF Bay and Sacramento and have ridden the Western Express too so am pretty familiar.

As others have said BART is the easiest way to get out of the airport.  There have been some recent changes to bike restrictions on BART during rush hour...more bike friendly now...but it's in Beta mode so check for updates.  Get yourself across the Bay to Emeryville (Near Oakland) and then catch the Amtrak Capitol Corridor commuter train...very bike friendly.  In about 1.5 hours you will be in Sacramento at literally the start of the W.E. route.

Or, there are many good riding routes from SFO to Sacramento via the Golden Gate but will add about 150 miles to your ride.  A great ride of you have the time though.  A Google map search of the area with the "bicycling" tab clicked will reveal many good options.

If riding the Western Express credit card style suggest booking motels in Woodfords, CA, Austin, NV and Baker, NV well ahead of time as there are limited options in these towns and they do fill up.