One of my favorite rides lately is the City Loop, which combines a little bit of everything that’s awesome
about SF. You can stop off at some of the local cafes and bars (not too many, or you’ll never make it to
the end of the ride) and you get some amazing views as well. It’s a cool 40km of riding, with an elevation
of 600m, but it’s all on the road and it really shows you the best of SF. There’s some amazing views on
clear days, and the climbs are well worth it. Part of the loop goes around Lake Merced, and you also get
to take in one of the Twin Peaks.
If you’re looking for something a bit briefer, I recommend the Muir Woods loop. It’s only 22km and it
only takes an hour to complete, but it takes you through some gorgeous scenery and you still get a
pretty good workout, with an elevation of 450m or so. Take a camera – you never know when you might
get a really great shot, and you know you’ll never find that exact spot again in the exact right light.
Locals refer to the Muir Woods loop as a “lunch ride”. I was a bit tired at work afterwards, but I went
pretty hard, so it’s probably okay if you pace yourself.