As many visitors to San Francisco can attest, gorgeous views abound in our beautiful city. As local moto riders, we know that the nighttime views can be just as lovely, if not more so. For that reason, we started planning a night ride through SF to share a few unique, lesser-known spots with our local community. We planned the route in advance, and when an unseasonably warm weekend forecast appeared, we invited some members from our community meetup group and made plans to meet that Friday evening.
The group met up just before sunset on Ocean Beach, one of our favorite beaches in SF, which stretches 3.5 miles along the Pacific Ocean. We made our way along the beach, then cut east to Grandview Park in the Sunset District. This park is particularly fun to ride through, as it rises 500 feet above sea level, revealing beautiful views of the Pacific.
Sunset view of the city and the Bay from Bernal Heights park
Our next stop was Twin Peaks, the second tallest peak in SF, with jaw-dropping views of downtown, the bay, the ocean, and both bridges. Part of the park was closed to cars due to the pandemic, but we got fairly close to the top and enjoyed lovely views.
A group photo stop at Twin Peaks (during Covid)
A visit to Twin Peaks at night is a must in San Francisco
From Twin Peaks we rode through two favorite neighborhoods: Noe Valley and the Mission District, to arrive in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. Potrero residents have some of the most incredible views in the entire city, and we were lucky enough to enjoy a full moon that evening, to boot.
Pop Quiz - What is the name of the world’s most crooked street? You may be surprised to learn it’s NOT Lombard Street (which takes 2nd place), but coincidentally, San Francisco is home to the “most crooked” street: Vermont Street in Portrero Hill, between 20th and 22nd Streets. Once a year, it is home to the Big Wheels race where adults race down the twisties on a Big Wheel bike. To add some fun and silliness to our night ride route, we included Vermont Street, which was quite interesting as it’s not well lit at night, and very steep.
Big Wheels race on Vermont Street: the world’s crookedest street. Photo by Lacy Atkins/The Chronicle
From Potrero Hill, we hopped on Highway 280 North until it ended, and meandered along the Embarcadero. We stopped at Coit Tower, a beautiful monument built in 1932 as a dedication to the volunteer firemen who had died in San Francisco's five major fires. Like our other stops from this evening ride, Coit Tower has panoramic views of the city and the bay. We recommend walking around to the back side of the monument to enjoy the beautiful twinkling lights from the Bay Bridge.
The best rides end with an ice cream stop, and this one was no exception. We grabbed delicious gelato at Alimento in the famous North Beach neighborhood, and walked a short distance to Washington Square to enjoy our sweets and socialize.
Find the full ride details here, on our REVER community page.