Cycling in Golden Gate Park in the 1890s
NOPA VELO on the way to the park from the North Panhandle
Crossing Masonic with the right-of-way, in the crosswalk, and riding across legally
Bridge-and-tunnel stop in the Park
Dawn D'Onofrio checks Golden Gate Park history notes
In the 1890s Americans took to bicycling in a very big way -- and often on very big wheels. San Franciscans were part of the new spinning craze, and Golden Gate Park became a favorite destination.* No doubt a good many fashionable residents of the Western Addition pulled their bikes out garages and alleys along Fell and Fulton, Grove and Golden Gate and headed for the Panhandle. Just like this Sunday when the North Panhandle's only bike group for neighbors and friends, met at Matching Half Cafe, rolled down Baker street, and started the Secret Paths of Golden Gate Park ride.
Our troupe of about 20 included first-timers, young Ben and his dad Peter, a just-married-last-weekend couple, and Smoky the dog. A great day in the park with stops at Alvord Lake, one very old bridge and tunnel, the velodrome (Polo Field), Beach Chalet, and all those secret paths in between. Thanks to Dawn D'Onofrio for planning the route, Lenore McDonald for helping test-run the ride, and Rick Helf for the great ride poster.
* For more history of bicycling in the late 19th century and cycling's popularity in San Francisco, check this article by Chris Carlsson in Streetsblog.
For stories on the seven previous NOPA VELO rides, check here.