It had been a long time since my last visit to San Francisco, and I had seen the bridge before, but now that I am finally back in the Californian city, the first thing to do is to cycle from the city to the bridge on an early November morning. Soon enough, I see the top of the pylons in the distance, and when I get closer, I get off my bike, walk to the beach, and take time just to enjoy the view. At Fort Point, right under the southern side of the bridge, I get off again. Waves crash against the quay, forming tiny, temporary rainbows of foam. The bridge now towers high above me; I can hear the rattling noise of traffic driving over the wooden bars above. After buying some drinks and snacks for a long day out, I carry my bike up the stairs. I can finally start cycling on the bridge itself, and stop at the first pylon.
Spectacular views just looking towards the sky: not just the pylon, but also the lanterns and the steel cables, all in the bright red paint that is characteristic of the bridge. From here, it is also easier to admire the Art Deco elements of the pylons, as well as a plaque with some facts about the bridge. Constructed in the mid-1930s, the Golden Gate Bridge was opened in 1937, and still stands proud west of the Californian city. When I get to the other side, after a few more stops to look more closely at some details of the bridge, I take the second exit, ride under the highway, and up on the other side, taking the road to Point Bonita. As the road climbs, and I work myself to a sweat, there are some spectacular views on the oceanside. The higher I get, the lower the Golden Gate Bridge appears towards my east. The morning sun projects a shadow of the bridge on the Golden Gate Strait.
After a long day of exploring the Marin Headlands and Muir Woods, I take the road to Point Bonita. Unfortunately, access to the lighthouse is closed, and the view of Golden Gate Bridge disappointing from the entrance of the tunnel, so I cycle up Hawk Hill again. The sun now sets the bridge ablaze from the west, and as I descend the hill, I get closer to the bridge and see the sun sink into the Pacific at Battery Spencer. At the same time, the light is slowly taken away from the Golden Gate Bridge, which gradually turns into a silhouette. Early next morning, I cycle to the bridge again in my running clothes. There are clouds over the city, but when the bridge comes into sight, the sky above it is clear. I run to the far end, at Fort Point, and watch the early sunlight move from the top of the pylons to the bottom, setting the enormous structure ablaze. Just at this moment, a giant tanker sails below the bridge, dwarfed by the San Francisco icon above.
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