Shorta Cuts: Readers' Secret Bike Routes Revealed!

"Shorta Cuts" are bike routes that are sorta short cuts around San Francisco. They're the best biking we've found for getting somewhere fast, avoiding hills, avoiding cars, or finding a scenic detour. Not all are shorter; some are sorta, and some are just sorta great. We figure the people who bike almost everyday - that's you! - are the people who know the best shorta cuts around town. Send us your favorite routes and we'll print the best shorta cuts we've got. Mail to SFBC: 1095 Market Street, Suite 215, San Francisco, CA 94103, or email

Flying High Over 101
To get over Hwy 101 between 16th Street and Cesar Chavez, you have few choices. One of the flattest is 23rd Street, but much more scenic are the pedestrian overpasses. One overpass goes from behind SF General Hospital to Potrero Hill, landing at the base of crooked Vermont Street. The road that curves behind the hospital, from about 22nd to 23rd, parallels 101 for a while and meets the ped overpass. South of Cesar Chavez, there's another overpass connecting Bernal Hill to Bayshore Avenue. On the Bernal side, access the overpass from Holladay Street at about Faith Street. From Bayshore, it's just north of the intersection with Oakdale Avenue, from what looks like a dead-end sidewalk going up the hill. There's quite an elevation difference between the two sides. On the east side, you ride (or walk) up switchbacks of cement and steel to get up over the freeway. You're just north of the 280-101 junction, so you often get to wave at the gridlocked traffic as you cross.

Muni Cut-Thru Hill Cheat
If you find yourself near the top of Dolores Park and you need to go south but you don't need to practice your hill climbing skills, head to 20th and Church. Church Street goes way up from there, but the Muni J Line right-of-way doesn't! Stay off the dang tracks, of course, but there's sidewalk space on the left side as you look uphill, the inbound line side wide enough for peds and you. You meander between people's back yards, avoid the top of the hill, and reconnect with Church at 22nd.