Bikes to Books Tours Through San Francisco’s Literary History

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Many cyclists posing for a photo in the middle of a guided tour.
A Bikes to Books tour group in 2016. (Nicole Gluckstern)

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, now passed, pushed the city of San Francisco to rename several of its streets after famous local writers: Jack Kerouac Alley, William Saroyan Place and, eventually, his own Via Ferlinghetti.

The Bikes to Books tour is a tribute to the literary legacy of the city Ferlinghetti sought to enshrine. Every year, staring at SoMa’s South Park, the tour group of cyclists make their way through seven miles of San Francisco literary landmarks: the various downtown offices, apartments and cafes that the stars of the past frequented.

A section of the Bikes to Books tour route. (Courtesy of Burrito Justice)

William Saroyan, Isadora Duncan, Mark Twain and Dashiell Hammett all get shout-outs as the peloton weaves around the streets and alleys of Chinatown, Russian Hill and Little Italy. The tour ends right outside City Lights—perfect timing to sit down with a good book.

Bikes to Books rides on Oct. 2, 12:45-4pm. Admission is free. Masks required. Details here.

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