5 Tips for Biking to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival 2019

So you’ve heard about this free music festival in Golden Gate Park, and you wanna know how to bike to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. With over half a million people attending over the 3 days, you know the buses will be crowded and the parking will be sparse. Thousands of people have already discovered that biking is the easiest way to get to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, and fortunately for you there is plenty of capacity for all the bicyclists!

The wind in your hair, a speaker strapped to your rack with some pre-festival tunes, the beautiful Panhandle park gliding by you, it’s gonna be a fun ride! If you’re thinking of riding your bike to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass this year, here are some tips to make it hassle free.

NOTE: It seems that this year Hardly Strictly will have fences and security. This doesn’t change much for biking there, but something to note if you’ve been there previous years where you could walk in anywhere.

1. Free Parking: Bike Valet to Keep Your Bike Safe

hardly strictly bike map and entrances 2019
This is the “Entrances & Bike Parking Map” that shows all the entrances and information on the bike parking. Notice the bike valet is in a slightly different location this year!
hardly strictly full map
Here’s the official map of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. You can see there’s a bike valet in the upper right corner and normal self-park at other entrances.

When you bike to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, you get to bike all the way to the Porch Stage! They have a FREE bike valet to keep your bike safe while you’re there. Volunteers are watching your bike all day, and you don’t even need a lock to put it there. I always carry a ulock with me so in case I want to stop for an errand, but you could ride your bike to Hardly Strictly with your fancy road bike and not have to worry about a thing!

Just remember to pass all the bike self-parking and make it to the bike valet at the end. They’ve moved it this year, so it’s on JFK Drive, not on Outlook Drive like the bike valet at Outside Lands.

Golden gate park bike valet
Here’s what it looked like inside the bike valet in 2018. The entire area is secure. This year it may be smaller at the new location though.
hardly strictly bicycle racks for self parking
This is the self-parking you have to pass to get to the bike valet. Don’t be fooled and park earlier than you have to!

2. Check Out Those Rideshare Bikes

If you biked to Outside Lands in August, you’ll know that there were some hubs for Bay Wheels and JUMP Bike in preparation for the festival. I’m not sure yet if they’ll do that for Hardly Strictly, but you can always take a JUMP Bike and park it on the self-park racks or somewhere in the neighborhood nearby.

Just remember that grabbing a rideshare bike on the way home may be tough if you leave at the very end of the night. You may end up taking a different form of transit home, but if you have an after party to go to, maybe that’s exactly what you want.

Jump bikes in golden gate park
(Not at Hardly Strictly this year) JUMP Bikes as far as the eye can see during Outside Lands 2018. I heard there weren’t many bikes in the rest of the city because so many ended up over here.
ford gobike hub in golden gate park
(Not at Hardly Strictly this year) The Ford GoBike hub around the corner from the JUMP Bikes during Outside Lands 2018. They were stacking them all up as you see here.

If the bikeshares fail you, there are plenty of bikes to rent around San Francisco if you do some searching, or some e-scooters!

3. Don’t Forget Your Bike Lights!

If you’re riding home after the last act, it’s gonna be dark for sure. Bikeshare bikes and some rentals have lights included, but otherwise you should grab some on your way to the festival.

All the bike shops should be open on your ride there, so stop in at one of them to pick up some lights. The cheapest options usually run less than $20, especially if you just get a rear light. If you have enough time to order on Amazon, here is a great option, or some cheaper lights that come with twice as many lights if you want to provide for a friend.

4. Enjoy the Ride Through Golden Gate Park

You know you’ve always been telling your friends you should do that bike ride through Golden Gate Park, but you haven’t ever gotten around to it. Well, now you can do that great bike ride since you’re going to the festival anyway!

To find the best route, check out Google Maps and the SF Walking & Biking Map.

google map of route to golden gate park
I had to drag the route a bit to make it the “easiest” route. Google tells you to go straight west on Page St, which works but has some tougher hills at spots and you don’t get to go through the Panhandle park and the wiggle!

5. Dust Off Your Rusting Bicycle

That bike you barely ride around the city. Now’s your chance to use it. Pump up those tires and take it for a spin.

You can even take your Burning Man bike that sits in your apartment basement waiting for that one time of the year. Well now it can be used twice a year. No need for locks, the free bike valet will take care of it for you. And you should already have plenty of lights on it right?

Have fun! If you decide this bike commute was great and want to do it again, be sure to check out some of my other posts on securing your bike, avoiding obstacles on your bike, and other tips.

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