Biking to Outside Lands in 2023

Cruiser bikes parked in front of the LOVE blocks next to the Conservatory of Flowers. You’ll ride right by this if you bike in from the east side of Golden Gate Park!

As usual, biking to Outside Lands is the best way to get to this fantastic festival in Golden Gate Park. No worries about traffic, bus crowds, lack of parking, surge pricing, or anything else. Riding a bicycle is the way to go. Unfortunately, the Outside Lands 2023 website only has one little blurb about bicycles on their Info page, and it leaves more to be desired (I have been dissatisfied in the past as well).

But fear not, I am here now to share all the secrets about how to bike to Outside Lands in 2023. Much has changed since my last post about biking to Outside Lands in 2019, so I have an entirely new post about it!

Ride a Bay Wheels to Outside Lands 2023

This is likely the most convenient way to get to Outside Lands this year. It’s also the way Outside Lands is nudging everyone towards. It seems like Lyft and BayWheels are sponsors of the festival, since those companies are being elevated with logos shown on the website. (Back in 2019 it was Uber & JUMP bikes)

With their BayWheels valet station, you’ll have an easy place to drop off a BayWheels bike, and they’ll probably have plenty at the end of the night. Not having to worry about security and bike lights makes biking a breeze, so if you aren’t already prepared with your own bike, hop on a Bay Wheels! Use my Bay Wheels referral link if you haven’t already ridden.

Bike Parking: There is NO bike valet this year! But Maybe? 🤷🏻‍♂️

Usually there is a bike valet every year right near the entrance to Outside Lands. This year I’m seeing conflicting information.

The Outside Lands 2023 website says this about bicycles:

Outside Lands will offer free self-park bicycle parking areas located at the eastern and southern portions of the festival site. Bike parking is available during festival hours.

Need a ride to Outside Lands? Bay Wheels has you covered with a special Bay Wheels station on JFK Drive, just east of Transverse Drive – right near the festival entrance. On site valets will make sure there’s an open dock for you to park when you roll up to the festival, and a bike when you’re ready to head home.

Outside Lands 2023 Website

This implies that there is only self-park racks and Bay Wheels available at the venue.

HOWEVER! The SFMTA website seems to say there is bike valet:

Monitored bike valet and parking, and bike / scooter share services will be provided in the Active Transportation Hub north of Hellman Hollow near Transverse and Overlook all weekend from 10 a.m. to 1-hour after the last act each day.

SFMTA Website

But then they note to refer to the OSL website, which as you can see above only says there is a “valet” for the Bay Wheels parking. So I’m thinking the SFMTA just got all confused (like I am) and thought there was bike valet again this year, when really the only valet is someone working with Bay Wheels to make sure there are enough bikeshare bikes for everyone.

Bottom line: if you’re bringing your own bicycle to OSL this year, bring a lock and other security tools and be prepared to use them!

Ride Through Beautiful Golden Gate Park

I love making a bike ride out of any Golden Gate Park destination. It’s such a treat to ride through that park, especially now that JFK is car-free and full of art installations. Here’s the classic ride through the wiggle, Panhandle, and car-free JFK that takes you all the way to the Active Transportation Hub, the BayWheels bike valet, the self-park area, and potentially a personal bike valet (bring your lock anyway so in case).

I think the Active Transportation Hub and the BayWheels valet will be somewhere around here on JFK & Transverse Drive.

Road Closures and Bike Route Detours

Deep in the bowels of the Outside Lands website, found only by tapping “Neighborhood 311” on the bottom bar, you’ll find some extra transportation information including the only map of the 2023 grounds I’ve found!

Here’s the Outsidelands 2023 Map!

Lots of detours and it’s different for pre/post event and during event. Unfortunately no indication of where the “active transportation hub” is, but it’s right at JFK & Transverse Drive.

If you ride a bicycle through the park usually, you’ll see the classic car-free route is a bit modified during the construction of the event, and completely closed during the event. They have a few other bicycle specific maps, one for “load in/out” and the “event day” bike routes that I’ll paste here.

Best place to arrive by bike is on the east side where it shows the bike routes, but according to the website there’s also bicycle self-parking at the south entrance (likely near where all the closed roads are)

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 built in lights, but otherwise you should grab some on your way to the festival or before you go.

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, they’re much cheaper. These are really nice, rechargeable, easy to use lights. Or here are the cheapest bike lights I could find. This comes with 4 lights (2 front and 2 rear), so you can even have an extra for your friend who doesn’t remember their lights.

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 like supporting better infrastructure in SF,  securing your bikehow to avoid cars in the bike lane, and other tips.

Happy Biking!

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