August 8, 2016

San Francisco by Overpriced Bike

By Sjboatwright In On the Road

I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve been in this year.  I need to invest stock in Men’s Warehouse.  Anyway, one of my closest friends/recurring hiking partner/brown bear asked me to be her “Man of Honor.”  I may or may not have not teared up when she asked.  She’s my closest friend to be married and she had one more curveball to throw, she’s pregnant!  I wasn’t going to miss the wedding for the world.

In the last post I wrote about Allie, she was living in foggy Portland Maine.  She traded one foggy port city for another on the opposite side of the country, so I had a long flight to San Fransisco before I go to see her smiling face and growing belly.


My same little Allie Brown that I knew since we were 12 made for the most beautiful bride I laid eyes on:



Having a wedding in San Fransisco gave me a great opportunity to visit the Golden Coast for the first time.  After landing, being stuck in traffic due to a large group protesting a fascist demagogue whose name I won’t use, and figuring out how to navigate the city’s maddening public transit system, I was in downtown SF!


I didn’t have a lot of time, so I wanted to take in all that I could before I had to meet up with people for pre-wedding shenanigans.  Lucky for me, SF is filled with bikes to rent.  Unlucky for me, I choose the one that puts a $200 hold on your card that stays for days….I don’t recommend Bike and Roll.  In my merry ignorance of the charge that would be stuck on my card, I ripped towards the Golden Gate as quickly as my feet could pedal.

SF is filled with palm trees, active health nuts all over the place, and that famous “laid back” Cali culture.  The street cars haven’t changed since the 40’s, so you literally feel like you’ve stepped back in time when one comes screeching down the street.

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There’s bikeways all through the city too, so finding an interesting spot is as easy as following the map:

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The excitement of laying eyes on Alcatraz was only beaten by rolling up to the Golden Gate bridge.  There’s nothing structurally like it.  Under FDR’s brilliant guidance, the bridge was completed ahead of time and under budget.  I watched the surfers and wind surfers tearing it up beneath the bridges breathtaking towers for what felt like hours.  It didn’t dawn on me until well after I left, but I had just visited another national park!



With the lazy Cali sun about to set, I blasted my way back downtown using the side streets.  I wanted to stop at every third coffee and consignment shop I saw, but time was not on my side.  After returning my bike to the friendly surfer punk manning the stand, I hopped the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, aka the subway) and got ready to party it up in the Mission District.  All was right with the world….until I checked my bank account.

Stuff happens out on the road though, it’s the nature of the beast.  Every and all concerns melted away after a quick stop to Berkeley and to the very boisterous sea lions in the SF bay.  How can you stay angry with barking sea lions playing in front of you?



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