Almost started...: Checking out the city - SF to SDO 2012 - Coast Route - CycleBlaze

April 18, 2012

Almost started...: Checking out the city

Said my good-byes to my little sister this morning and got a ride to the East Bay/Pittsburg BART station with my sister's partner, David. As stated in the last entry, bikes are legal and ride free on the SF Rapid Transit, but not during commute hours. I was in the city by 11:00 and in my hotel room by noon. Quick and painless process. I took the bike out for a shakedown cruise and did a 15 mile lap of the city - it may have been a short circle, but I'm counting it - the journey has begun.

I forgot how hilly SF is. If I lived here and not flat Perth, I'd be pretty road fit in no time.

I also forgot how nice the people are. Ok, maybe not the guy I saw trying to get over the back fence into the hotel. I'm pretty sure he wasn't a guest. He didn't like the razor wire much and gave up after a while. And maybe not the two homeless guys I saw beating up each other on Market Street. But the street stall owners at the Market Street stalls who welcomed me back to my old home town and told me to watch my bike and the two Community Patrol people who volunteered directions, wished me luck ... and also told me to look after my bike - everyone was very friendly. Lots of smiles and short friendly conversations and surprisingly courteous drivers (on the whole).

And it's so darn pertty - still one of my favourite cities.

It's a bike friendly town with bike lanes, sharerows and bike savvy drivers. And it appears to have a healthy bike riding culture: many people on bikes and a majority of them just your average Jill or Joe using the bike as their transport - the lycra boy racers were in the minority. It's no Amsterdam, so you have to be very traffic aware when you ride, but it's pretty darn good for an American city.

Good weather predicted for the next week. I'll be up bright and early tomorrow for an early check out. I'll head back through Golden Gate Park and pick up the Hiway 1 coast road and head south. I think I'll take everyone's advice and avoid Devil's Slide (back route on the dirt track if I can find it).

Slowly, slowly, very very slowly...

Journey starts here - SF Golden Gate Bridge. I think I'll name my bike "Turtle" cause we move pretty slowly down the road. I keep getting admiring comments about her from passing cyclists and motorists. People here appreciate classic bikes, she never even rates a look in Perth.
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San Francisco Houses can sure look pretty. This one is in the Haight district. It was perfectly restored and the detailed workmanship was outstanding - a thing of great beauty.
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Today's ride: 15 miles (24 km)
Total: 15 miles (24 km)

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