Sunday, September 5, 2010

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin’

IMG_0711We did it; we actually rode our bicycles over the Golden Gate Bridge.  The view from the bridge is breathtaking.  The weather was in our favor with blue skies and we had a clear view out to the ocean to the west and downtown San Francisco to the east.  (See the picture on the left—I cannot believe we actually did this.)

It was a beautiful ride once you got past Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square (jammed packed with people).  Then you ride through the Aquatic Park, the Presidio National Park, and then up a couple of hills to the vista point before getting on the bridge.  I was able to stop at the Park Headquarters to get my National Park Passport stamped.  The total round trip was about 12 miles.  We decided not to continue over to Sausalito, but instead turned around on the other side of the bridge and headed back the way we came .  We wanted to have lunch at the Terminal before catching to ferry to Vallejo/Napa at 3 p.m.

IMG_0708 The ride was not without hazards.  Labor Day weekend is crowded with both locals and tourists; and we had to dodge pedestrians and other bikers.  There is a bike rental place called Blazing Saddles (I love that name) that rents hundreds of bikes to tourists—they are everywhere.  In addition to the tourist bikers and people strolling, you have serious, I mean serious, spandex people.   I know you have seen them—their bikes that weigh no more than a quarter with skinny tires no bigger than a hair and the riders are clad in spandex from head to toe (okay, they are buff and look pretty hot).  They ride fast with no intention of slowing down or stopping.   They are scary.

For the first time in my life I crashed my bike.  How embarrassing.  It was not a little bobble,  either.  As I was trying to avoid some walkers, my tire slid on some old rail tracks in the Aquatic Park; and I went over the handlebars.  Hard.  I am a firm believer in bike helmets and I am glad I had mine on.   A few scraps and bruises, but no smashed head.  Out of a bad moment though, I had a positive experience.  About a dozen people who ran over to see if I was alright—there are still nice people in this world even in a busy city on a holiday weekend.

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