My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ride The West - Day 13 - San Francisco, CA

Today was one of the highlights of the trip ... we crossed into San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Doing this on a bicycle provides a totally different perspective and quite the exhilarating experience. 

About To Cross The Golden Gate Bridge Into San Francisco
My day started in Petaluma on a quest for post cards.  Like I did on my cross country trip, I have been sending Karen and Leah post cards ever day. My search would be futile and put me a few minutes behind the group as they left town.  We had a couple of good climbs with some steep grades the first 10 miles.  I finally caught up with the group and rode with John, Barb, Gary, and Rick into the SAG. Jeff and Joe ducked into a local cheese factory and I met up with them at the SAG. 

Early Morning Fog Would Burn Off To Reveal A Beautiful Day

Riding More Golden Hills With John
We cruised into Marin County and had our only SAG in the town of Fairfax.  There was a ultra marathon in process, so we had to share the road with lots of runners including a few in tutus.  I was descending into town when I passed them, so no pictures.  A large group of us joined up and rode all the way to the Golden Gate together.  Leaving the SAG, Joe had to carefully avoid the local land mines.  Speaking of which ... today's Blog inappropriate joke of the day (see pic below), brought to by the toilet at our Petaluma hotel.

Joe Needs to be Careful Where He Parks

This Got a Big Laugh at the SAG ... Sorry if it is a Little Crude
We really tested our cue sheet skills the next 20 miles into San Francisco.  A typical cue sheet for 75 miles might be two columns.  Today's 50 mile route had four.  Lots of turns through urban towns.  I don't think I have ever seen so many bike shops in such a condensed area. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery and each other.  A few steep neighborhood climbs (several us took a wrong turn at one point) and a short stint on a bike path brought us to Sausalito.  The town used to be pretty artsy, but seemed much more touristy now.  Jeff, Joe, Don, John, Barb, Mark, Susan, Leo, and I stopped for lunch in the town square by the harbor.  I snagged those elusive post cards too.

Don Approaching Sausalito

Leo and John In Sausalito
Downtown Sausalito

Sausalito Harbor ... Neat Homes Built Into the Mountain
A few miles later we were at Fort Baker underneath the Gold Gate Bridge.  This provided a unquie way to approach the bridge that cars can not ever see.  We climbed the steep road to the overlook parking area and then took a "secret" staircase directly under the bridge to the main overlook and bridge entrance.  So many great pictures ... I chose only a few.

Gold Gate Bridge From Fort Baker

I Was There
Next up was the harrowing and amazing crossing of the bridge by bicycle.  As advertised, there were so many people and bikes ... commuters, serious cyclists, tourists, and many folks on rented bikes that had no idea how to ride them.  I rode across, but very slowly, and with one foot ready to unclip at any moment.  The views of the city, Alcatraz, and Angel Island were really cool from that vantage point.

Crossing the Bridge ... Very Carefully

The Spans Were Huge

Pausing to Overlook The City
Joe, Don, and I hooked up with Mike and Karen and rode along the Marina Drive to our hotel.  It is right near the bottom of the crooked part of Lombard Street and not too far from Ghiradelli Square.  We had dinner at an 50's style diner in the Square and then stopped at Ghiradelli's for samples (Jeff went multiple times) and decadent sundaes. The stooges ended the night with a nice stroll to Fisherman's Wharf and took in all the sites that go with it.

The Bridge From Marina Drive
Jeff and His Double Decadent Chocolate Sundae
Char and Her Hot Fudge Hot Brownie Sundae (This is What I Got Too)
Great Night at the Wharf with the Boys
Famous Boudin Bakery - Home of Sour Dough Delicacies
Joe Contemplating A Purchase ... Maybe The Next One Would Be More Appropriate

There Are Always Two Sides To Every Story
It is Saturday morning.  I have done my laundry and am heading out for lunch with my aunt and uncle.  A rest day will do me some good.  Sightseeing and diner in Chinatown are on the agenda for the afternoon/evening.  A long 90+ mile day tomorrow to Santa Cruz.  Here is the Day 13 Data -  Pig's relatives have a nice restaurant in town.

Sorry Pig ... Chinatown Will Win Out Tonight
Good Night Moon ... Good Night Sausalito ... Good Night Golden Gate ... Good Night Ghiradelli's ... Good Night Pier 39 ... Good Night Geldings

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