There were 7 of us in total cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge. Robert and Sabrina on the tandem, then there was Jeff, Hamilton, Ryan and Katie on the Quad tandem and myself. What a great way to enter town. At the other end of the bridge we all went our separate ways to our various places of accommodation with a view to catching up somewhere in town.
I was graciously hosted by Miles and Megan, whom I met a week earlier while cycling through the Redwoods but before I went to their house I had some exploring to do. I wanted to visit and try and cycle the steepest streets in San Francisco. I went to the 31.5% grade section of Filbert street near the famed Lombard street. I managed to cycle up it with all my gear. It was not possible for me to sit in the seat while peddling as the front wheel would lift off the ground. After some deep breaths I made my way only a couple of blocks away to Lombard Street which is a tourist attraction because of its steep street, sharp bends and beautiful flowers. The evening meant Pizza and beer with Miles and Megan while watching the Baseball World Series. San Francisco is in the finals so its a big deal here at the moment.
Just before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at a random part of a small town I met Lucile again. We cycled together for 7 weeks in Alaska, she is now traveling with her boyfriend. She was waiting for a bus and saw me pass on my bike. I had no idea she was in the San Francisco area. We all organised to meet up for lunch and play tourist together. So the following day, Lucile and Luic was joined by Robert, Sabrina, Henry and myself to catch up, have lunch etc. Everybody decided to have go at climbing and descending the steep hills, even Robert and Sabrina made it up the steep hill on their tandem! Don’t think that would have ever been done before, there is so much weight to drag up the hill.
While wandering around town some other interesting things occurred. I observed two suspected drug deals on Market street. The part of Market street that smells like a combination of urine and cannabis. While sitting in the Castro district eating and updating my long neglected diary I had 2 people use pick up lines on me. Would have been awesome and would have worked if they were women. I decided to leave when I observed an elderly guy walking down the main street wearing nothing but a sock. That’s only one (small) sock and it wasn’t on his feet. While at Fisherman’s Wharf there was a guy begging for spare change while holding a sign. Nothing unusual about that, except the sign said, “Spare change for beer, Why lie!“. Interesting city, San Francisco!
Winter is fast approaching and my route from San Francisco takes to a high altitude pass that will close any day now with one dump of snow. I don’t have a plan B, so as much as I would love to stay longer in San Francisco to explore the place, rest and relax I must keep moving.
During this trip I have been blessed with the most generous acts of kindness from people. Generosity with no though of anything in return. So I thought it appropriate to mention a charity that I support. A good friend of mine, Miles Raney, also an adventure cyclist, is currently at work distributing mosquito nets in Africa. I contracted Malaria during my travels in West Africa a few years ago and know first hand just how devastating this can be. It is a worthy cause which I support. Remember Malaria kills about 1000000 people per year in Africa! Every bit helps. Please visit his site, linked below.
Samuel Taylor State Park to San Francisco = 60km