Monday, August 4, 2014

San Fransisco: recap and musings.

I was struck (figuratively) by the sheer number of cyclists. I was also amazed at how many tourists used the bike rental companies (there's a ton of competition in that niche!) to not only ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, but ride in traffic in downtown to see the sights. You'd think an out-of-towner would be frightened half to death by the traffic, but the ample bike lanes and infrastructure seem to erase that fear. I saw entire families on rental bikes lazily roaming downtown gazing upward (rather than focused fearfully on all the cars around them), taking in the scene. It made sense to see things from a bike, finding (car) parking is a tremendous hassle and if you do find an open meter, you can't stay there for very long. I really wish I had been able to convince Hubby that touring downtown via a bike was the way to go, but he preferred circling the same block 5 times to find a parking spot for our car and then having to run to the restaurant, scarf down our food quickly and run back to the car before the meter expired. Relaxing, yes?

I kept noticing the green Route signage wherever we went and had to Google what they meant.

Wow, so organized and official!
 There's even a "Wiggle" which allows cyclists to use the most flat route across the city.

This gets my vote as "Most scenic and interesting solar-powered rack"!
Brought to you by Audi. Ironic.

Free bike valet at Giant's games too!

The number of bike lanes was astonishing. I was more surprised when we happened upon a road that didn't have a bike lane. The airport roads have bike lanes, the hotel/bio-genetics industrial complex that our hotel was situated in had a bike lane and I saw several commuters there. 

 We were walking down the Embarcadero and I noticed a Surly Trucker leaning against a railing as the owner sat nearby watching the Bay. This was only one of two Surlys I'd seen in my time there. Everyone mainly rides Treks and Cannondales. I engaged the owner in some bike talk while Hubby stood nearby and observed. I noted to the owner that I hadn't seen many Surlys, he answered "They're all out touring now."

Another thing I noticed was that pedestrians rarely jaywalk. They wait for the Walk/Don't Walk signals and the motorists adhere strictly to the 'pedestrians have the right-of-way' law. I saw one car go through a crosswalk that had people attempting to cross and the driver promptly incurred the wrath and harsh scorn of the pedestrians.

I only encountered one bit of anti-bike-ness. It was this sign:
I wondered what it meant: No bikes allowed?!

It made sense to me when I realized it was a "Keep off the sidewalk with your bike!" sign.

I want it to be known that I did things on the trip that didn't involve cycling.

We had great food:
Giant macaroon at a deli after a meal of lox, bagel, onion, cream cheese and capers.
We saw great baseball:

We bumped into local legend and celebrity Bob Walk at AT&T Park!

Hung out at wineries and had some fabulous Pinot Noir:

Went for a boat ride:

I'm on a boat!

Saw some wildlife:

I found two Stikman tiles!

Here's a Victorian Drag Queen crossing the street drinking a Slurpee.
I'll take "Things you don't see every day" for $1000, Alex.

Hung out at the beach:

I learned the hard way that the SanFran sun and weather are deceiving. It feels very cool, but you're getting a vicious burn without even knowing it.

If this looks painful, that's because it is painful. Ow.

Air travel: The 767-300s that we flew on have a really interesting feature where you can track the plane. I spent a good deal of time looking at that. I also noted that SFO is in the midst of building a new control tower.

So much fun. I wish I had biked more though.

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