yesterday was an interesting day. it was full of dread and sadness in many ways that i won’t get into, except to say that i believe that just like newton said, "for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction." and that means that as a rule, when something shitty happens, i look for the good thing in the universe that’s offsetting it. and in yesterday’s case, i CREATED an offset in the form of a great ride on an amazing day.
i usually ride in street clothes and carry a big ole bag on me, but yesterday i wasn’t doing anything that required me to be in street clothes, nor was i going anywhere that required cargo capacity. thus, it was back to my cycling kit — jean shorts over lycra, and my sick SWOBO "ciclistas urbanos" cycling jersey. i did bring a wind vest and arm warmers, just in case, and of course the requisite tool pouch, ipod, and bottle of water. (i should note here that my new leader, the Tumbler, doesn’t have bottle bosses on it, so that bottle of water now goes into my center jersey pocket.)
i took off from the house (red circle at center-right on the map above) only knowing that i kinda wanted to ride through the presidio, and i was considering going over the bridge, so i meandered that direction, taking valencia to market with a quick hop on VN, then down to polk. this is a great way to start a ride because it’s like 5 miles of flat with some very slight grades, and it winds through two vibrant neighborhoods — the mission and the polk gulch/tenderloin area. when i go to the presidio in this direction, i now take pacific west, hopping back and forth to washington and jackson as street grades begin to become unattainable out there near presidio heights. this route gives me some good short climbing blasts, which get my legs ready for the presidio. once you hit masonic, you cut into the presidio and bomb downhill, past lucas, and this is where i cut due west again, and hit a particularly grueling climb, peaking right near the "o" in "presidio" on that map above. this is followed by a quick descent and then another grueling climb, peaking at the hard angle near the arguello entrance on the map above. these two climbs give me a good burn and then let me off with a nice flat and some descents on my way back out to city streets in sea cliff. then i hit land’s end for another good climb, this one actually kinda long, which ends at the palace of the legion of honor. this is cool because there’s a replica of rodin’s "the thinker" in there, and you can ride right up to it and chill. i didn’t chill, but i did circle him thrice and then bolt. from there it’s back out to a few blocks of city streets again, up and down, and then you hit the ocean.
the ocean is where you can really see what a perfect day it was for a ride…
it was here that i checked my text messages, having now passed my opportunity for a shot across the bridge (unless i wanted to backtrack), and lo and behold, a friend in daly city had texted to see if i wanted to come down and watch some football. in fact, i did want to go watch some football (mainly just wanting to stay away from the house), so i quickly checked the mapping function on my phone and plotted a course from where i was at. now, daly city is in the next county south (san mateo county), but just BARELY so, and is in fact VERY accessible by bicycle from the city. my route was to take the great highway (which was fucking GORGEOUS) down to sloat, swing around the zoo and drop onto lake merced boulevard, which i took all the way…
shortly past that sign, i twisted left on john daly boulevard, which i climbed up to junipero serra, and then a short hop over to my destination (red square at the southernmost point of my route on the map above).
i kicked it here for the next few hours, not out of exhaustion or anything like that, but just because now i was hangin out with friends, having a beer, eating, watching the game. i stayed till after dark, which was probably not very safe when you consider that i’d not brought a headlight with me. my red blinkies are built into my bar-ends, so that’s covered, but my forwards-facing white blinder, which is what cars hopefully see in their rearview when turning, was still at home. but i had no choice and struck out towards the daly city end of alemany boulevard. a little bobbing and weaving put me right there, which was pretty safe with lots of streetlamps and a wide bike lane. took this up to where i cut over near glen park BART, climbing up to san jose avenue, and then bombing home. this last 5 miles of the day, which took no time at all, combined with the morning’s 17.5 miles, put me up at a 22.5 mile day. shorter than a ride to mill valley and back, but still a good haul, fixed, with lots of climbing.
i’m SUPER pleased that the day shook out like this, and hope to make this a regular route!