We are in San Francisco, nearing the end of a 5 day layover that we’ve used to rest, plan, and spend time with family. Since we last updated we had three days of wonderful riding along the coast with Jason’s family friend Mark before crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge into downtown San Francisco. We had a blast with Mark, and enjoyed the sunny weather and tailwinds that accompanied us on this last stretch.
I know that we have complained in the past about this coastal route, but it has finally started to deliver. In the last few weeks it was so busy, and surprisingly cold, and we missed the views of the mountains. Lately, however, the road has gone up and down over the high coastal headlands for miles, and we relish the hills. There have also been some very charming small coastal towns and friendly cyclists in camp.
A few views of the headlands, cliffs, towns, and sights.
One day, conditions were so perfect that I went a little nuts. The tailwind was so strong I felt like I wasn’t carrying any bags at all! I flew down the road, completely delighted with things, until I realized I was so far ahead of Jason and Mark that i couldn’t even see them anymore! Oops.
Our last night before San Francisco was spent in Samuel P. Taylor State Park, in the company of about 15 other cyclists. There was a french couple near the end of a 17-month trip across Eurasia and then down the Pacific Coast. There was also a Penn State graduate currently living in Bellingham, WA. What a crazy chance meeting! We had a very fun night chatting, and the camp was silent by 10pm. Oh, the glories of the hiker / biker site.
Negotiating the outskirts of a big city like San Francisco was daunting, but it was actually surprisingly easy and scenic. The bike paths and routes were packed with cyclists – both spando-clad speedsters on featherlite bikes and wide-eyed tourists on rentals. Eventually we made it to the base of the big red bridge and started across. The wind was so strong! It was a little anti-climatic, since the bike path was narrow and congested. The views were good though, and we certainly felt accomplished when we finally rolled into the city.
Jason’s parents were waiting for us in the heart of downtown in their timeshare building’s lobby. It was so great to see them again! Hugs all around, and bicycles in the elevator. The timeshare is incredible: perfect views, all the amenities imaginable, and even showers without quarter-timers!
We’ll do a post in a day or two summarizing our time here as tourists, after all, we still have another day to enjoy it. One more bit of news first though: I have gotten the green light to schedule my defense at Penn State, and we have bought tickets to fly back east from Sept. 20 to 27. Yippee! We will fly from San Diego, and then at the beginning of October we will finally start our next leg: Mexico!