Archive for the ‘Golden Gate Bridge’ tag
April-May and Sept-Oct can always be counted on for balmy weather in the Bay Area. Today, it was 80+ degrees in downtown San Francisco!
The wind was gusting a bit in Sausalito when I arrived home from work, but around 7pm the wind just stopped.
Even at this hour the air was still warm. So I couldn’t resist a short climb up to the Golden Gate Bridge and then further up into the Marin Headlands to watch the sunset.
Even on the long descent coming home (as it was getting dark) I was completely comfortable in just a short-sleeve, cotton t-shirt.
These pictures were made at 7:53pm.
It’s not fair to extrapolate anything from a single picture, but it’s kind of funny that the guy is checking his phone, while the girl is totally digging the moment.
I’m not casting judgement because I’ve been that dude — maybe we all have.
I snapped this on an iPhone (waiting to transfer buses) on my way home from work last Friday.
Days like this make me think I really should be riding a bicycle over the bridge to work. But a few preconditions stop me in my tracks.
For instance, I stubbornly insist on:
- arriving at work sweat-free
- riding in normal clothes
With the hills and the distance (it’s a 19-mile round trip) there’s really no way to do both. In a flat city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen it might be possible. But the elevation changes and the considerable mileage preclude a Sausalito-to-SF commute that meets this criteria.
Maybe it’s time to lighten up and just adapt. But what then? Do I carry extra clothes; shower at a nearby gym; etc.? Things just start to get complicated.
I did consider the option of an e-bike (and I really, really love the Faraday Porteur), but the battery range is only about 10-12 miles. And, I do not have access to a charging outlet during the work day.
Still, the Faraday could be the answer to my dilemma.
Today, the bridge was cold, foggy and windy.
But this is how it looked just a day earlier.
These folks know how to enjoy a Saturday afternoon Bay Area bicycle ride Fridaycyclotouriste-style!
They are proof that the bicycle can be a means to enjoying the outdoors, the sensations of the seasons, and good food — in addition to the often hyped and well-known cardiovascular and athletic benefits.
These Spanish-speaking visitors (from Spain
and Colombia) are luxuriating in the beautiful Bay Area Fall weather (yes, it’s Autumn, hence the lack of fog on the Bridge).
I count five people in this picture, but there was a sixth. She was in deep siesta, curled up under a jacket behind the bicycle on the right and was not to be disturbed by this pesky photographer.
Thanks for the photo op and enjoy your visit good people of Europe
and S. America!
Here’s a snapshot from my SOMA to Sausalito ride. I’ve stopped on the bridge with the Pacific Ocean 692 feet below.
Read on for some further thoughts on this ride from a somewhat finicky, urban commuting perspective.
First off, Steve, owner of the venerable DDB building and architecture boutique and Dave, randonneur and creator of the all-time greatest front handlebar bag asked in the last post how the Brompton handled on the trip.
So at their prompting, I offer a few reflections:
- The Brompton is a champ: no complaints at all. I have the 3-speed Brompton and the low gear was just low enough to get up the very steep stretch from the warming hut up to the Bridge. I did have to stand up on the pedals and work hard to turn them over. Climbing too much further would have been a chore. Still, I like the simplicity of the 3-speed and the extra work up the hills seems like a fair trade-off. However:
- Wingtips, not recommended: the ride would have been more comfortable in normal street clothes (and a wool beanie to cover the ears). I won’t deny this truth. I tried not to work up a sweat at any point, but it was unavoidable. This reinforces the idea that:
- Holland (or Denmark) this is not: I think covering 11-12 miles one-way, on flat ground, while wearing professional business attire is the extreme limit for a regular daily commute. In actuality, 5-6 miles is a more realistic distance. But this assumes you are pedaling those miles over flat ground. Factoring in the hill going up Bay Street and the steep hill getting up to the Bridge from Crissy Field, it becomes clear that riding home on the Brompton (on a daily basis) is not an option for me.
- Micro-climate is a factor: I rode on one of the warmest days of the summer, but I still encountered some extreme headwinds riding along parts of this route (but very little wind on other parts). Add micro-climate to the factors that separate San Francisco bicycle commuting from Dutch bicycle commuting.
All in all — a world-class ride, but probably not one I plan to do more than 1-2 times a month.
Rather than using the Brompton to take me to the ferry to shuttle me across the bay to Sausalito, I decided to ride my folding bike the whole distance home.
Starting in SOMA, I rode along the Embarcadero, then rode Bay St. to Marina Blvd., eventually crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, before heading down to Sausalito.
It was an experiment. I wanted to ride this route to see if could be a viable alternative to taking public transit.
Here, I’ve stopped on the bike path just as you cross under the bridge (right before circling around and riding onto the bike lane on the ocean side).
A couple of pro photographers were out here making a GigaPan of the bay. A GigaPan is a massive photographic file made up of thousands of individual exposures captured by a robotic camera, which are all then stitched together by a computer to create a super file with extraordinary detail.
There’s a website dedicated to hosting these images. Here’s a captivating GigaPan of the Shanghai skyline. Note that it’s possible to zoom in and find a small, broken egg on a rooftop or to see the red high heel shoe of a woman crossing a street.
Naturally, I agreed to let these photo pros take a picture of me with my humble iPhone camera. The same camera I used to make the images above.
The wind is gusting about 35-40 mph here, although it doesn’t look it!
I’ve been transferred back to San Francisco!
Although Tucson is a charming place and there’s a lot I miss about the Old Pueblo — it’s really amazing to feel the ocean air again.
This is the view (at approximately 7 PM) after riding about 3 miles up the hill from my new place in Sausalito, CA.
These are vistas from near The Warming Hut — a touristy, but perfectly located place to stop for a snack (at either the picnic tables or at the cafe).
I didn’t try their coffee, so I cannot comment…Perhaps next time.
Beyond the bicycles, a little of the San Francisco skyline is visible (note the gold dome of the Palace of Fine Arts).
I recently did some exploring around the Golden Gate Bridge (and down by The Warming Hut).
This view is from the western side of the bridge looking toward the south-west. I believe the Seacliff/Richmond neighborhood is visible in the background.
It may not look so, but it was foggy, cold, and very windy this morning. I was comfortable only after putting a windbreaker over two wool layers.
Also, we found out the bike path on the west side of the Golden Gate Bridge is closed during the week.
This made entering and exiting the bridge a little more complicated.