Monday, September 29, 2008
Olema to San Francisco 34 miles 28th September 2008
Group agrees to meet at the start of Golden Gate bridge to travel over and find the hotel. Sounds like a good plan. So leaving at 8am.
I head out after coffee and bagels and cheese at 7.45. Cause I have a load. They will soon catch me. Out on the road its the now, almost predictable leg ripper of a climb but there is a heavy fog . Visability down to 30 yards and it s freezing cold. So take it slowly. Over the top the sun comes out and its warming up. I am soon overtaken by the fast men and women of the group and on I go at a steady pace. Its a short ride today so there is no pressure and I have the couple of days to look forward to.
Heading into Fairfax, a quite built up area i see what i have been missing for a while. Town Cycling! It requires different skills with cars coming from all directions and I have to watch for changes in the route through towns.
Its nice to travel through the towns you recognise form the movies , Fairfax, Larkspur, Sausolito The Bay area.
Larkspur, specifically Mount Tamalpais, is the actual birthplace of Mountain Biking. And you wouldn't half know. There are 100's of mountain bikers in car parks getting ready to cycle out. its like a convention or a pilgrimage.
Outside of that town we come across a dedicated cycle track to take us all the way into Sausolito. Away from all roads. Its used by bikers walkers and joggers and its full of all of them. All doing their own thing. We stop for an ice cream before making the final assault on the bridge.
Did I say assault? It was more like Iwo Jima. The hills were so steep I had to fight for every yard.
Finally it looms ahead of you! WOW.
O Connell bridge is a bridge!
The M50 toll is a bridge.
This is not a bridge. Its a structural steel edifice. Its a monument . And when you get on it, it has its own weather. Sausolito was sunny and warm this is foggy, cold and windswept. The wind is howling across the bridge.I see a couple stopped, taking photos and I ask them to take one of me. Turns out they are from Cork on holiday. Its too cold to stop and talk. Pity! It is very exhilerating to cycle across. Its so busy at the weekends that the path set aside for cyclists and pedestrians is devided up. Bikers on the right side of the bridge, pedestrians on the other.
There are 1000's of bikers here. I have never seen so many road bikers all kitted out in matching gear. Testosterone bubbling over! all muscle and shaved legs!
Friendly too,I stop, wondering which way to go and a biker stops and gives me directions straight to the hotel.
Check in get settled and showered and get the bus to fisherman's Wharf and some nice sea food.
All human life is here. What a bubbling city! Its great to get here , great to be here...