Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tehachapi Mtns, Calif.
Bikes: '10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
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Sure does sound like you have the right stoker but I'm even more impressed that you rode into SF on the tandem and survived. I took my half bike along with me to San Francisco this summer for a brief visit. On a damp mid-week morning I did an out and back from Union Square where I was staying, down through the Financial district, along the Embarcadero over the Golden Gate bridge and out to Mill Valley. Once back into the city, I rode around the North Beach area, up and down some of the Trolley routes, through China Town and back to the Hotel.
On one hand it was one of my all time favorite rides ever, while on the other hand I would never ever do it again and that goes triple if we're talking on a tandem.
Like most, I was a serious adrenalin junkie earlier in life and considered myself mostly re-hab'd these days, but two minutes into the ride on Powell St and the 'rush' was back...big! It was 'get real aggressive right now, or die. Clearly, any hesitation in traffic, and I would be road kill before I even got to Market St. The thrill from trying to survive cars, trucks, trolleys, bumbling tourist, pot holes, double parked vehicles, insane taxi's, random car door openings and every other unpredictable moving chicane, all happening at the same time, was over the top exciting.
Once I got to the G. G. Bridge, the risks were almost worse as only one side of the bridge was open for pedestrians and cyclists traveling in both directions! At times the only option was to almost walk the bike to keep from hitting leashed dogs, little children and grannies that were running amuck. Once down into Sausalito all returned to calm and it was a very pretty and pleasant ride out towards Mill Valley and one I would truly enjoy on a tandem. Unfortunately by the time I got to this relaxing part of the ride I was completely hooked from the high-risk lure of the city and could not wait to get back across the bridge. Once back into SF I found myself looking for more challenging congested crazy streets to ride as I worked my way back to the hotel. It was one very special ride and one I'm sure I would never survive again.
For a guy that lives in the mountains and that avoids busy roads at all costs, San Francisco was something wonderful, not to mention one spectacular city.
My hat is off to those of you that ride the big cities on a regular basis and I hope the fun never wears off. And for those that do it for a living.....I hope your gurdian angels are with you always.