Hot Pavement, Cool Wind

I had about 4 hours of daylight Saturday night to cycle. I went online and found some routes in Silicon Valley to try. I chose to follow the Crystal Springs route, 41.1 miles and 2200 feet of elevation gain.

There were a couple of problems: One, I forgot to install my bicycle computer, and so I had no way to follow the millage against the cue sheet. The roads in the area are not straight and change names (and change back) and so having trip distance is very useful. Secondly, the queue sheet itself had names that were wrong or did not correspond to the road signs. The reason, I believe, was that it was machine generated off of an incorrect dataset.

And the biggest difficultly was the incredible head wind coming from the ocean, characteristic of the Bay Area. At one point my cue sheet got blown off my clip and I had to chase it down the highway. It's hard to run in bicycle shoes, but I managed to tackle it resting in a pocket of dead grass.

Needless to say, I was tired back at the car. And hungry with two nearly empty water bottles. Palo Alto (where I started my route) is fairly quiet, and with most of school out (Stanford University) I suppose it's the way summer is in a college town. In my bicycle shorts and quick-dry white Craft top, I wandered into a semi-fancy Mediterranean restaurant serving garlicky dishes with spiced meat and yogurt, rice, and pitas. I sat at the bar watching a belly-dancing video on a LCD screen, as loud belling-dancing music was blasted throughout the restaurant. (I felt sorry for the dinner party people who tried to hold conversation.) At the bar were a couple of other men, drinking hard alcohol and admiring the gyrating hips and wiggling bellies of the dancers.

It wasn't my tab to pay and I had myself a beer.

I got to sleep early, after being briefly disappointed with T.V. and unable to stay awake reading my book.

After finishing work on Sunday at around 4PM, I headed towards Sausalito. First I thought of making a climb up Mount Tam, but realized I had no idea where to go, i.e. the "trail head" for the ride. Instead, it was much easier to simply park in town and bicycle into San Francisco. Plus I could be there for dinner. Before the Golden Gate bridge, I made a detour up to the top of the Marin Headlands, overlooking the bridge. It's a fairly satisfying, steady climb, and satisfied with myself I called Hitomi: Of course she was out then, and I left a voice mail messaging indicating how lonely I was without her.

In San Francisco, there was their annual Gay Pride Parade that day, but on the north shore, mostly I saw large groups of tourists and homeless people around Fisherman's Wharf. I had a fun time bicycling some of the less-busy, residential roads on the north shore, and then found my way downhill into Little Italy. Since I had no bicycle lock, I had to pick a restaurant with a table outside. I picked the least-pretentious, least-fancy-looking Italian restaurant, because these are usually the best. Some place the local Mafioso might enjoy a quiet meal. Despite eating my dinner sitting opposite my bicycle and not my wife, I had an enjoyable meal.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hot Pavement, Cool Wind

  1. Tim Dunn says:

    It looks like you finally got enough of challenging yourself to go fast, and want to spend more time with H. Try that double kayak you built! Too much time on the road is hurting your morale…it made me feel lonely, too. I always called your mom and talked to her most evenings at bedtime, when one of us travels without the other. You keep writing about no lock being a problem -

  2. genman says:

    I'm looking at getting a minimum security lock for times I need to stop for a snack or run into stores. I do have a very nice combination U-lock for my bicycle, but it would add about 15-20% to the weight of the bicycle. Something just doesn't feel right about that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s