Trip-ing, Riding and The Golden Gate Bridge
Earlier this month I was profiled on Arkansas Women Bloggers Network. I tried to describe my blog so people would understand what it’s about. I described it as a way to chronicle the ways training and fitness fit into life with my family. Last week was a perfect example of using my fitness regimen to make my life easier and more enjoyable even while traveling.
Much like the last several months, the past two weeks have brought a lot of stress, a lot of fun and a whole load of adventure my way. After the big mountain bike race and all the great activities we had a chance to be involved in at the beginning of the month we spent a weekend photographing an early morning triathlon and pre-riding a mountain bike trail that Joe would be racing on two weekends later. Sunday we rode 100 miles around Little Rock participating in Fat Cyclist’s 100 Miles of Nowhere fundraiser for Camp Kasem. All weekend was spent using fitness as a way to connect with and spend time with my husband.
I returned to the regular work week exhausted from another busy weekend with no rest in sight. I had to finish preparations for a convention I would be attending beginning Saturday and I was woefully behind. I put all other things, including blogging, on the backburner to finish up my projects. In the inky blackness of predawn Saturday, Joe and I boarded a plane headed for San Francisco. Trying to maximize our time there, I opted for the first flight out which meant with the time difference we would arrive well before lunch time.
Since our hotel was right at the Chinatown Gate, we did not resist the temptation of a second floor walk up to get Dim Sum before we spent several more hours wandering Chinatown, Nob Hill, North Beach, and back down to the Financial District, Union Square and the South of Market area to investigate the Moscone Convention Center where the opening lectures and reception would be that evening. We wandered busy streets and alleyways and tried to get a little bit off the beaten path which isn’t tough in a city as large and urban as San Francisco. Every street seem to hide treasure in an alleyway. A good restaurant, a bar, a little nook boutique, or a fortune cookie factory. I can’t believe how much we walked every single day we were there. We only took a bus once to get several miles away to Golden Gate Park which I’ll have to devote another blog to later.
But to address the fitness part, on the day I had the most time to spare from work, we rented bikes and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito and around to Tiburon. This seems to be an extremely popular way to tour the area as there are bike rental shops all over the city. The distance wasn’t as far as many of the rides we do at home but we took our time and stopped along the way to investigate and enjoy the area and enjoyed a couple of nice little climbs up to the bridge and after we left Sausalito.
Our friend Vinny used to be a bike messenger in San Francisco. Throughout our ride we played a facebook game of posting photos and asking “where are we now Vinny?” He vicariously led us on a route he liked, we stopped at a bike shop he used to frequent when he lived here and we snapped a photo to prove it to him. We stopped to explore Sausalito for a little while, stepping in to a few galleries and stores. It’s a lovely little town and I wish we had planned more time to relax there.
This is about the time I started wishing out loud that I had my own bike. And my shorts. And my shoes, and helmet and and and…not that there was anything really wrong with the rented one, but it just wasn’t mine. It doesn’t take hours on a strange bike saddle to start feeling the difference.
When we reached Tiburon we stopped for a well deserved ice cream at The Grass Shack organic ice cream shop. Our bike rental included the option of ferry tickets returning to the Wharf in the early evening so instead of riding our bikes back to either Sausalito or all the way back to our starting point, we rode the ferry from Tiburon which allowed us views of sea lions frolicking in the water, the waterfront, and an up close and personal experience floating by Alcatraz.
This would be our last evening in San Francisco so after our long afternoon of riding bikes, we enjoyed a late night dinner at Bistro Boudin with our lovely waiter Clark. A big part of any city exploration for us, and certainly San Francisco was no different, is food. But that will require a blog of its own.