After our long day and late night, we let ourselves sleep in a little. Today was going to be the day we bike across the Golden Gate bridge and try to accomplish everything on our to-do lists. Yesterday was Amy’s big list day: we went to Ghiradelli and had Irish Coffees. Amy still needed to see the Haight and eat oysters. I, on the other hand, had barely started my San Francisco to-do list.
We headed to the Castro: Rachel knew of a great brunch place, Crepevine, that specialized in crepes. The food was good but with huge proportions. I ordered an omlette and Amy ordered a crepe and once I tasted hers, I wished I had ordered a crepe too. We walked around the Castro, checking out the sites: We saw the Castro Theater, we people watched and we met the gayest dog in America. But after looking for Castro Camera without success and it getting later and later , we gave up and headed to the Haight.
The walk to the Haight was long and exhausting. Amy and I had probably walked more in the last couple days than we had in the last couple of months. We admired the beautiful houses on the way and imagined ourselves living there. The Haight was just as I had remembered, a mixture between old psychedelic ex hippies and modern day hipster united under the shared marijuana and fashion. We popped our heads in Ameba Music but kept on towards the bike rental shop. It was getting late and we weren’t sure if we’d make to the bridge in time.
After getting our bikes, putting on our helmets, we were ready for anything. The only snag was that Rachel and I had to keep stopping every now and then to check to see if we were going the right way. There were like 10 different bike routes and it got confusing going through Golden Gate Park and later Presidio. I realized very early on that Amy was not as excited by this experience as Rachel and I were. We kept on through the city towards the bridge with the occasional regrouping stops. In the Presidio we got a little lost. Thankfully there were more experienced bikers that stopped and told us where to go. We knew we were getting closer when we saw and stopped at the scenic points. After more hills, sharp curves and Amy cursing under her breath, we made it.
I’ve always been a fan of bridges. There’s something beautifully metaphoric about a structure that brings together two estranged pieces of land. The Golden Gate bridge is obviously a favorite bridge not just because of it’s vivid red color but also because of the stories it holds. Have you ever seen the documentary the Bridge? A film crew basically filmed the Golden Gate bridge for one year after finding out that it is the number one suicide destination and catch a bunch of people jumping off it. It’s such a compelling tragically beautiful film.
Once there Amy parked her bike decided she would rather walk across the bridge as we rode across it. I didn’t want to beg or push her to ride any more than she already did so I didn’t protest. It was sunset and as Rachel and I rode across I felt invincible. It was an amazing adrenaline rush. We did it. The whole experience was magical. There’s a feeling I get on a bike that I don’t get from anything else. I feel untouchable like I can do anything and go anywhere. It was windy up there but I hardly noticed. The sun light warmed our side of the bridge in a golden glaze of warmth. It’s hard to say how long we were up there but we definitely experienced the whole magic hour on the bridge.
We met back up with Amy and now that the sun had set behind the ocean it got ridiculously chilly. They grabbed some coffee and hot chocolate and we set off into the darkness in search of oysters for dinner. This ordeal felt like it took the longest of any of the other activities of the day. Everyone was tired and hungry and no one really knew where we were going. We headed towards to piers in hopes of some amazing sea food restaurant but settled on one mostly because of location. Amy got her oysters and we sat, relaxed and ate our dinner. Biking across the city does give you an appetite.
We followed Rachel back to the Mission. She took us a round-about way that she assured us had less hills and would be the quickest. I was starting to feel the hurt of biking for 6 hours but I was just going to keep peddling through it. Once we got back we decided to go back out to Kilowat and grab one last drink.
The rest of the night is a little bit of a blur. We went back to Rachel’s and we all got ready for bed and crashed.
Below is a rough idea of how far we biked. We back tracked and got lost more than this map lets on but you can get an idea.