On Friday night, I went up to San Francisco with Viv, Aaron, and April to see the Picasso exhibit at the DeYoung museum. Â By the way, if you’re local, it’s definitely worth a visit — over 100 pieces are on loan from Paris’s MusÃ©e National Picasso while it’s closed for renovation.
On Saturday night, Peter and I went up to San Francisco for our friend Corey’s birthday shindig (website linked so you can go look at her artwork; I can’t draw a straight line and thus I encourage everyone to go be amazed by people who can 😉 ).
So, with a Sunday morning ride looming but no clear idea of where I wanted to go, it seemed only natural that I should make it a trifecta and head to San Francisco.
There are a couple of ways to get to San Francisco from my place and, unfortunately, the most direct non-freeway route is closed for seismic retrofitting to the nearby Crystal Springs Dam. Â Grumble. Â So I duly headed west as I do pretty much every weekend and went over to Half Moon Bay.
The Lemos Farm horse was undecorated today, which I found oddly compelling. Â I’m so used to seeing it dolled up in every color imaginable that the stark white primer seemed ghostly and poignant.
Sign #1 that you ride to Half Moon Bay too often, perhaps, is finding deep philosophical meaning in the Lemos Farm horse.
The good news about my coastal ride today is that the traffic was pretty light. The bad news is that’s because the weather was absolute crap. Â People, it was July. Â Now it is August. Â I should not be wearing my heated jacket liner, seriously. Â Plus it was foggy, even in the late morning, so the mist stuck to my visor.
I stopped at Montara State Beach in the hopes of seeing some wildflowers that I’d recognize from last week’s SMCNHA walk. Â I did see some gumplant and checkerbloom, which cheered me up considerably. Â Go memory retention!
Crappy weather for motorcycling means good weather for surfing, and there were quite a few hearty souls out in the water today. Â More power to them; it looked cold as hell out there.
I hopped back on the bike and kept heading north. Â The fog was still sticking to my visor and the iPod was only giving me sad emo songs. Â I was in a very weird head space all the way up Highway 1 past Devil’s Slide and into Pacifica.
Entering San Francisco cheered me up a bit. My original plan was to go to Sutro Heights Park but the weather was so dreary that the views wouldn’t be all that great. Â Instead, I turned into Golden Gate Park and decided to stop at the Dutch Windmill/Queen Wilhemina Tulip Garden.
There’s not much you can do there:
The windmill was originally erected in 1903 and was designed to pump up to 30,000 gallons of well water per hour for irrigation. Â Electric pumps soon phased it out and its metal and spars were stripped for use in World War 2. Â By the 1950s, it was in ruin. Â The restoration effort began in the 1980s thanks toÂ Eleanor Rossi Crabtree and, now, the Dutch Windmill is one of the most photographed spots in Golden Gate Park.
Part of that is also due to the Queen WilheminaÂ tulip gardens that surround the windmill. It’s currently the wrong time of year for tulips, but something in the gardens is always in bloom.
After tiptoeing through the, well, not tulips, I got back on the Ninjette and worked my way east through Golden Gate Park. Â Fun fact: at 3 miles long and .5 mile across, Golden Gate Park is actually 20% larger than Central Park in New York City.
It’s so huge that, despite being in the park about ten bazillion times, I’ve hardly even scratched the surface of visiting its attractions. Â If my back continues to permit these length of rides, though, wow, Golden Gate Park alone could keep me busy for quite some time.
I took Martin Luther King Drive through the park almost to its eastern edge; I took the egress at 9th Avenue and rode through the Inner Sunset and up into the ritzy Forest Hill neighborhoods.
Riding on the Muni tracks is half the fun of San Francisco! Â (the other half is not getting hit by Muni, though as I wasn’t a pedestrian, my odds were good)
Like everyone else on earth, I love the colored homes in San Francisco. Â So cheery, even with the typical stellar summer weather!
From San Francisco, I just hopped on 280 south to 380 to 101 the rest of the way home. Â I don’t know why 101 is so much easier on my back than 280 — I certainly wish it were the other way around as 280 is actually an aesthetically pleasing interstate and 101 is a steaming pit of sadness and terrible drivers.
I’m currently waiting to see what my back thinks about two 70-mile weekends in a row. Â I have a lot of muscle pain (though less today than yesterday); particularly my left QL is en feugo and voicing its displeasure through an entertaining combination of burning and spasming. Â I’ve had some tingles in both legs and my left calf is currently burning and tingling. Â I saw New Back Doc this morning for a treatment and he wasn’t particularly concerned (he feels that it’s just muscle conditioning — well, lack thereof). Â So I’m trying not to be concerned too.
If my usual patterns hold, I should be in a world of suck tomorrow and Wednesday but hopefully it’ll taper off by the weekend. Â Fingers crossed that next weekend can be another 70+ miler!