May 19, 2016
Samuel Taylor SP to Daly City
44.2 miles, 3:56 in the saddle, 2591 ft climbing
Total Miles: 841
Logan was up right after me and broke camp in record speed. Apparently he wanted to be out of camp an hour earlier than he was yesterday. His goal is Half Moon Bay State Beach, a bit farther than my destination of Daly City.
I left a little ahead of Logan, and rode for a bit with a local lady who was commuting to work. We chatted a bit before she pulled on ahead. Soon we had a pretty big climb over a hill, and I could see Logan catching me in my mirror. But I crested before he did, and then enjoyed the long downhill.
At the bottom of the hill the bicycle route turns off the main road and follows smaller residential roads through a series of suburbs. Logan and I ended up doing this together and it was quite pleasant. We ran into the lady I had met earlier and she helped us through some sections. I kept looking for a place to stop and eat but the riding was so nice I didn’t want to stop. There was some traffic, and a lot of maneuvering through various little business districts, and it was good to have the both of us to keep us on track.
Eventually we were placed on the Mill Valley Sausalito Bike Path, that included roundabouts and speed sensing signs.
I finally saw a cafe that looked good in Marin City near a dock, and I bid Logan goodbye (again). I hope he enjoys his ride over the Golden Gate Bridge!
I ate a nice breakfast, talked to Saree on the phone, and then headed out to tackle the Golden Gate myself.
The approach for cyclists from the north takes you under the bridge at near sea level and then up a steep climb to the bridge deck level. It seems that only one of the pedestrian/bike paths on either side of the bridge is open at a given time. So, depending on the time of day once you are at deck level, you may have to traverse down stairs, under the deck, and back up stairs to get to the other side of the bridge if that is the side being used, and of course that was the case for me.
Once on the bridge it was a bit of a zoo. Pedestrians wandering all over the path (despite periodic markings indicating where they should be) and folks (hundreds of folks) on rental bikes with dubious handling skills in the gusty winds. Here’s a short video. And no, I wasn’t the only one on a bike taking video while riding!
The wind seemed to get worse on the south side, so I didn’t stay long before trying to get through the suggested route to the coast and down to Daly City. But I wound up off course at the bottom of a big hill, and I wasn’t going back. So I googled a new course down 25th Ave to Golden Gate Park that was probably more direct than the ACA route.
Golden Gate Park had sort of an odd feel. I rode east on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and it was a big wide street with little use through the forested park. It was an amazing juxtaposition to the swarming crowds at the bridge. But the real deal was the chill wind coming right at me as I rode west.
The route turns south on the Great Hwy, which runs along the beach. I have no idea why it is called the Great Hwy, but today it was a Great Big Sandstorm with 22+ mph winds coming directly from the west onto shore. I followed a road just inland that parallels the Great Hwy, and was protected a bit by a large, I assume, man made berm to protect from storm surges. But I soon had to get onto the actual Great Hwy.
This turned inland and the sand storm abated but the winds did not. It was hard riding, up and down hills on this big road.
I eventually got to the turn where I googled my way to my hotel. After climbing on the Great Hwy (now Hwy 35) I was treated to a big decent down to where my motel awaited me. Boy was I glad to get there and get out of the wind. After my rest day, I’ll have to climb back up that big hill to get back on course.