We left Andrew's Place around nine o'clock. We knew that we would be putting in a decent day of cycling. He kindly offered to drive us to Golden Gate, but we decided to make our way there on bikes. This was the official beginning of our bicycle tour!
The ride though Oakland was a little unnerving. Not only was there quite a lot of traffic and poor roads, but construction and a tiny shoulder forced us into traffic. We worked it out and finally arrived at the Fruitvale BART Station. We were not allowed to use the escalators, so we navigated the multi-floor facility on tight elevators with our bikes. We arrived in San Francisco and worked our way to the waterfront. Using the bike lanes, sidewalks and trails, we wove our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. We took the opportunity to ride out onto the bridge and looked out over the white capped bay. A woman took our photo.
Some of the cyclists crossing over to Marin are all business. One older man hardly gave an inch as he sped by on his light road bike. I noticed a whistle in his mouth. This hardened commuter had fine-tuned his crossing. There is confidence in routine.
We headed south, stopping at the Legion of Honor in the Presidio and a Mexican restaurant for a quick bite. We scooted down to the Pacific and took the Great Highway due south. This was a beautiful, flat stretch with a decent shoulder. Moving through Daly City and Pacifica was fairly laid back thanks to our cycling maps taking us off highway and onto parallel residential roads.
The real nail biter was a stretch of highway one, over and around Point San Pedro. The state needs to spend a little coin and improve conditions for cyclists. The blind corners and little to no shoulder was the worst safety issue I have experienced yet on the Pacific coast. Luckily, the government has completed a hiker / biker road at the top that allowed us to completely avoid a tunnel and, more importantly, gather our thoughts. It was at the beginning of this bike-friendly road that we met Phillip.
Phillip stood out to us due to his pedaling a recumbent bicycle. We chatted with him off-and-on while traveling to Half Moon Bay. He was originally from Switzerland and had been touring for the last year on the bike. The recumbent had taken him south from Anchorage, Alaska, to California. He had also done a large part of Australia. Having quit his job in the tech industry, Phillip was in the process of deciding whether or not he was going to continue touring after reaching San Diego. He named a couple reasons why he liked the bike - comfort and the ability to look around while riding. I hope to see Phillip more as we move down the coast.
We exited highway one and were able to take a trail most of the way to Half Moon Bay State Park. The hiker / biker site was more than adequate and the showers were hot. It's a dream to be back on the road.
We cycled fifty miles today.