Another planet, another bridge

goldengateAs some of y’all know all too well, I’ve developed the annoying habit of posting a photo to twitter whenever I cross a large suspension bridge. I’m sure it is particularly annoying because the only large suspension bridge I ever cross is the Mackinac Bridge. I cross that bridge a lot! Well. Today. Of all things, I crossed a different large suspension bridge. On another planet. Riding a bicycle! Yes. A bicycle. You can’t ride a bicycle across the Big Mac. You have to get on a bus or whatever to get your bike across.

I am not particularly out of shape, at least not as out of shape as I look. I am a power walker, a day-hiker, decent amateur cross-country skier and kayaker. Bicycling? Hmmm… I am trying to remember if I have been on a bicycle since the time we took Mouse’s girl scout troop to Mackinac Island. That would be somewhere around 10 years ago. [Edit: Mouse says 12 years and I think she might be right.] We biked around the island and the other leader and I took it upon ourselves to hang back with two of the girls who were struggling a bit with the eight mile trip. Wouldn’t you know, it started to absolutely POUR rain. This was in May and anyone who has spent any time in the Great Lake State in May (or July) knows it can be colder than blue blazes. On top of that, yer favo-rite blahgger, who GREW UP in the blasted Yoop, FORGOT to pack long pants for that trip. They were on my bed ready to go into my bag when I was packing. Who knows what I was thinking. I think I finally warmed up about a week after we got home.

On this trip out here, I had it in my head to WALK across the Golden Gate. Walking is a no-brainer for someone who tries to walk at least five miles a day. Guess what? Other people had some other plans in mind. My SF 20-something and her friend who owns a bike store (quick plug for Mission Bicycle here) thought it would be fun to bike. Gulp. All right. I guess I’m game. Hope there aren’t too many, uh, hills. Or too much traffic. And that I don’t get vertigo.

After some complicated navigation, we rented bicycles somewhere down near the wharf. I was trying to keep from panicking as the rental staff cheerfully went through the safety drill and pointed out all the places we could go (or not go) on the other side of the bridge. I was looking across the bay at all of those hills and, well, just wondering what I was in for. Then they fitted us for bikies bikes. By that I mean they gave us a quick eye-ball, grabbed a bike, stuffed a helmet on our heads, and made a quick seat adjustment. “Get on and ride over there, ma’am!” the cheerful young man said. Wobbly? Yeaahhh. Fortunately they suggested we *walk* our bikes down the steep crowded hill outside because I’d’ve probably crashed straightaway!

Did I make it? How did I do? Surprisingly, very well, thank you very much! Hills? Yeah, I had to walk up a few hills but I saw plenty of younger folks doing the same thing. Traffic? Hmm. I will never get used to biking with a lot of traffic around. Any kind of traffic, automotive or pedestrian, and we encountered both during our trip. But I managed. Hills? Downhill? Let’s just say I enjoyed the long, winding downhill into Sausalito but I was s-l-o-w as a turtle, constantly braking and peering behind me to watch for traffic. I made it and I wasn’t tired and I had a fantastic time and then we took a ferry back across the bay and we didn’t see the Blue Angels but we did see a stunt flyer and a 747 fly-by and all kinds of interesting water-craft. And I think I am done with this higgledy-piggledy account of my first bicycle ride in 10 12 years or thereabouts, so I’m gonna close this contraption up and head over to Lizard Breath’s house where our ‘hattan-making materials are stashed and then maybe a late Senegalese dinner.

Er, we will see what some of my muscles have to say tomorrow morning. You know, the ones that haven’t been used in 10 12 years or so.

Love y’all, g’night, Kayak Woman!

7 Responses to “Another planet, another bridge”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I love bikes, but hate riding anywhere near cars. It sounds exhilarating –like a stretch, but a good one. Lots of adventures and you made it through. Senegalese food! Domodah? Yassa? Yummy stuff.

  2. Marquis Says:

    Hallelujah! One who was lost has now been found …

  3. kayak woman Says:

    P.S. I have to add that both of my 20-somethings took very good care of their old moom, constantly checking up on her, making sure she didn’t get lost or left behind, and stopping to wait for her to get her stupid camera out, etc.

  4. Pooh Says:

    Should I bring an extra bike for you next summer? It’s mostly flat in Da Yoop, once you get up the green tunnel hill, as you know.

  5. GG Says:

    We have two fine bikes in the BPB garage. One for Betty and one for Jack. The bicycle for Jack is a little bit too tall.

  6. Tonya Says:

    I’m trying to remember how many DECADES it’s been since I’ve been on a bike!

  7. » Blog Archive » Stop strangling me! Or I will just start hanggggingggg around… Says:

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