Monday, September 8, 2008

Cycling woes.

The second thing I spent money on in San Francisco was a bicycle. (The first thing, if anyone's curious, was the $7.80 required to get out to Oakland and pick up the bicycle.) It was easier and smarter to get a bike here rather than getting mine out here. I owned a late 70's Raleigh that I had recently totaled, but was working on rebuilding - let's just say I have a history of not being particularly coordinated, and when you combine that with my history of doing really, really stupid things... you probably get the picture.

Living here is shaping me into a better cyclist very, very quickly. I'm from a city with a lot of hills, but it's a very different experience riding there. It isn't a bike-friendly town by any means. It's pretty awful. Here? There are bike lanes! Cars are used to the idea that there might be cyclists around! No one has honked at me! It's been absolutely fantastic. I've read the stories, I know there's a lot of controversy and the city should be doing a little better - but from someone who may have lived in the most unfriendly city to cyclists ever, I'm pretty pleased with how my life is turning out so far. 

Saturday night, The Roommate and I decided that we didn't really want to do the bar thing. We're also not huge "let's try too hard" people, and it was a Saturday night. We decided the weather was too beautiful to ignore, and it was bike riding time. We left the mission and rode toward downtown, where eventually we ended at the Giants stadium to sit by the bay and watch the scoreboard change for the last two innings. (They had the common courtesy to win after we had ridden all the way down there.) Then we rode down the Embarcadero until I decided it was tourist time, otherwise known as time to go to Pier 39 and watch some sea lions. In true touristy fashion, I called my mother at pushing midnight her time so she could listen to them via cell phone. Left there and went to catch Market and go back to our area of town. 

Just as we're crossing over a set of train tracks, he asks me if I know how to deal with train tracks. I tell him no, as I've only crossed them, not ridden parallel to them. He warns me of the dangers of getting stuck in the tracks because you can't get back out. I note this, then promptly get on Market St. and throw my bike into the tracks 20 seconds later. Crash, bang, get foot stuck in the back spokes.

I'd like to note, however, that instead of taking The Roommate's advice and taking the BART home, I continued to ride. I rode all the way down Market to Valencia, and took Valencia straight to a bar, where I proceeded to drink a Hoegaarden and watch the 2008 WSOP on ESPN and give continued updates on the status of my foot. 

I've had my first San Francisco fall. When I crashed my old Raleigh for the first time, The Roommate assured me that I had gotten all the fall out of it - older bikes like that only come with so much fall in them, you see. I proceeded to wreck it two more times. Considering how mangled my stupid foot is, let's all just assume that there's no fall left in this one either. (Oh, and the bike is fine. After some incredibly kind passers-by helped me out of the street, that was the only thing I wanted to know. The front wheel is a little out of round now, but luckily I live in an area of town with bike shops every four blocks, so I can probably get that fixed.)

In other news, for the first time since moving here, it's cold! I woke up and didn't instantly want to throw all my windows open. It's cold and overcast, but I think I see the sun starting to poke out. Today is all about looking for jobs. It most certainly isn't about heating up the leftovers of last week's burrito at 10 a.m. and eating them off the microwave plate since I don't own any dishes... that would be disgusting. (I cleaned the microwave plate first.)


Jonno! said...

Just heard about your blog here. Diggin it, welcome to the BAY.

The Gay Species said...

Sorry. Summer is San Francisco's coldest months. Mark Twain, who dwelt in the Sierras, came down from Twain Harte and discovered San Francisco in the Summer is the COLDEST Winter he ever experienced.

If he only knew what the Barbary Coasts digs warmth could provide. We think he did -- pre Emperor Norton. But the Castro Clone Days would have to wait a century to prove all that is Gold does not glitter. Don't miss Beach Blanket Babylon while seeking digs.

Gold and gold diggers are found everywhere. Our Mayor's eco business office will send you to his pornography suites. But I hear the work is "rough," the "trade" poor, and the WWII Armory a little too extreme for some folk -- even natives. Ms Nancy's Romper Room is full.