Our Adventures of Biking the Golden Gate

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ever since Chris and I went to San Francisco in June I have had some emails regarding what we did while there. One thing people have been asking a lot about is biking the Golden Gate. Let me just tell you about that little adventure (eye roll).

For starters, Chris and I are not bikers. We make be '(ex) college athletes' and look like we are in shape, but I assure you, we do not bike. I told Chris days before we rented the bikes that I wanted an electric bike. I always remember spin class in college and not being able to walk for days after. You know, the non-bikers waddle? Ya, I didn't want that.

So, we show up to the rental place, I tell them I want an electric bike, and the chick looks at me like I'm nuts! She casually says, "Oh no! Ya'll are young and in shape. You'll be fine!! Believe me, people much older than you use regular bikes and they do great."

Now, I had gone on a morning run the day earlier and seen the hills we would be biking to get to the Golden Gate and to us Texans, those things basically qualified as Mount Freaking Everest. As the San Franciscan says, "Oh, you'll just have to bike up a small three story hill. No big deal."

That's not what my butt and legs were screaming about five minutes in.

Can I remind ya'll that I grew up on a dirt road, walked everywhere in college, and haven't owned a bike since I was five...when I got my first Barbie bike. That should give you a background on my biking skills. I can ride a bike, but let's not get crazy here, kids.

And just like that, we were off on our adventure. We were about 5.4 miles from the Golden Gate and I'm thinking, "Okay, when I ride the bike at the gym, I can do five miles in like 15 minutes, so we should be good." Ha!

I was Chris's laughing stock for the entire day of bike riding. We start off having to bob and weave through all the fit people running everywhere on our path. Then we hit the park by the bay and the hurricane force winds made me feel like I was a hamster on a wheel; essentially my legs were moving, but I was going no where. It was awful. The path was gravel and I couldn't get good traction. The wind was making me swerve everywhere. I kept telling Chris I was ready to give up and he quickly reminded me, "This was your idea!" 
A mom pushing four kids in a stroller passed me, a guy walking 82 (it was actually like 17) dogs passed me, I even think a guy biking with his two kids in a trailer thing passed me. It was pitiful. All the while Chris is popping wheelies around me and telling me what gear to switch it in to. 

Finally we reach the bottom of the bridge where everyone stops to take pictures. Perfect time for my butt to rest and me to gain feeling again in my legs. We had been biking for almost an hour and not yet made it up to the bridge. If this blog contained cuss words, you could insert many of them right here.

After snapping pictures and downing water, it was time to tackle the 'small' three story hill. What rental-bike-lady failed to tell us was that, while biking up the world's largest hill in your bike lane that was two feet wide, there would also be cars whizzing by your at the high speed of make-you-poop-your-pants miles per hour. Chris kept yelling at me to scoot over, and I kept yelling back that this was "the worst idea everrrrrr!"
And then I saw another resting spot and my heart felt hope. My thighs we screaming and by butt bones, well, they were about as sore as all get out, and, yet, we still hadn't even made it onto the actual bridge.

We, of course, take more pictures (the more picture, the more resting time), and then decide the easy part is finally upon us. A short, level path straight to the bridge, so we set off on our adventure, sore tushes and all. We enter the east side of the bridge (they only have one side open at a time...) where this wide (sarcasm) bike lane was available to us, and the other 1,000 people. 

Let me give you some estimated measurements. The total path was about eight feet wide, half for the bikers, half for the walkers and runners....going in both directions! So there were runners, walkers, and bikers going both directions on the bridge that is freaking really high and windy and you have goob 1 and goob 2 trying to navigate this monster of a bridge without taking anyone out. It was stressful and one of those 'check off my list' type things. I was constantly ringing my bell in order to warn the poor pedestrians that it was not a good idea to walk 4x4 on a path that you should walk single file.

We stop at the areas where you have to walk your bike, we take some pictures, Chris freaks me out by getting too close to the edge, I kinda start to panic when I really get to thinking about how high I am, and then we decide to tackle the second half of the bridge. 

We finally, like 1.5 hours later, make it across the bridge. Then we discover the steep and windy road that leads you down into Sausalito. I just about wanted to have a heart attack riding straight down this winding hill, with my speed topping out at probably 15 miles per hour with fast car after fast car at Nascar speed racing on by. About halfway down I pulled over into some rando's garage because I had to take a breather. I had never in my life rode a bike on a road, much less on a busy, narrow, steep road.

After a quick breather, we make the final trek down into Sausalito and my oh my was it worth it. That little town is such a gem. I felt like I was in some other land that almost made it worth the bike ride over. Next time, I'll take a cab, but it was such an adventure. 

Did I mention this was on the day of our two year wedding anniversary? It will be an anniversary for the books!

We ate lunch and then walked around town and caught the ferry back to the city. I couldn't sit on my seat for the ride to the ferry, if that is any indication as to how my booty felt. 

Once back, I must have gotten my second wind because I convinced Chris to try and bike from the Ferry building to the Painted Ladies. After consulting with a police officer who said it would be "doable," we decided to go for it. 

Literally, five minutes in, we turned around, bee-lined it straight for the rental place, returned our bikes, and didn't sit for the next week.

 It was a day I'll never forget.

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  1. I've totally wanted to bike the GG however after reading this, I may decide to make it a nice long hike instead ;)

  2. Bahahahahaha!!!! Yeah, I'll stick to just biking around our neighborhood. And I'm pretty sure the bike rental chick didn't say "y'all"..if she was Californian, it's, "You guys" remember? LOL ;)

  3. Sausalito is one of my fave places. They have the best burger joint on the main street. Good for you for biking. I know I could never do that I hate pedaling.

  4. oh my gosh, that sounds scary, yet your smiling in all the pictures :) This seems like it's something that sounds fun, but in reality is a nightmare...although you do get to check it off the list. I think I'll just go with, run across the GG bridge :)

  5. Haha! That is hilarious! Biking is so difficult! Even the smallest hill can be so difficult. When I was in NYC last year, we did the city bikes and biked up the Manhattan bridge, Brooklyn brigde, from soho to brooklyn to the highline, tribecca and tons of other places. I was dying. lol.


  6. Hahahahahahaha! Kudos to you - I would never have made it!


  7. This may possibly be my favorite post ever. I literally felt like I was riding a bike behind y'all, giggling the whole way. Can we do a Cali trip together?! That would make my life.

  8. YES. I love this! You guys are the funniest. Come back and visit soon...