Dec 17

San Francisco and Heading South!

San Francisco: old friends, good beer, and a bridge.

Piccino Coffee around the corner from Neil's pad.


I stayed in San Francisco for six fantastic nights at the apartment of my best friend/brother Neil and his amazing flatmates (Shout-outs: Nick: Finish the beer, Peter: Finish the beer, Steph: Good luck on your finals! – I sort of took over their living room for 4 days, so they did great to put up with me, much thanks guys and gal.)  Now, having already been to San Francisco a handful of times before, I wasn’t here again to wander around Fisherman’s Wharf and take pictures of the trolleys, so Neil was the perfect guy to stay with.  This man has lived and breathed SF for over 8 years, and he made it his mission to show me a good time and a more local side of they city

I was barely into the door of his Dogpatch pad, when we were off again for my first SF “food truck” experience.  On a quiet and uninteresting corner the amicable Junior runs a BBQ out of the back of his truck.  The menu is simple; the burgers are anything but.  Junior’s Brazilian Burger is loaded with the usual burger fare plus an egg, Portuguese sausage, corn, pineapple, and a handful of other ingredients I can’t remember.  (And that’s just the single, I dare you to go for the double).  It definitely lived up to the hype.  Shortly thereafter we were loosening our belts and quaffing Dogpatch Pale Ales in Neil’s local: The Dogpatch Saloon.  I had already forgotten about the bike.

Speakeasy Brewery.

The following days were filled with meeting loads of Neil’s friends (all wonderful people), drinking good beer (hit up Speakeasy and 21st Amendment Brewery), and eating good food.  We even managed to meet up with Natasha, an ex girl-friend of mine for a good catch-up session.  I was probably supposed to be spending some of this time preparing for my impending southern departure but, truth be told, Tony got very little attention from me and before I knew it, it was time for me to get back on the road.

So, after an awkward is-it-going-to-be-another-four-years-before-we-see-each-other-again man-hug with Neil, I loaded my bags back onto Tony and started riding south, by going north.  Call me silly, call me romantic, call me handsome, but if I’m going to ride a bicycle all the way from San Francisco to South America then I’m bloody well going to ride an extra 10 km so that I can say I started at the Golden Gate Bridge!

Orange. Not Gold. The "Golden" Gate Bridge

For the record, the Golden Gate bridge is not golden.  It’s orange.  Am I the only one annoyed by this?  It’s orange, and that’s only when it shows up!  Turns out, the bridge likes to sleep late most mornings/early afternoons such that if you get there too early all you will see is fog!  Don’t worry, I got my photo.  It’s me, the bike, and where the bridge should be.

Not grumpy at all, I finally headed south, as in south-south, as in south south-south, towards Half Moon Bay.

Please don’t hit me.

On the road down to Half Moon Bay

There is about 20 km of really dramatic, breath-taking coastline on the ride down to Half Moon Bay.  The road winds along the top of a preposterously vertical cliff-face that drops down to the violent mating ritual of the Pacific Ocean.  Many-a-driver have been wooed by the expansive panoramas, many-a-driver have been awed by the majestic vistas, many-a-driver have taken their eyes off the road a little too long and with an innocent bump! sent a defenseless cyclist flying over the guard rail and windmilling into the void.  I do not want to be this cyclist.

Spam and Rice. Representing Guam. And the stove works!

Stove Maintenance: I’m now running my MSR Whisperlite Int’l stove on unleaded auto gas. That’s right, ordinary petrol. Now a fill up costs 65 cents instead of $6.

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