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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Saturday, August 31, 2013

SQL double entendre, Betty Foy Rivendell Mixte, and it's San Andreas' Fault

8/31/2013 43m
Today's ride was brought to me by the remarkable regional bike map makers of KrebsCycleProducts.com. Three words: awesome. thank you. The map I bought from a LBS shows good bike roads, trails, classification of steep hills, and all sorts of local info embedded in the map. Really sweet.

This was my second day with the Rivendell Betty Foy mixte and I really like this bike. Primarily, I love the mount/dismount of the mixte. The frame geometry is excellent, very comfortable. I love the handlebars which are much bigger than what I have on my bike (these are just a teeny bit bigger than my shoulders) and they really open up the chest and it's a great ride. There's more in the details of what I like about the Betty Foy, but more on that later.

The first leg was Redwood City via SQL to SFO. SQL is the three-letter airport identifier for the Santa Clara Airport, and of course it's also a geek code acronym for Structured Query Language so in this part of the world that's like hipster-ironic.

You might think, Nah that's not ironic. But today when the bike trail wound through the Oracle campus, I saw that the signs warning you of an approaching pedestrian crosswalk looked like this - so I'm thinking, woah, SQL.(airport/acronym) = geek double entendre.

This leg of the ride was along the west shore of San Francisco Bay. A lot of bike trails, some road riding, with the wind definitively out of the north.


This is the obligatory multi-modal retired-air-traffic-controller photo of SQL Tower.


Conditions on this ride were warm and the environment was marine-estuary-littoral. Boats and marinas (and airplanes) and really nice parks interrupted by really pragmatic warehouses and the standard waterfront buildings, including the local women's prison which I kind of got lost at and that was a funny place to be asking directions dressed like a cyclist.


This was a bike trail bridge that I passed later on, I haven't seen one of these before:

Ended up across a marsh from the San Francisco Airport, where it seems like they're building a new ATC Tower, pretty close to the existing one. (If you're keeping score, this is my second bike-tower pic of the day).

Stopped and took a brief bike-nap while 747s and such were landing. That was pretty cool. #BikeNap

Decided to take a different way back. What I meant to do was to go inland, climb to the top of the ridgeline, and then ride on Canada Road (which had been recommended to me, and they pronounce it Can-yada here).

They have hills here. When they name streets "Hillcrest", they know what they're doing. That was an arduous climb, and I really missed my 20-tooth granny on my LHT's triple-chainring (the Betty Foy I'm riding has a double chainring). This is how steep it was: the front wheel came off the road three times. I wanted to cry but it was so pretty I just couldn't.

So I climbed up to the top of the ridgeline, and after doing my beached-whale imitation and gasping for breath I started riding on a trail that parallels the ridge. The trail runs along San Andreas Lake, and there's a marker identifying the San Andreas Fault that's underneath. They calculate that during the great SF earthquake, the position of the fault moved 9 feet west relative to the rest of the planet.

The ride up on top of the ridge was in a completely different environment from the ride down at the bay. A local rider told me that San Franciscans consider that they live in "microclimates" and that there are, for instance, huge temperature variations from one side of town to the other, or from the ocean side to the bay side. This place was deep blue water (looked cold), big dark green trees, and very rugged hills. No airplanes, cars, or anything with an engine in sight.

Although I planned to ride along the ridgeline for quite a while, a bridge was out. The puboished detour was to ride down to pretty much the bottom, ride south, and then ride back up to the top. Once I pointed the bike downhill there was no way I was going to ride back up that hill; I'm saving that treat for another day.

Finally, on the way home through the business districts of several towns I stopped at Nikkos Mexican Grill, which was excellent.

I've long held that "any day you can see the water is a good day", and today I got to see the SF Bay, the San Andreas Lake, and also the Crystal Springs Reservoir. I got to see two Towers and also a new one in the making, and I got to eat really good food on a bright sunny day. #LivingTheDream.

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