Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Bridge, Sausalito, The Bridge again, Lafayette

The Road-Warrior look 
Alan is precisely on time and arrives at my hotel at 10:30. After a short drive we park the car close to the ocean and unload the bikes.

After crossing a road we already can see one of the ride's objective in the distance.

A telephoto shot: It's much further than it looks ;-(

Cruising by Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz in the distance

The Palace of Fine Arts in front of SF skyline

Starting to pedal the bikes up a hill

But still quite a way to go. And traffic is atrocious !
Of course, I can't resist the temptation of a posing picture ;-)

Still not quite there: On Sunday's, cyclists are not allowed on the eastern (to the right) sidewalk but have to take the western one

Finally !

Another instance of Alan patiently waiting for me to finish my picture taking 

looking back towards the SF side
Then we're over the bridge and it is time to go downhill towards Sausalito. 

When Alan mentions that good lunch with a view can be had in this complex, I remember that I could eat again ;-)

empty plates with a view
A bit more pedaling, always with a view on our right ...

... and we have reached Sausalito.

After a YUMMY coffee at Alan's favourite Cafe in Sausalito, we try to take a ferry back to San Francisco.  The number of cyclists riding over the bridge to Sausalito is so large, there are RULES and REGULATIONS now for taking a bicycle onto the ferries. AND, these rules and regulations are even more STRICT for electric bikes.  At 14:20, we try to get a bicycle token for the 3:05 ferry, but we are informed that my e-bike would not be allowed onto that ferry and that the next departure for e-bikes would be at ~16:30.  I had already expected something like that and had estimated that I'd have PLENTY of battery power left to speed-cruise back up the hills and over the bridge while Alan would take his conventional bicycle onto a ferry.  He even was able to catch a 14:35 ferry, and I started back towards San Francisco via the land route.

Even though there is some time pressure, I make time to stop for pictures
The bridge beckons but there are still some hills to be pulled up

Then I'm back on the bridge and only stop a few times to try to catch these grey (blue?) tones.

After reaching the San Francisco side again, I am blessed with a forceful tail wind and that in combination with the battery resulted in quite a few cyclists being scared out of their wits when I blasted by them.  I am at Fisherman's Wharf in no time flat. This place is even more touristy than 20 years ago, when I was here first, and I am glad when Alan arrives to take me to the Musee Mecanique, a museum of antique coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and arcade games. Right outside the entrance I get to take a picture of a submarine.  Tours of the submarine are also available, but after all these outdoor activities in gorgeous weather, I'm not going to hide in dark confines!

While Alan locks his bicycle, I take time to become friends with this young seagull.

Then it's time for the Musee mecanique !
A mechanical horse & rider gallops away

A frightfully realistic Guillotine beheading (including sound effects)

'ballet dancer's reflected in the mirror

For 50 cents I also start an old Wurlitzer player piano with two sets of drums and a triangle instrument, all being played automatically following the instructions of a punched paper roll. WOW! (No picture though)

One more look at the submarine and we direct our front wheels towards the car.  After a drive to Alan's home in Lafayette, I am spoiled again by food, overwhelming hospitality, and an introduction to this baby:

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