Days 30 & 31: First We Rest, Then We Ride into San Francisco

Day 30 (2016-09-25): Rest Day in Fairfax, CA

Breakfast in a house is a beautiful thing. There was first breakfast, a small portion (for us) of granola and yogurt accompanied by hot tea. I sat quietly sipping my tea and reading while the sun’s rays reflected off the ceiling fan and danced around the room. A slow, relaxed morning is a glorious thing made even more so being warm and cozy compared to the usual dreary chill on the coast. After a while my stomach told me it was time for second breakfast, a couple of eggs and some fruit. I love breakfast…

We continued reading and accomplishing some tasks for a bit then gathered our things and went into town to do laundry and some shopping. Once these necessities were out of the way we visited the Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Talk about bike love. We enjoyed a personal tour of the early evolution of bicycles followed by the rise of mountain biking from its roots here in Marin County. The museum is small – just one large room with a couple little alcoves – but our tour was led by Joe Breeze, one of mountain biking premier names and a part of the original group who essentially invented mountain biking in Marin. If you like bikes, especially mountain bikes, this place is a MUST SEE. Apparently they also host events, movie screenings, and will soon be hosting their first induction ceremony in the museum. Right on! I wish I could partake in some of these events. Now I just want to shred!

The museum is small but a dream for bike lovers.

Mountain biking legend Joe Breeze gives us a tour. Behind him, the first Stumpy

As the afternoon slid into evening we walked down to Iron Springs Pub & Brewery for a pint and a snack to hold us over until dinner. It was a beautiful day and the evening brought a little break from the heat. A warm patio and cold beer were exactly what we needed to round of our restful experience here in Fairfax. I liked this place in theory – the small town, the lively streets, the little shops and lack of chain stores. However, Fairfax is almost 90% white and significantly older than I would like in a good town. We stuck out amid the middle-aged couples and the retirees, but there were some families and younger folks around. I bet the younger folks probably visit Fairfax while the older folks call it home. I could never live in a place like this. I wouldn’t feel like I belong.

This about sums up Fairfax. Yep, not a place for me.

We started talking about what would happen next but waited until the privacy of the small home delve more into the conversation. The last week had been pretty good – in fact, in many ways it was better than the weeks before. Still, there were some questions to answer and we left Fairfax the next morning knowing we both were considering the idea of continuing as travel companions until LA, but no final decision was made.


 

Day 31 (2016-09-26): ~25 miles from Fairfax, CA to the Inner Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco, CA.

I miss leftover so much! This morning we ate the remains of last night’s breakfast-for-dinner breakfast burritos with a bowl of yogurt and muesli for extra energy. Note: I don’t remember the muesli brand we have been eating for a while but it comes in a blue plastic bag and has a cinnamon flavor – it is so good! We also discovered the Brown Cow maple yogurt with “”cream top” that is bursting with flavor. Together the two make an extremely simple and extremely tasty breakfast.

We packed up and cleaned, taking extra care to sweep and empty the garbage for the host’s friends who would be staying tonight. This was such an amazing experience and there was so much generosity in Scott letting us stay while he was out of town. And for a second day no less! Thanks Scott, you rock! I hope you don’t mind that I put some photos of your place up because I loved it. This is a lot like the type of home I want to have one day: small, cozy, and extremely functional. Also, it was well decorated so that it felt neither sparse nor cluttered – just intentional.

Riding from Fairfax to Marin was pretty easy because there is a lot of bike infrastructure and the county marks bike routes by number. We took a couple of wrong turns but ended up on the right course by following signs and bike lanes through several suburban towns and cities as we steadily approached the Golden Gate Bridge. When we were in San Francisco over President’s Day weekend we went to the bridge and took a guided tour but never made it all the way across to this side. We also saw some of San Francisco and stayed in Oakland, so it is nice to see what else is in the Bay Area.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a pretty steep climb from it’s northern foothold and it’s important to look ahead at what time you will be crossing – sidewalks are closed off for maintenance periodically and you need to know which side of the bridge you will be riding on. Our route actually took us to the west side, the wrong side, so we had to loop around and join the plethora of people walking and biking across the eastern side of the bridge. Geez, this was not fun to bike. It’s a couple miles long, the path is probably about 8 feet wide in most places, and there are hundreds of people walking and biking. Consider for a moment that the people walking are mainly tourists – slow, random, and not terribly good at obeying the walk/bike rules. Then add to that a bunch of roadies riding way too fast and tourists barely able to ride in a straight line…needless to say, this is not th best biking experience. At least you’re separated form the cars!

We rolled into the Presidio to meet Neil and get a spare key before climbing out and heading south towards his apartment in the Inner Sunset neighborhood. By this point we were ravenous since we ate all our snack food on previous days and did not think to buy food for toda. As we cruised south down Arguello I realized we had been here before – we walked these blocks when we were here last time! I remembered because we ate a late lunch at Cafe Rogue, a cyclist cafe, and I ordered a very tasty vegetarian sandwich called The Green Hornet. I usually like to mix it up but the hanger was strong so we stopped and I ordered the exact same sandwich. Still good.

We finished the ride shortly after and spent a couple hours resting at Neil’s (it was super hot and hanger is exhausting). Then off to Grocery Outlet for some supplies and home just in time to watch the first presidential debate while sipping beers and eating a whole meal’s worth of snacks. I won’t go into my feelings on the debate here, but although I wasn’t a huge Hillary fan before I certainly am now. Trump is an asshole who only cares about Trump, and he made that clear. Thanks to live fact-checking and social media I could see in real time just how much of what he said was false, unverifiable, or known to be an exaggeration. Meanwhile, Hillary is arguably the most qualified candidate ever. Sold.

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