Former Palo Alto Mayor and present Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District Director, Yoriko Kishimoto, will be helping lead several dozen cyclists up the SF Peninsula on Sat, May 4, to San Francisco. A ride her and her husband enjoyed with us once on their way to the symphony there, she tells me how much enjoyment she gets from experiencing the charm of all the little towns and cities that car and train commuters hardly notice are even there.
A casual ride, on flat roads that generally parallel the CalTrain right of way, there is little need for gears until we reach San Francisco. And since we’ll be staying close to the Bay on our way to the storied Ferry Building, the amount of hill work is marginal. In The City, our ride will pass under the awe-invoking Bay Bridge as we move along the magical San Francisco waterfront, with an unblocked view of Alcatraz and Treasure Island. Once we stop for treats at the water transit building that kept San Francisco connected to the rest of the world after the 1906 Earthquake, our comfortable, relaxed return to Palo Alto is from the nearby Caltrain Station at 4th and King
From the train’s huge picture windows, you will be able to savor your accomplishment with also the inner satisfaction of knowing you traveled to the Golden Gate city with the message of two Mayor’s in their call for a National Bicycle Greenway that connects them with all the cities and towns that reach to the nations capital.
If that’s not enough, Carla Laser of the San Francisco Bicycle Ballet is creating a Tour of her City that will show the cyclist’s view of San Francisco off to the world. For this, she will be deploying Neighborhood Ambassadors, even a few of the much storied San Francisco Bike Messengers, to help us see San Francisco the only way one can really know it, from a bicycle seat.
With a population of 812,000 people crammed into an a area 7 miles wide by 7 miles long, there are so many streets, alley ways and hidden paths that only the cyclist could ever hope to discover and enjoy a worthy number of them. With Carla’s help NBG cyclists will get a rare opportunity to see a San Francisco that few will ever know
From NBG Route Across America
Their path through Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont, San Mateo, Burlingame, Milbrae, San Bruno and South San Francisco will roughly parallel the same rail line that dates back to Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. As cars and trucks thunder away on the two freeways that feed the Golden Gate city, they will enjoy the charm of downtowns and neighborhoods that speeding motorists never get to enjoy. All this as they make their way to San Francisco’s southern edge and the SoMa. A neighborhood patchwork of warehouses, swanky nightspots, residential hotels, art spaces, and loft apartments, it is here that, housed in a renovated freight storage building, they will find the second of our regional NBG Hubs.
From Palo to San Francisco Chapter
We awakened early after our first night on the bus. It wasn’t long before Don’s parking lot was filled with bikes. By the time we left for this year’s annual ride to San Francisco, there was easily 30 or more of us. There even was a fleet of antique bikes ready to join us. They were led by Barry Burr on the same 1946 Schwinn Phantom his grandfather had bought brand new for his dad for $25.
Barry’s crew of one speeds always looked forward to doing this journey, because, until we reached San Francisco, there were no hills. This was due to the fact that we pretty much paralleled rail tracks where any climbing can never exceed three per cent. In addition, our HiWheels moved at an easy casual pace.
Our ride was also a great way to see the quaint downtowns and peaceful neighborhoods one does not know to exist when on the freeway or looking out a train window. From Palo Alto, the route we had devised took us through Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont, San Mateo, Burlingame, Millbrae, San Bruno and South San Francisco. Each of these cities has its own unique appeal, a charm that cannot be found when roaring through them at 50 to 80 miles an hour. Once we reached the unavoidable hills of San Francisco, each of us felt a sense of achievement in knowing we had used our own two legs to make it this far. Having taken a long slow look at where some of the people of the peninsula live, had shown us the special character of each urban area as it also made us feel richer for the experience.
See more of what is happening in Dublin, Ireland, Golden, CO, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento and along the American ~River Parkway HERE!!