Thank You Ride #16: Over the Mountain

In a previous thank you ride, I tried cycling from San Francisco to South San Francisco around the western slopes of San Bruno Mountain instead of Visitacion Valley and then along the Bay, and discovered that the other side of the mountain route was much more pleasant and only marginally more difficult. What’s the next step? Over the mountain, of course!

Last Thursday, having somewhat adjusted to the Daylight Saving Time, I left for work soon after sunrise, to explore and still show up at the office at a sensible time. That ride was dedicated to another anonymous sponsor of my participation in AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019. (Read more about the thank you rides here.)

This sponsor is another wonderful friend from the East Coast, also an early riser who’d get a few miles in before going to work. This is one of my favorite people in the world: kind, easy going, thoughtful, open minded (by which I mean to my eccentric ideas). And funny, too: in fact, the hardest I remember laughing in my life was thanks to this person’s creation!

Last Thursday, I approached the Mountain from the West, via Daly City, and then rather then going all the way to South San Francisco through Colma, I turned toward the mountain. I rode through a little neighborhood past children walking to school and found my way to the Guadalupe Canyon Road in no time.

At the Guadalupe Canyon Road intersection, I had a bit of a flashback to that wrong turn I took a few days earlier. While the road didn’t look 100% safe, it was safer: cleaner, drier, with a wider shoulder and less traffic, so after a pause I turned onto it. Even though I felt a little rushed to get to work, it was pretty cool to ride through a mountain park on a bright sunny morning.

I was a little worried that I would ride unfamiliar territory against the sun, but it was early enough to get protection from the sides of the canyon for the most part. Still, from the crest of the road I could see San Francisco Bay toward the East and Pacific Ocean toward the West.

After the crest, it was primarily relatively gentle downhill ride for a few miles taking me to Brisbane and then South San Francisco. I stopped one more time to take a picture, because the road was called Mission Blue Drive and there was a blueish building on top, not blue enough to rival the sky. I thought maybe there was something cool and historic up there, but it appears that it’s primarily whole sale distributors and community centers up that hill. Looks pretty though.

At the bottom of the hill, I found the familiar route just past the unpleasant parts. Apart from adding a solid half an hour to the commute and the mountain crest being far from the public transportation safety net, I would say this was the most delightful ride to work so far!

Thank you, my readers, for joining me on this ride. Thank you anonymous sponsor for your support and friendship, now and for the many years we’ve known each other!

If any of my readers want to support me, to contribute to a great cause, and have a ride dedicated to them, please donate to AIDS LifeCycle through my fundraising page.

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