Thank You Ride #17: to Pacifica

I took Friday last week off from work, because I had yoga teacher training session all weekend, so thought I’d just take it easy in the morning and maybe get some training for AIDS LifeCycle in.

(You can read more about the thank you rides for the sponsors of my participation in this 545 mile ride from SF to LA, June 2-8, 2019 here. And you can sponsor me here.)

This ride is dedicated to my tango friend and an occasional bicycling companion, Doug. We’ve ridden some distances together in San Diego a couple of times, which was impressive considering that the rides were followed by dancing several hours at the San Diego Tango Festival. Doug is always such an excellent companion! Not only we got to explore and enjoy beautiful views, but we also laughed a lot and just didn’t take everything too seriously. Not to mention, we suffer from a similar affliction: being early risers, which meant that most of our San Diego rides happened while all our other tango friends were sleeping.

The ride I planned for Friday was excellent for dedication to Doug! It was a gorgeous sunny day and I decided to try making my way to Pacifica, to complete the route I abandoned on a prior ride. So, in a way, I would take Doug to the Pacific Ocean again.

By the time I got out, it was late morning, so the traffic was light. It was remarkable how a combination of relatively empty streets and a sunny day transformed familiar neighborhoods. The basic little old buildings that look sad and run down under the rain, become Laid Back Californian under the bright blue skies.

Up the hill to Daly City, then a shallow dip and more hill toward Skyline Blvd, pass that, turned toward Pacifica on Skyline Drive. Wow, what a difference from the last attempt. Instead of wet, littered with debris 50 mile/hour parkway of Skyline Boulevard, Skyline Drive was an easy clean sunny 25 miles/hour neighborhood street.

When I wrote about the layers, I didn’t exactly approve of the high speed parkways. But to be fair, the spaces right next to the parkways look in a way magnificent with all the wild overgrowth, compared to the well manicured neighborhood lawns, trimmed shrubs, and swept driveways.

Never mind the esthetic preferences, this ride was much less scary. The street had two or three nice long hills, great for training purposes. Whenever I crossed a street, an ocean view would open to my right, down that street. Finally, the last hill crested, and the road turned on a sharp curve toward the ocean and I entered Pacifica.

Skyline Drive ended at a succulent field with the cliff over a beach at the other side of the field. That looked like a good place to stop, have a snack, and turn around, lest I’d be late for class. There was a narrow footpath leading through the field toward the cliffs.

I got of the bike and walked with it down the path, so I would get a better view of the ocean. Closer to the edge I lay the bike on the ground. Then picked it up and moved it a little bit closer to the edge. Then away from the edge. Then decided to move it to the other side of the path. Maybe not so close to the edge.

I reached for my phone that was in a little pocket attached to the bike. Well, it was definitely there before I lay the bike on the ground for the first time, and now it wasn’t. So, rather than sitting serenely looking at the ocean there, I spent the next ten minutes looking for the phone among an impressively dense and robust succulents. Then declared it a loss and headed back. In case you were wondering why I am singing praise to this gorgeous day and am not showing any photographs: don’t have them.

Thankfully, I remembered most of the route toward Lake Merced and then to Great Highway pretty well. I rode most of it earlier, and I reviewed the map of one confusing spot before leaving home.

Still, the most annoying part about losing the phone was how worried I was about not having it if I get into trouble. Like I would actually call anyone! OK, maybe for a big trouble I would, but considering my track record with asking for help when I am in a moderate trouble, needing a phone is not very likely. I knew all that, and knew the road, and knew how worrying and being annoyed takes away from enjoying the day, and still was worrying.

I got home just fine, although I was late for the class (primarily because I misremembered the schedule). That was a bit over 30 miles for the day, including riding to and from the class. To celebrate this beautiful day, I’ll finish with a few pictures of flowers from other days and thanks to all my sponsors and supporters, and to Doug in particular.

There is still time to sponsor my participation in AIDS LifeCycle and get a thank you ride dedication! My readers are welcome to donate to AIDS LifeCycle through my fundraising page.

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