This post is about a 26.5 mile ride to Pacifica on a Sunday some five weeks ago, and my heart is filled with gratitude thinking about it! First of all, many thanks to an anonymous sponsor from my current Toastmasters club! Many of my readers know that I’ve been in Toastmasters for over a decade and one of the reasons I stay is the people who are willing to invest in everybody’s success. This particular sponsor is not an exception! Over the years, I’ve met toastmaster who are flamboyant and hard to miss. There is time and space for the show, and some of us can use more of that. This particular person is of the kind I have the highest respect for: the kind who humbly and quietly holds the ship together and does the lion’s share of work humbly and steadily. Thank you!
Not only was this ride dedicated to a sponsor from Toastmasters, but it was also with somebody from Toastmasters! See what I mean? Support all around!
This year, I teach yoga on Sunday mornings, and with all the rain some weekends and teacher training other weekends, this was the first time I did two relatively long rides back to back, which is something I will have to be able to do very soon, except that will be back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. This was the day after the super windy Point Reyes ride, and I am very grateful to Cameron for joining me: the company makes getting out of the house while tired much easier!
And – together, we finally made it to the beach in Pacifica. I tried that a few times before. The first time it was raining, I got lost, and it just wasn’t fun any more, so I turned around. The second time, it was a lovely day, and I technically made it, but not quite as far, because I was rushed, so I turned around and lost my phone somewhere in the process. The third time, the official training ride route skirted Pacifica on the way to Woodside but didn’t stop there. The fourth time was a charm!
To get to Pacifica, we headed South on Alemany, much like when I go to work, but then instead of turning toward the Bay and around San Bruno Mountain, we proceeded toward the Ocean, ascending toward and over the Skyline Blvd.
There were a few somewhat unpleasant stretches on the way South: for instance, in Daily City, the last couple of miles before crossing over 280 were dusty, poorly paved, and trafficky. There were also a few steep hills which I might have misrepresented to Cameron before the ride, but the hills are part of the training, so I am not complaining. I was definitely glad to not see the Golden Gate bridge two days in a row, especially after that wind on Saturday!
Overall though, this is quite a nice ride for a Sunday afternoon. Apart from those unpleasant couple of miles, the route traces quiet and scenic neighborhoods that neither I nor Cameron would normally go to, so it was nice to explore. Incidentally, we might have passed near where the anonymous sponsor lives! Once we crossed the Skyline Blvd and turned on Skyline drive, it’s just slow quite residential streets, with increasingly more views of the Ocean.
I mapped the route out to the Chit-chat cafe in Pacifica, because if I learned anything from my official training ride that was the importance of well planned rest stops with snacks and bathrooms! Besides, I was there once before, on another Sunday two years ago, during the time of heart break, lazy Sundays, and yoga brunches, with Laura and Miss Sable, and that was just such a lovely afternoon! I had the best memories of that little area and was glad to revisit. When Cameron and I got to the cafe, there was a couple playing live music and a few patrons, even nicer than I planned: like catching a glimpse of another life. We sat at the cafe with our warm drinks and then went to sit by the ocean for a few minutes.
Cameron was about to go overseas for work for a few months, and sitting there by the Ocean I was grateful for the time she made to spend the day with me without rushing and with some mean hills along the way. I was also glad that she made the time for herself to explore and to see the Ocean before her departure. We both definitely enjoyed how biking out there reshaped the world a little bit: we both had been to Pacifica by car, and thought that was a car destination, and yet here we were with our bikes without too much effort even! Well, apart from a couple of hills. See that dip on the elevation profile? That’s where the beach is. You need to dive down to get there and then climb all the way up!
On the way back, we took the Lake Merced and Great Highway route: more water, more Ocean views.
What a lovely day this was! Thank you anonymous sponsor for supporting my fundraising, thank you Cameron for joining me: I wouldn’t have gone this far without you, not as gladly anyway! Thank you readers for joining me virtually on this journey.
In case you just joined me: for the last few months, I’ve been training for AIDS LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from SF to LA coming up in less than a week (!!!), and I have been dedicating occasional training rides to my sponsors. You can read more about the dedication here, and if you feel inspired to help me raise $5K for the SF AIDS foundation and the LA LGBT Center, head over here. I might not get around to dedicating a ride to the brand new sponsors before June, because that’s almost here, but I have other creative ideas for the special thanks budding here!