My first time to the United States turned out to be a short trip indeed. I only had one destination in my calendar – San Fransisco. A quick trip to Seattle happened too, except that I only saw the interiors of my aunt’s home there 🙂
A few emails exchanged, friends made a few adjustments to their travel plans and then it was all decided. I would be spending around 5 days there.
The first thing on my list was to obviously (for folks who are aware of my obsession!) bike to the Golden Gate. I’d seen it umpteen times in posters, tv and movies. This was the first time I was going to see it live. And what better way to experience it, than to cycle on the bridge?
That was the first thing I mentioned to good pal Silvester, who thankfully is equipped with a good bike that came in handy for me. He even came with me on my first ride there, except that it got very late in the evening when we reached the gate leading to the bridge and it had been closed to cyclists by then. Besides it was freezing cold! But I decided to try again another day.
The nice thing about the city is that it’s pretty bike friendly. Despite, its undulating terrain, there are great many biking lanes on the main roads with signs saying “Share the Road” and other messages to ensure that drivers respect cyclists. And the buses there have these cool stands in front where you can stack up your bikes in case you want to load it for some distance.
And the traffic was nothing compared to what we battle with here – from trucks, mini-vans, erratic human beings, even more erratic animals (especially street dogs – they love me), holy cows, two-wheelers, cars to the mighty BMTC buses who often push you off, because (of course!) they own the road. I was a happy duck!
Except for the fact that everyone is on the wrong side of the road (!) it was like a dream cycling there. And no, I definitely wouldn’t get bored – there are enough distractions and nice sights to keep me happy and not worry about getting hit every second moment I was on the bike!
The Golden Gate route is oft frequented. Tourists usually hire bikes from Pier 39 of Fisherman’s Wharf and cycle it up to the bridge from there. Go down the Sausalito and then ferry it back from there. I didn’t have that much time in hand when I attempted it on my own (it was also the day I was flying back). So I went up to the bridge, took a few minutes to enjoy the view and look around. Requested a couple to take a picture and then headed back.
I left with lovely memories of the city. I would have loved to spend a few more days just cycling and walking around, experiencing the city and it’s many different sights. But I should go with the better half in tow next time – and optimistically I am hoping it will be soon!