2008-11-23 16:15:37 UTC
and took the ferry back to San Francisco. By the time we finished eating
a late lunch/early dinner at Taylor's Automatic Refresher, it was 5:30
and dark, as we rode along the Embarcadero back to the Presidio.
It was fine until Aquatic Park, where the lighted streets ended. I had
lights for everyone so it was no problem for us, but with the fog and
darkness it was _really_ hard to see other bicycles, and there were _a
lot_ of them, nearly all from those bicycle rental places along
Fisherman's Wharf (identifiable by the handlebar bags).
The rest of the ride back was not too enjoyable, having to strain to see
shadows of cyclists, dressed in non-reflective clothing, coming toward
us in the darkness and light fog.
One cyclist complained "you're blinding me" due to my light, which was
just a two AA Cree LED flashlight (Fenix L2DCE) attached to my handlebar
("Loading Image..."). I angled it down a
bit after that, but geez it's only a 3W LED.
Anyway, I think that these rental places should be providing at least
"being seen" front and rear lights on their bicycles at this time of
year, and that SFPD should enforce the laws on bicycle lighting,
especially in areas with no street lighting.
BTW, if you take visitors on the classic ride across the GG bridge and
take the ferry back, I recommend going all the way to Larkspur, rather
than coming back on the Sausalito or Tiburon ferries. First, you can eat
at the Marin Brewing Company right across the road from the Larkspur
ferry terminal (use the pedestrian overpass) which is much better than
those tourist traps in Sausalito or Tiburon. Second, you get a much
longer Bay Cruise than from Sausalito or Tiburon. Third, the Sausalito
and Tiburon ferries are typically packed with all those people on the
rental bicycles (as well as hordes of other tourists), but almost no one
goes all the way to Larkspur, which is really not much further than
Tiburon, and it's a nice route. There were only eight bicycles on the
boat yesterday, and less than a hundred passengers on a boat that holds
The Sausalito-San Francisco ferry can get nasty when it gets crowded.
Last time I rode it the bar ran out of vodka for Bloody Marys and irate
tourists threw the bartender overboard. I think one of the reasons for
so many of those rental bicycles being out so late is that the number of
bicycles on the ferries is limited, and it was a really nice day
yesterday so a lot of tourists had the same idea of a ride to Sausalito
and back by ferry (which the bicycle rental companies promote). I'd
wager that a lot of bicyclists were denied boarding and decided to ride
I tried to exit the Larkspur-San Francisco ferry with a Surly Long Haul
Trucker with Arkel panniers, but the owner stopped me.
The route to the Larkspur ferry terminal is now signed pretty well,
which is good since it's not an obvious route, with some disconnected
bike paths to Corte Madera and Larkspur, that you pretty much have to
use to avoid 101 unless you go a really long and hilly way around.
Taylor's Automatic is a good place to eat where you can lock your bikes
to the railing around their outdoor patio, and you can see your bikes
even from inside the restaurant. Try the pistachio milk shake.