Sunday, June 11, 2006

Birthday weekend

English only - sorry about that.

A while back, my girlfriend asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. She threw out a variety of suggestions, most of which would involve driving or flying some place. I suggested we try biking to Point Reyes and spend the night there. A friend had been to a B&B there that was owned by avid cyclists, and they offered discounts to anyone who biked to there. Unfortunately, that B&B was too far from the kayak place (we also wanted to go kayaking), so we booked at a different one. And after some more thought, we figured it would be too much to ride up and kayak on the same day, so we ended up kayaking on Friday (my actual birthday) around Alameda Island instead, and then biking to Point Reyes for Saturday night.

Sylvia kayaking, with SF in the backgroundWell, the no car part didn't work out exactly as planned. We were going to take the ferry to Oakland to rent the kayaks, but the ferry schedule was a bit inconvenient for us, so we drove instead. And good thing we did - as I didn't realize that it is over 15 miles around Alameda Island, which is longer than we have ever kayaked before. It was very interesting, as the channel and island have many different types of areas, such as the container port, industrial plants, an aircraft carrier museum, parks, beaches, and private homes. We stopped at a rocky beach on the far side of the island and I walked in to a deli (wearing my wet suit) and bought some lunch for us, as we didn't bring enough food for as strenuous an outing as this turned out to be. We finished the boat trip and returned to the city. Then cleaned up and went out for dinner. We must have looked like we were starving, as the waiter even commented about the amount of food we ate.

picture of our little cottage B&BOn Saturday morning, we jumped on our bikes and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge. Road up along the side of Mount Tam to Stinson Beach, and then north on Highway 1 to Point Reyes. Probably between 40 and 50 miles. The B&B was up on a hill, so we had a steep 500 foot climb to finish off our ride. This B&B was actually a small cottage which overlooked a nice garden, and being on the hill gave it some pretty good views of Tomales Bay. Very relaxing. The cottage had a full kitchen, so we decided to cook for ourselves, instead of going to a restaurant. But that meant we had to go back to town to get food (which wasn't bad, except for that 500 foot climb...). Polished off a pound of pasta and sauce, plus some dark chocolate for dessert. Then soaked in the private tub they had in installed in the garden.

Then Sunday, we headed back. Because it was foggy and chilly on the coast, we decided to go inland through Samuel Taylor State Park to Fairfax, and then work our way back to the San Francisco. Nice to go through the redwood forest.

Overall a good weekend. And it is nice to know we were able to do most of it without a car.

One birthday wish - I wish that California would adopt a 3 foot law. Oklahoma just became the third state (after Arizona and Utah) that requires cars to be at least 3 feet away from cyclists when they pass them. It is all too common for cars to pass close enough that you can feel the breeze, and it is very disconcerting. See here for information on the Oklahoma law.

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At 5:15 AM, Anonymous Misae said...

Hallo! I'm japanese. I love your blog!

At 9:17 AM, Blogger PeterD said...

MisaeさんーThanks for stopping by.


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