Four Spokers – Jeff P., Raymond P., Rico N., and Patrick H. – rode the Jersey Ride route from McLaren Lodge today. With the great weather, it felt like the first official ride of spring. Even before the ride started, legwarmers and jackets were removed. At the bridge, we met the huge group of people who were marching to draw attention to the conflict in Darfur. Many cyclists on the bridge. We decided to do Conzleman early rather than later to avoid the afternoon car traffic.
On through Sausalito and up and over Camino Alto, then up and over Paradise. Those on the Jersey Ride a couple weeks ago saw the eroded hillside that had reduced Paradise to one lane but was still passable by car. Now, the road is completely closed to car traffic near the slide on either side, permitting cyclists to ride a little more freely without having to share the road with cars.
We stopped for a brief break at the usual corner spot in Tiburon. (Patrick thinks that café has the best pineapple-bran muffins.) Instead of sitting at the tables, we enjoyed the view of the sailboats, the bay, and the SF skyline from the benches. The fence along the water has slats that resemble a bike rack, and Raymond was wondering if the design was intentional, or if it is coincidence that the slats make prefect bike holders. A bumblebee flew into Jeff’s chest and stung Mr. Pekrul on his left pec.
Back through Sausalito and then we exited Alexander at Fort Baker. Patrick prefers this way to get to the bridge. It is maybe a little longer, but there is next to no traffic (especially on the portion under the bridge which is closed to traffic.) If you’re unfamiliar with this route, on the way to Sausalito, from the west-end of the parking lot at the north end of the bridge, you go downhill for a 1/2 mile or so, and you come to Fort Baker and the Discovery Museum. The road connects with Alexander. On the way back to SF, take a right following the sign for Fort Baker. It is a nice alternative and you get an interesting view of the bridge from underneath.
On the way back, the bridge was a bit chaotic with the slower tourists on the rental bikes being leap-frogged by the faster roadies. Rico left us at Cabrillo to go home, and Jeff went home via the road by the tennis courts. Raymond and Patrick continued through the park, then to La Playa and Sloat where they split up to go separate ways to their homes.