A high pressure system has settled over the city, and we have an unusual simultaneity of getting used to the dark early evenings, and basking in warm, windless conditions. Seems like a perfect time for a bike ride.
There are a few times when I have been out in the city when there have been no cars around. Some have been indelibly memorable: London on Millennium eve as I left the thronged central streets on my bike to head home a few hours before midnight; the day the Tour de France took over swathes of the same city for the prologue in 2007, where the huge crowds were just as joyous. Also the weekend the Golden Gate Bridge was closed last year, a time of quiet and wonder; and the times when I have been able to participate in Sunday Streets, especially the one along the Embarcadero. There is a spaciousness, a slowing-down, and, if not a quiet, then a realm of human sound rather than mechanical. (And then, in ways that I could not have conceived when I drafted the bulk of this post the other day, last night I was at another such occasion: the anti-Trump protest was taking place right outside my window after I got home, and after standing and watching for a while, I simply put on my shoes and joined the thousands walking and chanting, just to be a part of that mass, and for my voice to join the other voices, warm and defiant).
So this Sunday there will be another Sunday Streets, and I will be leading the second Bicycle Roaming Zen, starting from the Embarcadero – the Fog City Diner at the top of Battery Street, to be exact, at 11am – to join the relaxed crowds on wheels of various kinds and on foot, enjoying the relaxation of not being surrounded by cars. From the ballpark, we will continue south on quiet roads to Mission Bay, where vestiges of the old city lie side by side with the newest developments.
There will be places to sit, time to eat, time to discuss, and hopefully time to enjoy the city in this way. The riding will be unhurried and the route is as flat as San Francisco gets, so don’t feel you need to be especially fit to participate.
A view of Mission Bay when I was exploring last week. I am still confined to my iPad, so I don’t have my usual options…