Golden Gate Bridge ride

28 July 2018

I was summoned into the toddler’s bed shortly before midnight last night and remained there for two hours with her little arm wrapped around my shoulders. Eventually, the warmth of my own bed was calling for me so I lifted Cornelia for her night time wee and then put us back in our separate beds.

I was surprisingly chilly during the night which kept me awake for a bit but when I eventually did fall asleep, I had a very realistic dream about the San Francisco marathon which takes place tomorrow. I think I’m a bit sorry that I won’t be participating!

Once we all got up, we dressed and headed straight out for breakfast at the same diner that we visited yesterday. Bugsy had a bit of a strop that she was not allowed chocolate for breakfast again today but quickly recovered and seemed happy enough with fluffy pancakes and strawberries, with strawberry jam. Ian had his granola and fruit again, and I ordered oatmeal with bananas, cinnamon and brown sugar. Our waitress forgot my oatmeal, so she deducted this from the bill, which was unnecessary but nonetheless much appreciated!

We stopped outside the diner to watch some big windows being hoisted up the front of a building, half expecting it to come crashing down to ground!

But at least, we did not get distracted by the television back at the hotel this time, and once we had brushed teeth etc, we set off for the Park Bay city bikes rental kiosk which was just a few minutes away from our hotel. We spent quite a lot of time there while they tried to work out exactly what we wanted, when we asked for two bikes and a child seat. For some reason, the girl had written down 16 bikes and a child bike… Anyway, once the peculiar confusion had been sorted out, we made our way down through the streets of the city and onto the flat promenade. We weaved in and out of the many cyclists, pedestrians and runners, until Cornelia asked to stop so she could warm up. We stopped at a grassy park area and she played chase with Ian while I bought her a hot chocolate, which I managed to spill over my legs. Thankfully, it was luke warm by this time, but my trousers are looking “patchy”!

We continued our ride up to and then over the Golden Gate Bridge which was slow and packed with other cyclists, which I must confess, annoyed the hell out of me and Ian, especially when we were forced off our bikes by people just stopping in front of us on the hills.

The hills were harder than I remember- probably because the last time we had cycled from I was Ironman fit. And on a road bike. Ah, I miss that!

After a bit of deliberation about which way was best, we decided to go the opposite way to the majority of tourists and chose the shorter, hillier route to Sausalito.

You have to use the bike racks in the town, which you must pay for. It was $3 a bike, but it was the only option available. We parked up, and chose to have a very late lunch in the cafe next to Hotel Sausalito, which we had stayed in during our honeymoon. Amazingly, Cornelia did not take two hours to finish her lunch and we had plenty of time to walk along the front to a lovely playpark a short distance away. It was almost empty, but for a pair of twins and another small infant. It was full of interesting new equipment for Cornelia to try out, and we spent over an hour there in the glorious hot sunshine, which I have been missing terribly!We met the mother of the small boy (18 months, as it turned out), and enjoyed some time chatting to her, before we realised that we really needed to get going, or we would be late returning our bikes.

By the time we had walked back to the bike racks, I was desperate for the loo, and nipped back into our lunch venue to use their facilities. I wasn’t challenged, and I get annoyed with myself that I don’t like having to ask to use a restaurant’s loos!

Anyway, it was no good… I couldn’t delay the inevitable climb back out of Sausalito- eurgh, the lactic acid was burning in my thighs by the time we neared the top!! We had a quick argument about which way to go at an intersection (back the way we came, which involved a short steep climb, or under the Golden Gate Bridge via some steps down and back up the other side), and went with the two sets of steps option. It didn’t matter in the end, as either way brought us out on a very very very windy GGBridge! Now, interestingly, I had an epic time, battling the ridiculously brutal winds which battered us as we crossed the water, while Ian hated it. It was my favourite part of the whole ride! I think it was much worse for Ian because he had to struggle with Cornelia on the child seat on his bike, acting a bit like an unnecessary parachute! But we both enjoyed the empty bike path, instead of the bike-infested path we’d endured earlier in the day.

Anyway, we made it to the other side without being blown off our bikes (or the bridge) and enjoyed a flatter ride back to the bike rental place, with five minutes to spare.

It was now 19:30, and almost Cornelia’s bedtime, and we still hadn’t had any supper, so we whizzed back to the hotel for a very quick change of clothes and wash of hands, and decided to try a different diner just up the road.

It was a great choice, as it happened. There was no wait for service (as you ordered and paid at the till) and our food was terrific – just hit the spot! Bugsy had cheese and ham pancakes, I had one filled with chicken, avocado, cheese and spicy sauce, and Ian opted for the chicken salad, to offset the quiche and soup he’d had mid-afternoon.

Cornelia was incredibly tired, but in a happy chatty kind of way, which makes bedtime a much better experience for all of us. I gave her her bath, and Ian did the bedtime stories, and so far as I can tell, she has gone straight to sleep!

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