Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Marin County. SF. Ferry, transit. People: Geri and Sandy.

In Marin County, I was initially cycling slowly.  I was feeling the heat of the day and also absorbing the scenery.

(click for full-size panoramas below)

However, I wanted to make the ferry to San Francisco and I began to get worried that I was moving too slowly to make the ferry I planned to catch.

Shortly after I was getting concerned about timing, two sleek women riding sleek road bikes zoomed past me. They politely said ‘hi’ as they rode by and quickly rode ahead.  I realized that this was my chance to make the earlier ferry.  I hustled to catch up to them (Geri and Sandy) and they kindly agreed to let me draft behind them.  Of course then I still had to work to keep up with them.    To give you an example of the difference:  with my ‘enjoy-the-scenery’ pace I rode ~ 7 miles in 55 minutes, Geri and Sandy passed me ~10 miles before town and we reached town in 30 min.  Riding with them was more than twice as fast.  Thank goodness for Geri and Sandy to get me motivated, cycling at a decent pace, and for the drafting help.  

Geri is a federal agent who investigates environmental crimes, among other things.  I overheard Sandy mention that she worked for the newspaper for many years.  In addition to helping me with my ride, they were so nice and interesting that it would have been great to talk more - but they had their road ride to do and I had a ferry to catch.

I caught the ferry from Larkspur and enjoyed the views of the Bay. 

I also was reminded of history passing by Angel Island which used to be the Ellis Island of the West.  It’s one of the sad things from US history when there was heavy discrimination against Chinese immigrants in California.  Upon arriving to the US, many Chinese immigrants were arbitrarily locked up in a facility on Angel Island, essentially imprisoned, for long periods of time (up to two years).  

The immigrants would have spent potentially their life savings to immigrate to the US (and were often family breadwinners) only to be locked up without a trial or due process.  It is a good reminder that discrimination can happen at a systemic level and that it’s important to look out to prevent this type of thing from happening again.

When I reached San Francisco, I decided to take public transit to get myself across the city and down the coast a bit (the ferry terminal is on the Bay side of the city).  When I lived in San Francisco, I rode across from one side of the the city to the other fairly regularly.  Many of the bicyclists in San Francisco ride fast and aggressively and they used to get annoyed with my leisurely pace.  Given that I was riding even slower with gear, I thought it might be better for everyone if I used transit rather than cycling through the city.  

The transit station was quite a contrast to the natural beauty that I’ve been in for the past several weeks.  I realize it’s an unfair comparison since it’s just a functional transit center and San Francisco is an exceptionally beautiful city - but it was a pretty noticeable difference from my recent surroundings. The blandness of the transit center helped keep me from being tempted to stay in SF to catch up with friends and stick to the plan to get home faster to rest/recover.  

No comments :

Post a Comment