Today I woke up bright and early to check out of my hostel and head to the bicycle rental store around the corner. Today I’d remain on the tourist trail and cycle through the peaceful bliss of the park and then proceed to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a famous cycle route although with the cold I expected not to see too many people on my route. I could not have been more wrong…
Somehow I had managed to organise my peaceful cycle ride on the same day as College Street Party which coincided with a 10 km race that basically mimicked the cycle route I was taking. The race had long since finished but the party continued despite the protests of the police, who were closing things down block by block only for parties to spring up in areas they previously shut down. In all honesty I was so so tempted to sack off the whole cycling thing and try to crash a party somewhere but I hadn’t seen enough of San Francisco yet and I had too much to do. I settled for enjoying the entertainment as a spectator. And what a spectacle it was:
I was completely dumb founded. Whenever I’ve met Americans in the past they’ve been complete lightweights and I’m pretty sure that stereotype is still true. However I’d always assumed the frat parties you see in the movies are completely over hyped and not remotely close to the real deal. However, now I’ve seen it for myself I can confirm, as much as I hate to admit it, College kids now how to party. That photo of the house with the enormous crowd outside belonged to the some of the college band members and they were in full force blasting out anthems. People clambered on roofs, hung out of windows and chilled on fire escapes. As the day went on, the amount of clothing utilised diminished and when I came across an entire fraternity (male) whose dress code was naked I decided it was time to move on.
Although my first photo was photo bombed by a stray Ironman I did eventually get to a point whereby I could take some photos of the magnificent beach. Unfortunately, in doing so I had inadvertently put myself on the track recommended for elite cyclists and the only way back was through the masses of students now heading to the beach. And so the workout began.
I haven’t been cycling in a very long time and I haven’t done anything resembling exercise since my ankle injury a couple of months ago. In all honesty, it was hell. I repeatedly had to walk the bike when the hills got too steep and my legs burned the entire time. Looking back on it now though it was absolutely worth it. The views from the top of that Hill were sensational.
I then proceeded to cross what must be the windiest cycle path in the States. On the bridge itself the gusts are so strong that a man had perched himself for lunch at a particularly bad section to watch and laugh as countless cyclists tumbled off their bikes and struggled to get up again. Fortunately I escaped this hilarious fate by a whisker and made it to the end unscathed.
Unfortunately I had spent too long in the park so I wasn’t able to visit the Giant Redwoods to the north and instead had to return to the bay area on the ferry.
It was an incredible day in an amazing city. Apart from making me feel like I wish I could afford to do a second degree in the States, I also found the city that would be my choice to live if I moved there. Back to Los Angeles!