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Old 11-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #256
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Oh no! Best laid plans, huh! We love biking on vacation. We rented them in Washington DC and Hilton Head. You still have to get back across that bridge!

My family knows better than to mess with my research and trip planning, at least so far!
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #257
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Omg, I am literally laughing at loud here at work. You are a saint....I can't believe you didn't push someone over the bridge when you had the chance! I'm not sure I could ride a bike over the bridge...my insane fear of falling off wouldn't let me try it!

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Old 11-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
Oh no!

Jill in CO
Oh yes.....

Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
You beat me to this, but later posts from Ellen suggest that her onions were not grilled! I thought that was the main point of animal style. I've actually never had one animal style. I think I know what I want for lunch today! After what I ate this weekend what's another extra pound! LOL!

Were there onions? Ya know, maybe we did have grilled onions on that first one- but I don't think so on the second- I don't know- I should really take notes!

And YOU ARE SOOOOOO LUCKY!! Have one for us!!

I'm interested to hear where they told you it was OK to ride the bikes or more provocative where NOT to ride them!
DON'T ride along the street- DO ride along the dunes and the beach- BIG BIG difference!
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by ProudMommyof2 View Post
Oh no! Best laid plans, huh! We love biking on vacation. We rented them in Washington DC and Hilton Head. You still have to get back across that bridge!

Nah- you take the ferry back. NO WAY was I going back across that bridge with my family of crazies! Although I can tell you that Pods & Tyler, who OBVIOUSLY enjoyed a completely different bike ride than timmy and I did, were seriously disappointed we were not biking both ways.

Only if you are bringing Timmy with you, my friends....

My family knows better than to mess with my research and trip planning, at least so far!
Remind them frequently. Learn from my mistakes!

Originally Posted by jedijill View Post
Omg, I am literally laughing at loud here at work. You are a saint....I can't believe you didn't push someone over the bridge when you had the chance! I'm not sure I could ride a bike over the bridge...my insane fear of falling off wouldn't let me try it!

Jill in CO
Glad you are laughing- I read it over and over while I was writing it, and it is making me laugh out loud, too.

I PROMISE I was NOT laughing when it happened, though.

I think I posted on Facebook that I was throwing my family over as I was on the bike ride- good thing I didn't, too many witnesses, lol!
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:46 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by podsnel View Post

Well, I will have to get grilled onions next time- this time my instructions were just get ANIMAL style from the DIS community...

WITHOUT CHEESE????? What kind of half done crazy concoction is THAT?????
Animal Style DOES have the grilled onions, so you're good! They just weren't on your list of ingredients.

I KNOW when is a cheeseburger not a cheeseburger??? Actually sometimes I have my burger naked too - I mean the burger is..

Jim' uncle orders his burgers Protein Style, which is without the bun, but extra lettuce on top and bottom - a cheeseburger lettuce wrap!
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:01 PM   #261
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Oh No! They didn't listen to you after all the fabulous trips you have planned, and all the research you had done? MEN! I'm sorry your bike riding memory will be a little besmirched, but at least you got a few beautiful pics in the end!
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:32 PM   #262
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Yes, just what I thought ....... too many hills in SF!

Ellen, I could just picture you all riding your bikes. It was fun just to read - not for me. We DO have a car in SF and usually have it valet parked (we stay at the "Sir Francis Drake" Hotel on Union Square), and I promise NO bike riding for me.

Sorry for the hand brake only bike. Poor Timmy!
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #263

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I'm laughing and crying with you at the same time.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:29 PM   #264
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Oh Ellen what a comedy of errors !!! I have to say I would not evr have considered riding a bike over the bridge , but I understand how much effort you put into the planning and then ......Oh well such is life !! By the way did Pods enjoy himself !!!
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:46 PM   #265
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If it makes you feel any better, oh she who has yet to make it to the Cannery...I've never eaten an Inn and Out burger.

I know.


If it also makes you feel any better, outside of Ghiradelli (which is so NOT what is used to be in terms of tours etc), and the awesome chowders at the Blue Mermaid...you aren't missing much at the cannery itself in my opinion.

PLEASE do tell me you at least made it into the Buena Vista for an Irish coffee though.

Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
So...here we go. The ride of a lifetime.

We had seen the route of where we would be riding NOT ONCE, but TWICE. We had helmets, bikes and bottled water. We had actual MAPS. AND-

we had ME. Since the first MOMENT everyone agreed a trip to SF was in our future, I was ON IT. I knew that no matter what else we did, we would be biking over the Golden Gate Bridge. Why? Because when Disney had done one of their ABD's here, or tried to, a ride over the bridge was a part of it. And I just thought, WOW- we have GOT to do that! Coolest thing EVER!

So, in typical Ellen-over-the-top-uber-planner fashion, I researched the crap out of it- read every review of every bike company, every Blog from every SF traveler, every forum entry over there on Trip Advisor. And review on Yelp.

Yea, I know. I'm a little obsessed. Anyone need an over-the-top-uber-planner travel agent? I am TOTALLY your gal.

And what did I learn over the course of nearly 2 years of research?

The bike path goes next to the BEACH. Other than one big hill (that was ONE- as in singular. UNO. Less than 10 and various assorted other numbers. ONE.), and a hill up to the bridge itself, AND of course, the ride DOWN after the bridge into sausalito, the ride was basically FLAT. As in casual. Even though it is close to 10 miles. FLAT. Above all else, I read, AND WAS TOLD TWICE THAT DAY BY TWO DIFFERENT BIKE COMPANIES, make sure that you ride along the waterfront. It will take you along the beach, is gorgeous, and quiet, and before you go up to the bridge it will take you to an awesome spot for a family photo.

We began. I am sure you have caught on by now that a ride along the beach is NOT what we had.
I am DYING here!

Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
Now, I should mention that Pods wanted to ride along the road when we got down to where we would hop on the bikes and begin our ride- but I explained that NO, the path was DOWN THERE, go THIS WAY.

And that was the very LAST time he or anyone else listened to me.

So, we biked away from the pier- and immediately you hit that BIG hill I knew about in Fort Mason. Which would be VERY VERY VERY good to build up some momentum for.

OR, you can do what we did, which is come to a full freakin STOP at the bottom and start with NOTHING.

For the record, i did not stop. The others in front of me did, so I had no choice.

For obvious reasons, I do NOT recommend or endorse this method of hill biking.

Except for you Cynthia. You would probably totally rock it.
Too funny. And no, I would not rock it from a full stop. BLEH. I think you have a very (incorrectly) inflated sense of both my fitness level and abilities. LOL! Jeff might but he's a freak of nature at times.

you mean this hill?

We ran up that thing when we were there in Sept. Twice as we had to turn around and go back and both of us got turned around in different ways and ran too far. Me, I "had" to stop and take a picture...it was too pretty not to. Not that I need a walk break of course.

I have to say though...you have to take the description of "flat" with a serious grain of salt. I have done that ride, several years ago. On a tandem no less. I need to dig up the pictures. No matter what, you have to get through the Fort and there is a hill. The beach part is a bit misleading I think as basically you have a little bit of beach right after Fishermans Wharf, go over the fort, back down to the beach and then back up to get over the bridge and if you ask me the climb to get up to the bridge counts as a hill. So yes, there is a beach but it's actually possibly not the most direct way, or fastest and that hill is still there. It is the Kodak moment spot though. Either way though, despite much of it being flat what you will remember is the hills.

Of course if you are nuts like us instead of heading straight into Sausalito after checking out the vista point...instead you turn left and go up the hill to get a better view via Conzleman Road.

The route plot for this particular ride continues directly up Conzelman Road after crossing the bridge. This narrow road climb (open to fairly heavy traffic, especially over its first third or so) is the only serious climb of the ride and lasts for about two miles, though that includes an almost flat section in the middle. The steepest segment is a short part in the beginning averaging around 11% grade. The other part of the sustained climb (near the top) does not exceed 9% very much. This is not a challenging climb for anyone who has done any amount of climbing on a bike before.

Conzelman Road features a string of parking areas at which visitors can stop to take in the views, which are phenomenal. This whole road is essentially one big vista point. As the climb takes you higher and higher, the views get wider and wider. At the top of the climb, you'll reach the last parking area near Hawk Hill, which is also the turnaround point for most tourists driving up there


Not challenging my patootie...especially on a tandem. We are still speaking to each other though.

I do want to thank you for this update...I went searching for the dumb tandem picture and realized that a LOT of my older pictures were missing from PB. Either I broke the links (possible) when I reorganized it earlier this year or PB started deleting when the auto renew kept not going through due to an expired card that though I tried to fix a bazillion times, kept not "fixing". Between this and my last uppdate where I was looking for older pictures it was like HUH?

thank heavens for external drives.

see the big "bump" to the left of the far gate? Yeah...that's where we rode this crazy thing up to, aka Hawk Hill.

Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
We did pass by the Palace of Fine Arts, an absolutely GORGEOUS building I would like to explore further one day...

It is so lovely to just walk around! Far prettier on the other (aka non main road) side. The Exploratorium used to be there but now that it isn't, less reason to go. Last year when we didn't rent a car and walked the entire city like crazy people (yes, there is a theme) we got to explore it at night after closing down the Disney Family museum. Magical!

Way more magical when our frozen patooties finally made it to the Buena Vista to warm up with Irish Coffee.

Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
So, as we were swinging it on up there to the bridge, the OTHER path...the one that came up from Fort point, i believe? Where all the OTHER families had just taken a pic of themselves in front of the fogged in GGB? Yea- THAT was where I pointed to Pods- see? You guys have NO RESPECT. I planned this for 2 years. And you wouldn't listen. We were supposed to be down THERE. But we weren't. Thanks a LOT.


Anyway, at some point, he realized his error, and he got together with the boys for a pic.

And we continued biking over the bridge. Which was VERY crowded with both pedestrians and bikers. Because for some reason I can't fathom, the other side is closed to pedestrians and bikers mid day, so everyone going both ways is on one side.

At this point I should mention the importance of using hand brakes. Because that's what these bikes have, is hand brakes. Now, I know, you are thinking, sure- my kid knows how to use hand brakes! He has had them on his bike ALONG WITH FOOT BRAKES for years.
Oh Timmy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh that is SO something Evan would do. Oh wait, he DID do.

In Whistler. When we had the brilliant idea to go for a ride...along hilly gravel trails...with a kid in a CAST.

Kind of hard to use the hand brakes effectively when only one can grip.

Oops. Good thing I made him keep the cast on for that trip, they offered to take it off prior.

I am so not laughing, I am so empathizing...oh wait, I am laughing. You know what though, you will never ever forget this trip and it will be one of the funniest memories forever.

I really am empathizing... the SLOW ride down part in particular. At least he didn't get off and insist on walking it. Really, it could have been worse.

And sorry but four person linked? RUDE! Deserved to get yelled at at a minimum.

I can only hope you chose the ferry ride back...

Stellar update! And despite it all, some agood pictures, you fake fun well.

Last edited by eandesmom; 11-12-2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:10 PM   #266
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That is one bike ride I would never make! The views were great, but the journey, not so much!

It will a great story to be trotted out at every holiday gathering from here to eternity!
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:45 PM   #267
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Loving the trip so far! Your family is too cute...
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #268
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Uh-oh, not listening already. This will not be good.
Ooh fog horns. Love it. It certainly was foggy there.
You know men know there directions. LOL
I think the bridge looks cool in the fog.
Good for you yelling back at the human chain. What idiots.
It is beautiful. I just love the look of the bridge in the fog.
All caught up again
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #269
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So, the In-N-Out burger is pretty famous, and the pictures make it look pretty great. But where you hate mustard on a burger, I can't for the life of me understand why someone would ruin a perfectly good burger by putting mayonnaise on it.

So maybe I'll just be boring like your boys.

Anyway, I have to ask your forgiveness here. Because I was at the bike story. I know, I'm a terrible person. But I couldn't help it.

Just goes to show you, never ever doubt the uber-planner. I'm totally on your side here. Just listen to us! Who knows, you may still like bikes afterwards.

Too bad there was so much fog, but everything looks beautiful from the Sausalito side!
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:27 PM   #270
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It must be a man gene. I swear I do all the planning and Skip can ruin it in 3 seconds flat. Why plan...well then he sees why I do it later on when he does something stupid.
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