Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What's smaller than micro?

A while back, adventurer/writer Alistair Humphreys coined the phrase "microadventure", which Wikipedia describes as overnight outdoor adventure that is "small and achievable, for normal people with real lives."

I've been planning my own microadventure for a while now; it will start with a ferry ride, followed by a bike ride to and across the Golden Gate bridge, followed by a forty mile bike ride through some beautiful landscape and pleasant small towns, ending with a ferry ride to an island where I would camp overnight.

Today I did part of it. Not enough to even qualify as a microadventure. More of a nano-adventure. I was only going to go to downtown Oakland; but in the back of my mind, there was the thought that it would be cool if I went a little further.

I checked the ferry schedule. The next ferry was coming in twelve minutes. I took it, and that was the start of my nano-adventure.

Kona takes a ride.
The ferry dropped me off at the San Francisco Ferry building.  All I knew at this point was "walk out of the ferry building, turn right to get on the Bay Trail." This is where the adventure really began -- sharing the road with San Francisco drivers, even with a clearly marked bike path, is...well, adventurous. Fortunately it was early enough in the morning that most of the drivers weren't awake enough to react to the presence of a bicycle on their turf.
The joy of bicycling in San Francisco.
Once you get on the path proper to the Golden Gate Bridge, though, it is truly scenic. I only took one picture on the way there; it was when I got closer to the bridge, though past the bicycle turn-off to get on to the bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field.
The trip there was as fun as any bicycle ride, which is to say a lot. It wasn't always easy, but being out in the world was reward enough for the strenuous parts.

The real fun began on the way back. I took a gravel path part of the way. It was less than half a mile, but was it fun? Oh, yeah.
I'm happy to say that my bike rides better on gravel than on pavement. Maybe I need to inflate my tires a little more for everyday use. But I'm going to look for more gravel in the future.
I also ended up on the streetcar tracks, though not dangerously so. The streetcar tracks were not on smooth road, but cobbles.
I'm livin' in my own private Roubaix-O...
Of course, I ended the ride at home happy and refreshed.
Tom Waits' more dilapidated brother.
And I learned a valuable lesson (for the seventh time)...always bring water. Even if you think you're only going to ride for six miles.

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