Peddling for the People

Grace and Alan's Bike Trip Across North America



Posted by xc2009 on August 29, 2009 at 12:14 AM
Happy Birthday to Grace! She turned 27 on August 26th. We have been hanging out, running, and riding our bikes for the past week here in San Francisco, CA. We took the Coastal Starlight train from Portland to San Fran (SF) on August 18th. We enjoyed this method of travel, the space, and the relaxed pace?we will travel via train again and recommend the experience to those curious. Upon arriving to SF we met up with Bob and Pat Siegel, a local contact of our friend John from Jasper. John from Jasper (this is where met him, although he resides in Palo Alto) set us up with his friends, Bob and Pat who live in the Mission District of San Fran. Grace and I enjoyed three nights in a private bedroom with a 1/2 bath, the company of our guests, a meal of two, and an amazing bike tour of the SF Bay waterfront, the stadium, Pat's graphic design studio, the mission district, and the Golden Gate Park. It was a great introduction to this hipster happening place. Thank you Bob and Pat. We would also like to thank Mike T. from Portland for providing us a place to stay during our last night in that wonderful Pacific North West City. On Saturday, August 22nd we met up with Todd R. and moved our stuff up this hill to his abode. He lives up a crazy high, tall, hill---about 2/3rds way up Twin Peaks. We met his two roommates, Pandora and Belle and were welcomed into their space. We have been extremely fortunate for the past 4 nights as we have had a bed, access to a shower, a kitchen, home cooked meals, the ability to cook ourselves meals, SF and all of its amenities at our finger tips, and finally, our wonderful bikes, who have endured and can now ride free of weight. We have been biking all over the city, up and down, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the many man parks, up mountains, to Sausalito, and through Mill Valley. We have seen some amazing sunsets, drank some damn good wine, and enjoyed the company of friends. Two days ago, on August 26th, we were joined by two more Cincinnati friends, Cal and Skip Cullen (also known as Heather and Skip (Jeff)) arrived from a month of art trekking and travel across parts of the Continent. We saw their art show, helped them disassemble it, and then participated in a communal burn on the beach. You see, Cal and Skip have moved to SF, and part of their Journey was about their mid-westness, their art, and the coming to grips with this new art community they are humbling asking to be part of. Grace and I wish you two love birds the best of luck. We will be praying, thinking, and meditating on your wellbeing and success here in this part of the world. Speaking of love, I proposed to Grace the other day on her birthday. We were at the Lyon's Street stair park, on the north west side of the SF peninsula. The weather was perfect, the bay was bright and blue and shiny, the sky was happy, and the flowers were blooming pretty. I got down on one knee and asked Grace if she would marry me. I told her that I loved her, and that everything I have is hers. I placed a necklace with a glass ornament around her neck and waited for a response. She said yes and we embraced! ...kissing and crying for a moment....the odd stair-runner huffing and puffing, passing us in the back ground. It was good, it was very good. We just got back from watching another sunset and swimming in the Pacific. It was a hot day here and that was the perfect cool off. The waves were so strong and totally fun to ride. We leave for Burning Man in 2 days. Tomorrow we will acquire a vehicle, finish shopping, and hopefully pack. Then, on Sunday we will make our way to South Lake Tahoe--camping at John's family's place for the night. We plan to wakeup super early on Monday and drive in to the festival around early dawn. We have already set up our shade shelter in Golden Gate Park and I have a pretty good idea how strong the winds will be---pray for us that our structure is stable and can withstand the onslaught of the desert. I am excited for this radical self-reliance experience. We send our love back to everybody. Alan and Grace.

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Reply Uncle Hunt
7:48 PM on September 1, 2009 
SF sounds great. Spent three years there in 1970. Can you still ride horses in Golden Gate Park and along the beach on the Pacific Ocean. The cable cars should still take you all the way to the beach from the center of town. If you can ask around for a good charter boat fishing day. There is some good fishing off the coast. Inside the bay there is some good fishing for that expensive shell fish called Abalone. There is or was a good pub on fisherman's wharf. On top of Nob Hill there is a great cathedral, opposite the Fairmont Hotel. On Fulsom Street there is is some good broadway type theatre. SF always had the atmosphere of an eastern city compared to other California cities. Two good colleges I knew were San Francisco State and Stamford University just a little way down the coast in Palo Alto. They have a place called the Cow Palace which is like a convention center in other cities. Major music and other events go there. China Town is a real experience here. I should be out there. An old girl friend I used to know is living in Clearlake California, 100 miles north, and her father is in Palo Alto in the south bay area. With your bikes you should get around even better than the cable car. Take care and injoy. Good Luck picking out a Post Grad College.
Reply Arianna
3:31 PM on September 2, 2009 
CONGRATULATIONS You are engaged ..... I have been reading you all way since you left and you MUST make a book out of it!!!! that is so nice how Alan you porposed and on her birthday .. I wish you from my heart the best, which as you know is yet to come! Enjoy, this is just one of the many many unforgettable moment of your life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply Leslie and Keith
10:38 AM on September 7, 2009 
Congrats, friends! A fitting way to wind up an incredible journey: a birthday and and engagement.
Reply Hien
10:58 AM on October 7, 2009 
When you first talked about this trip, I reacted interiorly like an old grumpy grandma: I shook my head and thought 'These guys are crazy, by the end of the trip they will either kill each other or get married'. I am glad the truth is closer to the latter! Congratulations!