While it seems like just about everyone gushes about how great it is to live in San Francisco, I occasionally feel out of place in the city and I begin to have an inner monologue about my doubts living here. I’m not trying to be unappreciative of the Bay Area and everything it has to offer (which is a lot) but lately these thoughts have been creeping into my head. Similarly, the movie Blade Runner came to mind a lot in the days leading up to and during the #fauxvet, partly because it’s always frickin’ raining in the movie and California has been recently experiencing a much needed wet season. The film also portrays a dystopian cyberpunk future society and while I don’t think San Francisco’s tech culture has taken us quite in that direction (yet), the film also highlights important themes about what it is to be human. As I began to wonder if my concerns with the city were valid or not, I realized that it’s only human to have these doubts rather than just accepting things at face value.
But you didn’t come here to read my long winded meanderings about geography and films, now did you? JOIN US IN THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS FOR MUCH MORE EXCITING DETAILS FROM THE BOYZ ON THE HOODS #FAUXVET!
The 72 hours leading up to the #fauxvet were filled with questions about weather and terrain conditions and honestly no one really had a good answer for what mother nature held in store for us. Yet somehow at the ride start, I counted a total of 22 people who had been suckered into riding with us for the remainder of the day. My immediate feelings were surprise (WHOA PEOPLE ACTUALLY VISIT OUR BLOG!), followed by anxiety (How the hell are we going to manage all these people? Are they going to like our route? Will we be too fast or too slow? Did I wear my bibs inside out again?) and back to excitement (22 PEOPLE!!!!). I tried to shelve all of these concerns and hopefully I was able to convey to the group that a good time was to be had.
The group slowly rolled from San Francisco County and through San Mateo County, minus one Boy on the Hood, who had an “alarm clock mechanical”. This unnamed Boy on the Hood who attempted to rendezvous with the group unfortunately experienced the rare double flat en-route to catching up with us. However using his technical resourcefulness and smart phone vodoo magic, this Boy on the Hood was able to successfully meet us at the entrance to Sweeney Ridge.
With the group fully assembled, the weather looking optimistic and the first dirt section about to begin, my anxieties began to subside. We climbed up Sweeney Ridge and I noticed myself smiling a lot more. As I looked around and admired the scenery, it seemed that many of the other riders seemed to share my sentiments.
The views from atop Sweeney Ridge were nothing short of amazing and the rains from the past week didn’t transform the terrain completely into Play-Doh. Also there were these great puddles that just couldn’t be avoided.
The next section of the route is a great mixed terrain alternative to taking the Highway 1 road route from Pacifica to Half Moon Bay. Sometimes people hear the term “mixed terrain” and they think of the bicycle industry’s portrayal of super tough and gnarly dirt rides/races, but sometimes they just don’t show you the other side of the spectrum, which is filled with RAINBOWS, sunshine and smiles.
From there, the ride turned into a choose your own adventure book. One group opted to head directly to the lunch spot for quicker access to sandwiches, while another group took the scenic coastal route that passed by Pillar Point Bluff, with some riders literally “soaking up the scenery” as an errant ocean wave nearly engulfed us as we rode by.
After a well deserved lunch break at the always dependable San Benito House, the group made its way to the Cowell Ranch trail. It’s a nice and mellow trail that takes you to a scenic overlook of the Pacific Ocean. My favorite part of riding in a large group on nice open trails like these is you can look off into the distance and see the group of riders snaking along the path. It was probably a funny sight to behold if you were just trudging along the seashore that day.
We had already decided that we were skipping Purisima Creek due to the high chance of mud jammage for our fenderered friends. There was a quick stop at the Bike Hut to check out the facilities (go #biketourism!) before climbing Tunitas Creek.
Now, Tunitas Creek is a beautiful road through the redwoods and I’d like to think that people were too busy admiring the beauty of it to stop and take any photographs. However, the reality is that it’s an arse kicker of a climb and I’m sure everyone couldn’t wait for that climb to be done with. The only reward for climbing Tunitas Creek is a fast and spirited descent through Kings Mountain Road. It was only a short while after that when we were back to the suburbs of the peninsula, riding through streets with signs every block that urged drivers to exercise caution when zipping around in their cars and to think of the children in the neighborhood.
The group stopped at a Whole Foods for some liquid nourishment before the train ride back to San Francisco. However, due to bad time management and some confusing wayfinding, the group ended up scrambling to the Caltrain and unfortunately leaving behind 3 riders (Note: Boyz on the Hoods owes ONE STOKEN to each of these riders). Despite my earlier warnings in the day that the ride would have a “no-drop” policy, it was somewhat unfortunate that it was in the last stretch of the ride (in an urbanized city center no less) that we got separated. Anyways, here’s a picture of the group in happier times back at the bluffs overlooking the ocean at Cowell Ranch:
All in all, it was a very fun adventure and I’m glad everyone decided to brave the weather and hang out with a bunch of fellow bike weirdos. My own trepidations with the Bay Area still exist, but at least on this day I could smile and enjoy the benefits this region has to offer. You can check the Strava link here and also check out the #boyzonthehoods and #fauxvet hashtags for more radness.
Epilogue and also <Blade Runner Spoiler Alert!>
“All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain…“
In the penultimate scene of Blade Runner, one of the most memorable lines in science fiction history is uttered:
In the context of my choice to juxtapose the film with this ride report, this quote came to mind and it really stuck with me. Now you could interpret it in a somewhat pessimistic sense in that all the feelings and memories associated with this ride are only temporary and fleeting. BUT, given all the good vibes that I got from the group, I’m glad to say that the #fauxvet series will continue in the future, so hopefully there will be more opportunities and great adventures to share, so stay tuned for the next #fauxvet route and dates!