A new section of the San Francisco Bay Trail opened in May. This is the strip along San Francisco Bay behind Golden Gate Fields! While group bike rides are suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated Shelter-In-Place orders, I did a socially distanced ride with a few friends to check out the new route. This section of trail has been under construction for what seems like forever and it was worth the wait! It has lovely smooth pavement, a nice railing, places to stop and enjoy the spectacular view, and there is less climbing and a lower gradient than the route through the GG Fields parking lot!
Pauline and Chris at the south entrance to the path, near the west end of Gilman St.
Others besides cyclists seem to enjoy the ambience 😔.
Nice railing with Mt Tamalpais in the background
The path is almost wide enough for five to socially distance side by side - with bikes.
|View out to the Golden Gate with benches make for a perfect rest stop|
|Looking back south toward Golden Gate Field|
There is a small plaza at the north end of this section with a big information board describing McLaughlin Park. This park is named for Sylvia McLaughlin who started Save The Bay and there is a panel describing her contributions. I met Sylvia a couple of times – as Fiona (my wife) held the Donald H. McLaughlin Chair of Mineral Engineering at UC Berkeley (she is now the Chair Emerita). Moreover, the first person to hold the Chair was Dr. Neville Cook – my Ph.D. advisor. Sylvia was an energetic and dynamic lady throughout her life and was very proud of the fact that she rafted the Grand Canyon in her 80’s.
|The opposite side of the board describes the park in more detail|
The turn around point of this bike ride was the Rustic Bakery in Larkspur. So after leaving the new section of the Bay Trail we continued north toward the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. We took a break in Point Richmond to order pastries and/or sandwiches from the bakery. You see, my last two attempts to procure an almond croissant from Rustic Bakery while biking were foiled. This is because in both cases I arrived long after the sweet pastries were sold out. This time, the plan was to pre-order on-line or by calling, so that we could just pick up our delicacies upon arrival. Our attempts to order mostly succeeded – but it was apparent that some businesses are struggling with reopening post shut-down. First Pauline called – figuring we could submit one large order, but she got no answer. Next, we all tried on-line ordering via smartphone. I eventually got to the website and ordered for myself and Goldy. The checkout page gave several options to pay, including Apple Pay, which I selected. The website then asked me to hold my phone close to the scanner! Oh well… I eventually was able to pay using PayPal. Pauline and David got their orders in with about the same level of difficulty. Tom and Chris were never able to get to the website and decided to take their chances ordering in person.
We pedaled on across the Richmond San Rafael bridge, through the hole in the fence
|Bike lane on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge|
|Hole in the fence access to Sir Francis Drake Blvd - from a previous ride|
and over the Sir Francis Drake hill to Larkspur and the bakery (see previous blog post from Nov 24, 2019 for a description of the RSR bridge and Rustic Bakery: click here for RSR bridge blog).
Rustic has introduced a ‘one way’ system for patrons. The bakery has two doors, and now one of them is the Entrance and the other is Exit Only. I entered the proper door and followed the arrows for ‘on-line orders’ and was second in line, with Pauline, Goldy and David behind me. Chris and Tom followed the arrows for in-person orders. Well, nothing was happening in my line – other than lots of folks entering through the Exit Only door and not grasping that there could possibly be a wait for on-line orders 😲. I was there long enough to firmly establish myself as the warden for the Exit Only door. Meanwhile, Chris and Tom breezed through the ‘in-person’ line and were out the door! We eventually did get our orders – but the Rustic system is definitely in need of modernizing. And yes, the croissant was worth it!