San Francisco to Woodside and Back

My friend Stephen and I decided to spend the Friday zipping down the peninsula, scorning the more common Marin ride. S. was about to embark on a week-long trip to the Caribbean and needed a boost of workout before languishing lazily at the pool, checking out the Caribbean belles.

We met at Peet's on Market (which meant I had to log my sorry butt over the hills of San Francisco) and went from there. I immediately nixed the route over Great Highway, since the day was one of those blustery winter days San Francisco's summer is so famous for.

Bundled up in our many layers, we started down Valencia, merged into Mission and then proceeded to hit on El Camino for the way down the Peninsula. It was obvious S. had never seen that part of town before, which I took to be a great new adventure. The scenery changes rapidly from the little shops in the Outer Mission (and the crowds of Friday morning) to the lavish cemeteries of Colma.

We crawl underneath 280, when S. realizes where we are. It is still cold, but we are getting into more civilized territory. We see the See's Candy factory and then it's time to go towards the reservoir.  S. is a bit impatient and wants to turn sooner rather than later – evidently, the traffic on El Cam is not his thing.

As we are riding through Millbrae, I realize I have no idea how to get to 280, and I am left guessing. The only sure route I know is Crystal Springs, but that's far down the road. I do not want my lack of knowledge to translate into lack of confidence on his side, so I just decide Hillcrest is a good name to turn onto – sure sounds like something that is going to be going through all the way.

Turns out Hillcrest is a really steep hill, in parts, and just the perfect way to connect from El Cam to the Springs. We slog it up, stopping twice – I stop because I have a two-wheel and can't go as slow as he with his three-wheel, he stops because he is exhausted. But we make it in time, and cross under the bridge to the marvelous bike path.

There we are, finally able to chat, zipping down at the comfortable pace of 15 mph (that is a mean path, and park police enforce the speed limit). From there, it's easy sailing into Woodside, where we'll have a minimalist lunch at Robert's. Not a lot of cycling going on, but it's Friday, after all. There is a little sunshine, more than on the rest of the trip combined, but not enough to seriously warm us up.

S. gets restless and wants home. I suggest one of the Four Major Hill Roads (Page Mill, Old La Honda, La Honda, and King's Mountain), but he just wants to go home, presumably to pack. In addition, he seems to have some problem with his lower back. We pack up, ride all the way on the beaten path, and end up in San Francisco by 2p.

All in all a nice ride – wished the weather had been a little better. 

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.