Golden Gate bridge

Hi there,

This weekend I rode my 20" Pashley std unicycle across the golden gate bridge,
which I am pleased to have done. So I thought I would tell you all about it !

I was transferred out to San Jose last autumn from Ferndown England, and
obviously the company air freighted my unicycles out for me. I have been pretty
busy and so have not found time to ride as much as I should, but this weekend
thought I would set myself the goal that before this weekend was up I would ride
non-stop across the golden gate bridge without stopping or putting a foot down,
and return safely to the other side ! I decided to do this not because it was
easy, but… (you get the jist :slight_smile:

Saturday morning, the weather forecast was not very good, but I wasn’t about to
wimp out over a little rain, so threw my yike in the car and drove up to San
Fransisco, its about an hour from Sunnyvale, I drove over the bridge to the
north side, and parked at the vista point.

I walked over to the start of the bridge, the concrete on the sidewalk changes
colour as the bridge starts so I had a definate starting point, and having rode
about 3 ft onto the bridge, I fell off !! I was thinking, oh no am I going to
make it ?? Anyway, pulled myself together and started again.

When I was driving over the bridge, the car tripmeter said it was 1.7 miles
across, and riding into about a 8 MPH head wind was pretty hard work.

Highlights were the stupid pedestrians who kept wandering into my way (luckily I
have a bart simpson bell under the saddle and its funny when they jump), and the
ramps over the expansion slots on the bridge, most of them are OK, but a couple
were close together so it was a tense moment, especially I was two thirds across
at this point and I didn’t want to start again !

Anyway, 30 minutes later, without stopping or touching the ground or a railing I
crossed back over the land. I was dead chuffed. About halfway across I had
realised that my house key in my left jean pocket was rubbing into my leg and
starting to hurt, but there was nothing I could about it without stopping and
getting off, and I wasn’t going to do that was I !! Since then I have discovered
that the key made a nice slot in my leg, it hurt like hell on Saturday night so
I have stuck a plaster on it ! They do say no pain no gain :slight_smile:

At the end of the bridge, I carried on riding following the cycle path which
vears off and down to the left, its a pretty steep path, but I managed to get
down it without falling, stopped at the bottom and had a rest, then cycled back
up the other side, which was very wobbly but I made it.

I then cycled back across the west side of the bridge which is for cyclists
only, mostly mountain bike riders in lycra shorts and silly glasses :slight_smile:

With the wind behind me I managed to fall very impressively about half way
back across when a gust caught me off guard. I fell off and rolled a short
distance, which I did quite dramatically for fun, but afterwards I realised
that I could have been clouted by a mountain biker, so really I should have
jumped out of the way !

While I was riding back over the bridge, I got to thinking, I guess that a
billion people have probably driven over the bridge, maybe 2 million have riden
across on bicycles, probably a million have walked across. But how many people
do you think have ridden a unicycle over the bridge ?? Less than a hundred
perhaps ??

Anyway, having got back to the car it started pouring with rain, so I drove
home, feeling pretty good, I have ridden in 3 countries now, England, Spain (I
took the unicycle on holiday one year and rode up cobbled hills !), and of
course the US.

James.


                                  / \

| o James Blackmore |
| ,-|, Software Engineer |
| << Schlumberger ATE, Test Sys, San Jose |
| ,+’ Email: james-blackmore@slb.com |
| | Tel: 1 408 437 7208 |
| O |
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