Hey, Hi, Hello! I hope everyone is doing good on this cold, rainy, blustery November night. I am snuggled in at home tonight, reminiscing on one of my latest adventures … a bike tour through San Francisco on a beautiful and sunny November day!
Last week, I was lucky enough to spend the week in San Francisco, and I LOVED the city. I had an amazing time wandering the city and really enjoyed having a chance to spend a lot of time with one of my sisters and my oldest friend. And while I am so glad that I got to spend time with them in San Fran, my favorite part of the trip, by far, was a bike tour I took with Dylan’s Tours.
Dylan’s Tours is a local tour company in San Fran that does a variety of tours in San Fran and the greater San Fran area – both bike and van. And I have to say, they were PHENOMENAL! Their tour was one of the best tours I have ever done. But before I share how amazing the tour was, I need to fill you in on the pre-adventure adventure.
So … my pre-adventure adventure began the day before with me slightly panicking that I had bitten off too much with a 20+ mile bike tour (probably important to note that was an electric bike tour, but still 20 miles on a bike!). My fear originated from not having ridden a bike on a road in 10ish years, though I have done spin classes more recently! You are probably asking yourself, why a bike tour? Because it looked like fun, I am trying to do new things this year, and I can be very stubborn once my mind is set on something! Probably not shocking to those of you that know me. 🙂
Any way, back to my pre-adventure, so the night before the tour, my sister and I were chatting with Melinda (the concierge at the Marriott Union Square hotel in San Francisco – Marriott, if you are listening, she was AMAZING and you are luck to have her; she was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and personable!) about scheduling events later in the week. When I shared my nerves about my bike tour that was scheduled for the next day, Melinda shared her recent experience on a bike tour through Napa, and let me tell you she spun a good tale about her comical and painful bike tour experience. You may be wondering how a bike tour can be painful if you don’t fall of. Well, if you don’t know, you clearly are not a woman and/or you have not ridden a bike for longer than 20 minutes. Biking for long distances, if not accustomed to riding, can put a SERIOUS hurting on the lady parts. A serious hurting.
So how do you preempt the pain and have a more pleasant ride? Most folks wear padded shorts or have a padded bike seat. But Melinda’s hilarious suggestion was to buy foot support / shoe inserts and sew them into my pants to provide some extra cushion. Can you imagine riding around with a shoe insert in your pants?! While it was a super creative suggestion, I lacked the vision to see how to bring it to reality! So instead of heading to the pharmacy for some Dr. Scholls and a sewing kit, I headed to Macy’s thinking for sure Macy’s would have padded bike shorts. They do not. Then I headed to Nike, they didn’t carry them either. Finally, I hopped an Uber and headed to REI. Thankfully, REI did not let me down! My quest for padded bike shorts was a very involved endeavor – we spent ~2 hours looking for a pair of shorts!
The day of my tour arrived and it was a bright and sunny, but cool, morning. I donned my super padded, diaper esque bike shorts and was ready to conquer my biking adventure! I was nervous, but ready! I show up at Dylan’s Tours, pleasantly surprised to find out that my tour was going to be a really small tour … the guide, Marlin, and another tourists, Jen from Virginia. The gentlemen at the shop were super friendly and helpful and Marlin was an amazing guide – crazy knowledgable (a living version of Google!) and really friendly.
Once we proved we could semi-balance on a bike (I use semi, because, as you know I am not the most graceful) and learned to work the controls for the battery on the bike, we set off on our 20 mile, 6 hour biking adventure ALL over San Fran. Where did we go? Pretty much everywhere! Over the course of 6 hours our fearsome trio visited …
- Fisherman’s Wharf and the sea lions
- The Embarcardero
- Aquatic Park and Ghirardelli Square
- The Palace of Fine Arts (the last remaining structure from the 1915 World Fair)
- Fort Point
- Golden Gate Bridge (including crossing the bridge, which was extremely exciting and for me, stressful! There are a lot of people you have to dodge and som narrow path ways to traverse)
- Ocean Beach
- Sea Cliff (including the house where Robin Williams lived!)
- Legion of Honor (a french art museum, with art form the 1915 World’s Fair)
- Golden Gate Park
- Haight-Ashbury (and the houses where the Greatful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix lived during the infamous “Summer of Love”!)
- The Painted Ladies aka the Full-House houses
- The Civic Center
- Financial District
- North Beach aka Little Italy
So, are you tired yet?! In addition we got all sorts of information about San Fran’s history and current cultural and political environment. Marlin was super knowledgeable and I think I learned more about San Fran than some locals probably know! I think I drove my sister and friend crazy with random San Fran trivia! Dylan’s Tours … Marlin was an amazing guide! And did a fabulous job on our tour!
Here are few of the pictures for the trip:
The tour was amazing and slightly overwhelming, we covered so much ground in only 6 hours! I am also proud to report, that I never fell off my bike, but I did run into a couple of inanimate, non-moving objects. Just so you can rest assured my grace persists. 😉 And I did have to walk my bike for a little bit in traffic; all the cars made me a wee bit uncomfortable! I promise I didn’t walk my bike that much – less than a block! I think I need to spend some more time doing yoga and riding a bike! Though, I would have to buy a bike first…
How did my bike shorts do? I can say with confidence, they saved the day! If I had not gone on my 2-hour quest for bike shorts, I would have been sore with the hour and would have had to bail out of my tour before it was over becoming too sore even sit on the bike! After 6 hours, even with my padded shorts, my lady parts were feeling it!
What was my pedal/motor ratio? I used the motor on my e-bike waaaay more than not! I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to have to pedal 100% of the time up and down those San Fran hills! Though, if you lived there and had the stamina to do it, you would end up with amazingly sculpted leg muscles! If you do a bike tour in San Fran, I would totally recommend that you try the e-bike tour.
something else to note if you do a bike tour in San Fran, you will likely really need to leverage the brakes. No joke. And if for some reason you don’t, you are a better woman than me! I would imagine Dylan’s Tours has to regularly replace those brakes! I cannot imagine I am the only tourist that has to ride the brakes going down all those hills!
Needless to say, the tour through San Fran, was the highlight of my trip. A fun adventure that managed to show me a teaser of a lot of the main tourist spots in the city! Marlin did an amazing job and I recommend Dylan’s Tours to at least 5 other people I met over the course of the rest of my trip … that is how much I loved it! If you ever find yourself in San Fran, I cannot recommend Dylan’s Tours enough. Check them out, you wont regret it!
Until next time,