Life, San Francisco

Astor’s First Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a gigantic group bicycle ride that happens once a month, in 300+ cities worldwide. I’d seen the Mass in New Haven, but it’s nothing compared to San Francisco. It figures-this is where it was founded in 1992- going on 20 years.

Last month my coworker invited me to ride along, and I had a great time. At first I was nervous about it, as a friend of a friend was injured riding in CM years ago. Also, as a bystander, just watching the Mass go by is nerve wracking! And Critical Mass riders have a bit of a  reputation for being “Massholes.” All of these fears vanished once the ride began (er except for the Masshole part… keep reading…)

I decided that I had so much fun last time that I should go back again this month, this time with Ryan. By mid day of the ride my friend Tristan decided to join, and by 5pm, Astor was coming!

Everybody met up by the Ferry building and lounged around to techno music while the the Nestle Quik Rabbit did a little dance. Tourists were excited.

Time passed, more people showed up. Oh, I should mention that there were a number of naked riders (“Critical Ass”). I’ve tried not to include any photos of them, so photos are limited… hehehe

Soon it was time to go. Astor got set up in her milk crate and net…

And we were off! We went all over the place- downtown, SOMA, the Mission (the above picture is near my house), Chinatown, Civic Center… It was a hot mess. There were bikes that blew bubbles, bikes that played music, and bikes with dogs in them. Police on motorcycles escorted us. We biked through tunnels screaming and laughing. Some people drank. I kept getting dangerously close to naked riders. It was surreal. Through it all, Astor just chilled out. Amazing.

Around 30 minutes into the ride the Critical Mass people decided to be assholes and block traffic at Mission and Van Ness. Yikes.

Then we took off again.

Around Civic Center the Mass took another break. Astor was getting ansty, so we decided to stop off and do dinner instead.

Fun times, and I’m so proud of Astor for being an instant bicycle dog!

Health, Life

I Went to Sausalito and Didn’t Even Eat the Cookie

If you think physical activity and social interactions are key components of happiness, then by all means this weekend was a success for me. I took Friday off again, so I did another yoga double. It was fine, but afterwards I was toast. Saturday was beautiful, so Ryan and I rode to Ocean Beach, then made it back in time for yoga (en espanol!), followed by a blow-out housewarming party. Sunday we had planned to do a bike ride with my friend Tristan, and even though the skies were gloomy, we set out for Sausalito. The summary, in crappy phone pics:


Having a short break in the Presidio. Things were pretty smooth up to the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time we crossed over, it started getting miserable. Rainy, cold, windy, yuk! We huddled under the trees with the wet tourists, ate some fruit leather, then vowed to plow on.


I was happy that Sausalito pulled out all the stops, including providing me with my own street! Yes, that is a bike seat in my hand. Yes, I’m paranoid about bike theft!


Things were pretty dead, what with the tourist-unfriendly weather. We decided to duck into a bar and wait out the next ferry with irish coffees. There was a horrible waitress and a cantankerous jazz band in the bar, but all in all it was a great way to pass an afternoon.


On the way back we had to stop for burgers.


Because hello, it has a rotating grill thing! Look at it! Look at it! In the words of Alexis K. Tylor “It’s on fire!”


Things continued to be quiet.


Ferry ride back. Goodbye Sausalito!




We were still wet, but who can be upset with an awesome burger?


Also magical- there were gulls that basically kept circling the boat, then lagging behind, but never truly losing us. It’s like the boat had spirit animals.


Blahblahblah Alcatraz blahblahblah



The adventure didn’t end after we made it back to SF. Ryan fell over on Market St. and Tristan got half his bike stuck in a BART toll booth. By the time we made it to 16th St, it was raining harder than ever… Whew! What a day!


Going in Circles

On President’s Day Ryan and I biked around San Francisco. Literally! Here’s our route!

We were pooped by the time we made it to the Mission, but we decided to go to Bikram afterwards anyways.