Third week: biking to SF on the Super Safe Clown Show

published on October 26, 2011

This workweek was rather uneventful. I just worked very hard on pushing my project forward.

On Wednesday, I got a ride home by a colleague (travel time of 10 minutes instead of ±55…). He gave me a ride home before. This time he brought his other car.
A casual Porsche.

So I mentioned the commute to and from Facebook by public transport. I used to take the bus1. It averages 55 minutes (doorstep to doorstep, so including walking).
Ever since moving in to my suite, now two weeks ago, I’d been taking the bus. That’s about 2 hours per day. Gone.
I hate wasting time. I hate it when a site takes 200 milliseconds longer to load than it should. Needless to say, I really hated this massive waste of time.

So, I was absolutely sick of it. And I was planning on getting a bike for weeks now, but if you leave the office between 20:00—21:00, it’s impossible to still go and get a bike.
So, on Friday I left at 19:00 and set out to get a bike. At last!
Since I most definitely want to return to my girlfriend in Belgium in one piece, I added not only the standard lights on the front and back, but also a green light in my front wheel and an orange light in my back wheel. So that cars would see me driving, because they haven’t heard of proper bike lanes or street lighting around here (the U.S. are very car-centric).

I baptized it “The Super Safe Clown Show” :)

My bike — The Super Safe Clown Show

On the bike to San Francisco

On Sunday, I visited San Francisco by bike. If there’s one thing that works well in California’s public transport system, it’s taking your bike on the train. There’s a bike carriage that always stops in the same spot, bikes with the same destination are stored in the same stack, there are no stairs to mount or descend with your bike. Great experience.

Arriving at the Mountain View Caltrain station, I noticed there was a farmer’s market going on — very similar to Belgian markets. Except that there was even music performance going on in this one, country music from what I can tell. It’s very reminiscent of Firefly’s soundtrack.

From the SF Caltrain station (4th & King street) — where there were Firefox banners by the way, I biked in what seemed to be the least densily built area.

San Francisco Caltrain station: Firefox banners!

Apparently, I’d chosen the right direction: I ended up in Mission Creek Park. The view I had from this park reminded me a lot of Copenhagen: kind of the same architecture and general atmosphere, but with a >10ºC warmer climate :)

View on San Francisco from Mission Creek Park

From there, I biked along the many piers in San Francisco, had the Legendary Burger (10 oz or a whopping 283.5 grams) for lunch2 at the Hard Rock Café in Pier 39. While eating this massive burger, there were the jolly jingles of the American Roots music by Dave Earl3.

Then, the biking continued towards the Golden Gate bridge. I biked into a Parisian breast cancer researcher whose first name was Élodie (she was here for a conference). She accompanied me while we were biking to the bridge — it was nice to speak French instead of English for a while :)

Me @ Golden Gate bridge

After arriving on the other side of the Golden Gate bridge, I also successfully attempted to climb the very steep hills there. There, I sat on a bench to read a book, with a great view on the bay and Alcatraz. This absolutely stunning photo is also from these hills:

Golden Gate bridge from Hendrik Point: a magnificent view

  1. Powered by the VTA↩︎

  2. Needless to say, this insane amount of meat made me skip dinner altogether. ↩︎

  3. You must check out his awesome website. If it goes offline, here’s a cached version↩︎


Wim Lamotte's picture
Wim Lamotte

Cool stories and great pics, Wim! Looking forward to your next posts, hopefully with some nice first results of your project…

Wim Leers's picture
Wim Leers

I hope so too, and I definitely will eventually, but it’s not easy to get results that wow the audience…

Etienne Leers's picture
Etienne Leers

Ik blijf echt gefacineerd door jouw fiets Wim !!!!