This was a big day for us; we were going to do something we never really do: exercise. One of the first activities Alex suggested for our trip was going on a bike tour across the Golden Gate Bridge. This made me nervous for a couple of reasons. 1) I don't like heights and the Golden Gate Bridge looks like this:
2) We don't bike. I haven't been on a bike in years. This is not to say that I was afraid I had forgotten how, the statement "its like riding a bike" didn't come from nowhere. But I knew I would not be good at it. In addition to being tall that bridge is also long. I had a feeling this was going to prove to be a challenge for me stamina-wise. In addition the idea of a tour, where we were biking with other people made that whole bit worse. The idea that I might be out of breath, trying to keep up only to get to the rest spot to find a bunch of grumpy in shape people who were already bored of waiting for me by the time I got there never mind letting me catch my breath before we all moved on to the next part where I would quickly fall behind once again. I imagined them saying things like "Oh the Jardines are behind again, guess we will have to wait some more" in exasperated tones.
3) These tours are pricey, and the idea of doing something that made me nervous was one thing, but spending a bunch of money on it was adding insult to injury.
But it was the one thing Alex really really really wanted to do. Now my cousin had been to San Francisco with his wife, and when he heard we were going the one bit of advice he gave me was if you bike over the Golden Gate Bridge take a tour. They had gone on their own and gotten very lost. They almost didn't make it in time to catch the ferry that takes you back to the city. Now my lack of physical fitness is second only to my complete and utter lack of a sense of direction. So I knew if a normal person got lost, I pretty much had no chance of getting there. So I was ready to listen to his advice, and spring for the tour, mostly.
So Alex and I walked down to the water a bit after breakfast, and walked up to the first bike rental booth we saw. The young gentleman there was extremely friendly. He said his company did not offer tours, but that it was a very easy route to follow, and he would give us a map and walk us through it before we left. We were convinced. After all, I thought, I had Alex with me, and his sense of direction is actually very good. We also figured we had our iPhones, and in an emergency we could turn on roaming data and use the gps to find out way. I honestly don't know how I ever successfully arrived anywhere before turn by turn directions. So off we went.
It was a long ride, and getting up to the bridge was super difficult. I wimped out and walked my bike a few times going up those hills. But it was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. And though the bridge was very tall, it didn't seem as scary as I thought it would. We made it to Sausalito, walked around for a while, and then caught the ferry back to San Francisco with time to spare. In the end this was my favourite day of the trip.