Saturday Night Hillside Special

I was long overdue for a work-related trip…

After packing my bags and my bike into a box, I boarded a plane for one of my favorite cycling destination cities in the US: San Francisco. Let’s backtrack a bit first though. In SF, it’s essential to stay with friends, if you have any that live there. Luckily, I have a few and one couple has been my go-to host home in recent trips: Erik and Sofia from the Great Escape.

When I asked Erik if I could crash with him while I was in town, he obliged and then invited me on a impromptu camping trip the Saturday I arrived into town. My flight got in late, so as I was packing my bike, I loaded my Porcelain Rocket bags with the gear I’d need for a sub-24 hour jaunt into some Marin hills.


Of course my flight was delayed, which put us (@Hellhommus, @DylanBuffington and @OlGrumpy) barely making it over the bridge in time for the sundown cutoff. Our plan was to try to make it to a campsite, awake just before the sunrise and head to a spot in the Headlands for sunrise coffee before taking the trails back to the city.


For dinner, we kept it simple and bought burritos. I packed my coffee gear and we had some fruit for breakfast. After realizing we didn’t have as much time as initially thought, we ditched the plans to camp, stashed our bikes and ourselves in some bushes before setting our alarms to go off before sunrise. Plans change, be creative when they do.


For those of you unfamiliar with the area, the mornings are socked in by the marine layer, so your nice and pleasant spot on the ground, along with your bike, your sleeping bag and anything else that wasn’t covered is usually quite damp in the morning with dew.


As we packed our wet pads, bags and clothes back onto our bikes and made the trek to an old WWII bunker lookout to make coffee, the sun poked its head over the hilltops, cooking off the fog and awakening the winds.


We slung our wet gear up on the walls of the bunker, drank coffee, ate breakfast, encouraged the masses of trail runners that would pass by and awaited for the morning light to kiss the trails enough before bombing back down the many bits of 1-track peeling to the coast.


In just under 12 hours, we were right back where we started, before most of the city would awaken to their hangovers and convene upon the local coffee shops…