Lunch Break! Since you are in SF it is likely flexible. Maybe you like yo-self a little noon workout... Fancy an indoor stationary bike ride with a group of sweaty dentists? At the risk of hurting your fillings a little bit...
Suggestion alert! Trade that silly class for a hilly pass! Introducing an awesome, 45 - 60 minute ride within city limits.
The Lands End Pass
Distance: 10 Miles
Challenge: 3 major hills
Reward: What goes up must come down
What to Bring: Your lunch
If you rode the Marin Headlands Loop you know the beginning of this drill. Meet your fellow lunch riders in Golden Gate Park and head out on 8th Avenue. Up through the Presidio on 15th you will hit the first of your three major hills. You are two miles in and hopefully warm by now. Crank up the intensity as this is a short ride. Presidio summit? Nice! Head west to the ocean enjoying the long rolling down slope.
What goes up must come down, right? For every high there is a low? Depending on your habits you probably have not been this low in awhile. Take a hard left onto Lincoln and take the full lane. Try not to touch your brakes or lose your lunch (you brought it with) and enjoy the rush down to Baker Beach. You will easily keep up with traffic and a mile will fly by in a beautiful blur.
Downhill bliss will not last forever and the next uphill starts quickly as you enter Seacliff. It is not too intense to start off and maybe time will slip by as you day dream about living in one of the many mansions overlooking the bay. You will snap back to it when you hit Lands End as the grade increases and you look up at the snaking passage. Yikes... Instead, I recommend looking to your right because the view is spectacular! Watch ships break a massive wake under Golden Gate Bridge and make a comparison of their journey to your own. Some are wrapping up a 5,000+ mile journey from Japan, and you have only five miles to go! Perspective? Good. Cruise onward!
At the top of Lands End is the Legion of Honor, which marks the western start of the first ever coast-to-coast highway built in 1913. If that doesn't get you amped, perhaps the next downhill will. As you zigzag, keep an eye out for flying golf balls. Frank the Shank does not work Mondays and snuck in a few morning beers. He just bought a sleeve of $20 Pro V1s in the clubhouse and thinks that qualifies him to start using his 3 iron. I am sure you drive a hybrid Frank, why don't you try swinging one?
If you made it through unscathed, make a hard right at the stop sign on Clement. Your remaining hill starts immediately... blast forward on the final 15 blocks!
Your heart rate will already be high from the climb, but your pulse is going to max on the final descent. The journey reaches the peak of sweetdom as Clement opens up at Ocean Beach. Wait at the light until traffic subsides and then cut loose. I am a fan of man/woman yells; if you dig them too, lemme hear ya'll scream as you take the last slope. Hold on for dear life as you pass the Cliff House and spin towards sea level.
I am confident you survived! Enjoy your cool down through GG Park. Compared to what you just did it will seem very flat. I recommend the north side of the park so you can eat lunch with the grazing Bison. They know what's up!
Keep the rubber side down, SF.
Click here for a map of the route and take a look at some pictures from the journey.