Sunday, September 12, 2010

San Francisco II: More great folk from a common spoke

Folders not forgotten: Robert van der Plas of Cyclepublishing.com shows off his latest book: Bicycle Technology, which, unlike many bicycle books, has a decent section on folding bikes. Spot the Friday! 
Another people-packed day in San Francisco.

Working backwards,  I had dinner with Robert van der Plas of cyclepublishing.com, a small but earnest  publisher of informational and educational bicycle titles. I was impressed to see one of his two new books, "Bicycle Technology", include a certain small, strange little bike that I ride ...


The other book, about the black cyclist Major Taylor, brought back memories of one of my first events at Bike Friday way back in 2002: presenting to the Kids of B.I.K.E. group for which Major Taylor is the father figure:
http://www.galfromdownunder.com/kidsofbike/kidsofbikestory.html

Dan Kaljian, Paul Skilbeck and I had dinner with Robert in his neck of the woods "9th and Irving", south of Golden Gate Park. I could not believe the quirky weather conditions for which this pocket of San Francisco is infamous - misty, foggy, boggy weather!


I kid you not, it was like getting off the bus in the middle of a London fog. "It's perfect," said Robert. "Can't stand all that bright sun." Here's a shot of the area from the Golden Gate Park De Young and Natural History museums. Apparently it's due to a lump of hill called Twin Peaks. Where's that bulldozer?


So to bahn mi sandwiches: I was invited to zip across to Berkeley to join Gerd and Susan Rosenblatt - with whom I rode Route 66 in 2006 - for a highly rated Bahn Mi Vietnamese sandwich in the otherwise unremarkable Peppermint stripmall in El Cerrito:


Gerd had read about them in a New York Times article about sandwiches and googled for a recommended purveyor on the west coast. Below you can see the uplifting effect it had on us - bundle us in a photo booth and we'd be impossible!

L to R: Dan Kaljian, Susan Rosenblatt, Lye Kok, Me, Gerd Rosenblatt.  Gerd, a double-century kinda guy in his mid-seventies, is recovering from "a silly fall" but hopes to be back on the bike soon ...
What Bahn mi looks like.  Super thin and crispy French-Viet baguette, with some of the fluffy bread removed and then piled with vegetables, marinated meats, sauces and mayonnaises - sweet, salty, crunchy and soft all at the same time. It's the pickled daikon radish, carrot and cilantro that really makes it. Oh, and you can't eat Vietnamese without including some classic Vietnamese rice paper rolls:


A subsequent stroll along the Richmond waterfront reveals this history of female wartime workers - Rosie the Riveter is the heroine figure.



I was all set to bike to Berkeley using John Chamberlain's 16 lb Dahon in conjunction with the Muni/Bart, but Bike Friday customer Dan Kaljian insisted on taxiing me around in his Smart Car - yes, that IS a Hawaiian lei he's sporting!


The morning started out with my host Paul Skilbeck heading out for a spin on his impossibly light 16 lb Specialized bike. But does it fold? I'll see you at the other end of Muni!


Tomorrow... my penultimate day in SF, with a ride to Rodeo Beach over the GG bridge, with however shows up ...

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2 comments:

Jym said...

=v= Twin Peaks doesn't actually cause the fog; actually the peaks just divert the fog's easterly flow so that the neighborhoods on the other side are sunnier.

My grand scheme is to plant a redwood forest somewhere further west, which will absorb the fog and thrive in it. Of course, my other grand scheme is to introduce koala bears into the eucalyptus groves of Golden Gate Park, so there are some people who are inclined not to take me seriously.

Lynette Chiang said...

Koalas can be pretty vicious despite their cute noses, beware! And the fog doesn't seem to have affected SF's real estate prices one iota....