Peak of the Month: Rising Above It All on Twin Peaks

14 Aug

If you draw a big X spanning the four corners of San Francisco, at the crossing point would be a pair of peaks rising above all others, a remarkable distinction in a city famously known for its hills. But unlike Mt Tamalpais to the North and Mt Diablo to the East, these Twin Peaks fail to rise above 1000 feet of elevation. Despite their modest height, conquering these twin peaks was still a challenge that we could not resist.

The challenge was its urban setting, which meant our 52 mile route included over 10 miles on a gritty shoulder of a fast four lane highway, then navigating across an unfamiliar city in hopes of avoiding aggressive drivers. We’re suburban roadies, not hipsters on fixies, so we were a little out of our comfort zone. We adapted quickly.

At least the weather cooperated. An exceptionally hot day down in Silicon Valley translated into pleasant temperatures and minimal fog on the ocean-exposed ridge leading to the western side of the city. Developers named this district the Sunset despite the fact that sunsets are obscured by fog more days than not.

The payoff for our efforts was the clear view of the complete 47 square miles that make up San Francisco city and county, the ocean and bay that surround it, and even Mt Diablo and Mt Tam off in the distance. And for once, it wasn’t cold and windy at the top so we could relax and take in the view of a beautifully unique city.

How comfortable are you riding on big city streets? On the shoulder of fast busy highways? When have you ridden out of your comfort zone? Was it harder or easier than expected?

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Posted by on August 14, 2012 in Backroads


5 responses to “Peak of the Month: Rising Above It All on Twin Peaks

  1. Ken

    August 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Looks like you had a great ride with great views at the end of it….. and a nice train to take the strain on the way home…. must have been a perfect day? (Apart from the Iphone 😦 )

    • ladyfleur

      August 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Yes, Ken, it was close to a perfect day. Well, except for Cindy getting caught in the streetcar tracks in the West Portal district trying to avoid a pedestrian. She was going slow, so it wasn’t too bad.

  2. Richard Masoner (@cyclelicious)

    August 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    A San Francisco hillclimb — I would totally do that ride.

    • ladyfleur

      August 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      I was an unusual and fun climb to add to the mix, and it was a lot easier than Mt Hamilton which is on the to-do list and Mt Um which is on the maybe list.

      But the ride I really want to do in San Francisco is the 49 Mile Drive ride. I did it with a SFBC group about 8 years ago and it was fun, except the group was moving too slow. Too much weed and chit chat at the regroups. At the pace they were going we wouldn’t have finished until late that night. I joined a splinter group and we finished the ride at a faster pace but skipped the Lake Merced loop since it was January and it was getting dark.


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