Friday, July 10, 2020

Bay Area 2 Bridges FKT

Well, that was a fun run!  Kip had mentioned a new Bay Area FKT that crossed the Golden Gate Bridge plus the new pedestrian route on the Richmond Bridge.  It has a nice setup in that it starts and ends at BART stations, so it should be super easy to access even though it's point-to-point.  And you can run it in either direction.

At the moment I'm trying to stay off public transport (no need to be risky unless I don't have any other choice) and John was already looking for a reason to spend some time wandering around San Francisco.  So he dropped me off in Richmond and we met back up in San Fran in the afternoon.

I carried snacks but only enough water for ~1/3 of the distance, planning to stop at stores along the way to resupply.  It turned out that all the water fountains I checked were turned on, so I didn't have to veer off-route at all nor waste time standing in line at Trader Joe's (one of these days I'll work Trader Joe's into an FKT; I don't believe I'm managed that yet).  Not that it HAD to be TJ's, but there was one in the perfect spot so I almost did it anyway...

Anyhoo, here's us at the drop-off spot at the BART station in Richmond:

John's view of things:

Ready to run:

I'm pretty sure this BART station is the one I visited to access the north end of the East Bay Skyline Trail for that FKT.  Good memories of that run.  This would be the theme of the day - seeing things that evoked good memories.

Starting out through Richmond, heading west on Cutting.  These first several miles are nothing special (compared to the rest of the run, which I really enjoyed) but also nothing to complain about.  Just some running along on sidewalks:

There's a Rosie the Riveter park somewhere south of here (didn't know that!); I'd like to come back to see that someday.

It seems like there's water over there?  I couldn't tell if it was a dry dock or a harbor, but based on the map I'm now guessing harbor:

The cute little town of Point Richmond:

It seemed from my research that the previous FKT runners had taken the highway access road here, and it didn't look great on Google Streetview.  I was all set to continue west on Tewksbury to find the bike path start, but happily the current situation is much improved.  The bike path is accessible at Castro St, excellent!

The paved trail along the access road, thank you so much:

The geese are flying in the other direction - what do they know that I don't?

Way off in the hazy distance I could just make out the Golden Gate Bridge.  Not easy to see in this picture.  And from the GGB later I most definitely did not see the Richmond Bridge, but also didn't try that hard.

The access point to the Richmond Bridge:

And... here we go!  It's a long way across with loud traffic alongside, but an excellent bike path that had hardly any people on it (it was a Tuesday morning, after all).  Mount Tam off in the distance:

Hey, a Bay Trail sign!  Always enjoy seeing those:

After the slight dip in the middle of the bridge, coming down the other side finally, with a view of San Quentin on the shoreline:

There was a divergence in the previous routes at this point, with a couple guys running along I-580 between Sir Francis Drake and Main Street.  Blair instead continued on Francisco Blvd and cut over on a ramp toward SFD, which looked like the best option on Streetview.  So I decided to try that, going straight across Main Street:

That worked really well.  There's even a sidewalk now on Francisco Blvd.  Here's the entrance to the ramp, an actual marked bike path, bonus:

This particular week there is construction actually on that bike path, I assume to make it even better.  Happily there was a line of cones allowing for pedestrian passage (and the construction guys waved me through).  I'd suggest that this is definitely the best way to traverse from the bridge to Drake (or vice versa).

Side note that I had originally wondered why I couldn't take streets through to the south - oh right, there's a prison there.  OK then.

The bike lane/shoulder on Sir Francis Drake is plenty wide, and soon I was at Remillard Park.  Where there was a porta-potty!  Oh happy day.

Also a working water spigot by the parking lot, excellent.  Yep, no need to stop in at TJ's in Greenebrae, oh well, probably for the best.

What a marvelous sculpture, with Mount Tam in the background:

And another view of Tam; I kept checking out the skyline to see where I'd been for previous runs and races.  Here I'm getting on a bike path briefly to start working my way past the peninsula:

I think each of the 4 FKT runners to date have taken a slightly different route between Lakeside and Sausalito St.  I went for "most obvious" and decided not to cut through the school.

And then... the climb up Sausalito St.  It's quite a shift from the flat-ish running up to this point.  Kind of steep.  But not too terribly high.  A welcome change for me.

Oh there's the top, cool.  I ran down this dirt road on the other side:

I had no trouble finding the route past the swim club and onto another dirt path, but it's good to know what to look for:

One little zigzag, and there was the Sausalito Pathway.  Bike path for miles and miles, a few other runners and some walkers and cyclists... I saw at least one water fountain but didn't check its status.

Solar-covered parking, my favorite kind of parking:

No getting lost here...

The huge underpass under the 101:

One last look back at Mount Tam - see ya!

Uh oh, I might be here awhile.  I'm a huge berry hound and have been known to stop short, wade into a berry patch, and still be there as John treks on ahead without realizing he's lost me.  These blackberries were big, juicy, and delicious!  Too bad I have an FKT to finish today.

Um, I think I'll take my chances:

Go solar!

Downtown Sausalito is great!  Lots of little shops, a fountain or two, and this interesting statue:

And working water fountains!  Bonus.  I'd planned to drop in at the Golden Gate Market, but now I didn't need to.

I turned a corner and suddenly there was the Bay and a view of San Francisco, marvelous:

I'd like to come back here, wander around, try a few of the many, many coffee shops.  Sometime when I'm not on the clock.

Angel Island, site of an interesting adventure race:

I trekked up the hill along Alexander Ave, another not-too-busy street with a decent bike lane.  At the top - the entrance to Bridge #2.  I briefly stopped to try to figure out this sign but decided it must be OK to be on this side (good luck figuring it out on the fly if you're on a bike!):

And here's the bridge, yay!

Not a whole lot of people, I'll take it.

Getting closer to the finish...

Checking out my path down in the Presidio:

That was most excellent (and slightly windy).

There are a couple ways down to Crissy Field, and I decided to follow David's route because it brought back memories of a trail race we did once.  A more gentle descent (instead of stairs) might be more optimal.  But I got this nice view, so I was happy:

The aforementioned stairs:

And another great view, awesome:

Through Crissy Field, over to Marina Blvd...

Some iconic SF houses (not exactly the Painted Ladies but not far off):

Heading up the hill above Fort Mason, wait, why are there stones in the tree?  Curious.

Hey, there's John!  He was out on walkabout and caught a picture of me coming through the park - hi John!

One last picture of the bridge, and more solar, yay!

Quick shot of Alcatraz and memories of visiting:

Almost no one on the streets heading toward Embarcadero, wow, it sure is quiet around here.

Hello seal!  Very nice set of sculptures along here:

Glad I didn't have to climb up to Coit Tower for once:

Some kind of lighthouse-related sculpture?  Just a guess:

I counted down the piers, all the way to number 1, and then found the Ferry Building:

Turn right onto Market Street:

And find the first BART sign:

Quite the lovely day, interesting route, and a fun run.  Thank you David for setting this up!

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