An active day of BODYPUMP, biking and Baker Beach

Some days I wish I was wearing a FitBit, or another tracking device to keep a tally of my physical activity.

Saturday was one of those days.  Here is the run-down of what I did:

  • Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class.
  • Walked more than 7 miles throughout hilly San Francisco:  2.8 miles round-trip to the gym; 3.8 miles round-trip to a bike shop; and 0.7 miles round-trip to dinner.
  • Rode a bike for more than 10 miles around town, against some challenging inclines and wind.

Group fitness, enjoying the outdoors, exploring San Francisco and dining out are some of my favorite things to do, and I was able to fit them all in this Saturday.

After I got home from teaching class at the Bay Club, Dave and I quickly turned around to head out for a biking adventure.  Sadly, we don’t own any bikes (we have nowhere to store them, and bikes are pretty expensive), so we had to rent for the day.  This was our second time renting bikes from Blazing Saddles (a total tourist trap), and we went to a new location near Fisherman’s Wharf to pick up said bikes, which was extremely busy and a bit of a cluster.  In fact, they even made us watch a four-minute video along with the rest of the patrons before suiting up and heading out.

Luckily, we quickly escaped the crowds once we got on our bikes.  We weren’t following the commonly suggested route and had our own plans in place for the day.

We set out past Fort Mason and Ghirardelli Square to Baker Beach on the west end of the City.  During our ride, we stopped to watch some of the America’s Cup practice runs taking place and got to see the boats “flying on water”.  Since we weren’t in the official America’s Cup Village listening to an announcer narrate the action, it was hard to tell what was happening, but it was still cool to see in person.  Those boats are incredibly huge and move at a fast pace, skimming on top of the water in the air.

After watching the action for a while, we continued on our biking adventure and began to climb serious uphill paths.  I typically take about one cycle/spin class per week in the gym, so I am accustomed to challenging biking in an indoor setting, but nothing is quite like a real uphill trek on a bike outside.  I was huffing, puffing and panting during the big ones.

There were a few places where the terrain was perfectly flat and we could leisurely pedal and look at our surroundings.  But there were other places where it was a sheer challenge to keep moving forward, especially when the wind was strong.

It took a little over an hour to get to Baker Beach on bike, which included a stop at Safeway to buy some picnic items and the stop to watch the America’s Cup.

To descend down into the Baker Beach state park area, the last 0.6 miles is a fast downhill path, which doesn’t have a dedicated bike lane, so you have to be very careful to stay to the side.  This was a fun way to cruise victoriously down to our destination, but it wasn’t quite so fun upon leaving.

Once we got to Baker Beach, we locked up our bikes and found a spot on the sand to chill.  It was pretty crowded with families and groups of friends hanging out, along with a lot of dogs, who are allowed on Baker Beach.  I only saw one crazy person swimming in a wet-suit, mostly everyone else was fully clothed (the air was chilly).  We dined on some hummus and delicious boxed salads, then laid back and relaxed for about an hour.

The sand at Baker Beach is much darker than the sand I am used to on Florida beaches, but it was still soft and nice on the toes.  I must say, the best part about being at Baker Beach was most definitely the view.  The Golden Gate Bridge to the right, the Marin Headlands to the front and a hill-side of homes to the left.

Although we chose to relax on the beach, there are also picnic places under tree cover and bathrooms for people to use at Baker Beach.  There were quite a few barbecues and gatherings taking place, and the parking lot was full.  We even saw a couple taking wedding pictures up on a vista point.  The bride came back down to her waiting car with sandy toes, lifted up her dress and said, “Great, now my feet are black.”  And they totally were.  Not a fun way to enter your wedding reception, but some great photos for the future.

We could have laid around on the beach for much longer, but knowing we had to ride and walk a substantial trip home, made us head out before the afternoon fog rolled in.

The ride back was much easier.   After the climb out of Baker Beach, the rest of the ride was pretty flat and enjoyable.  I was eager to see more residential areas on our route back, so we selected a different path and rode through the Presidio and Marina neighborhoods.

We dropped our bikes off and took a different route home by foot too, which included walking through the Nob Hill neighborhood, where we are moving in about a month (more details to come on that soon).

A full day of physical activity left us both feeling completely exhausted.  Once we got home and washed off the sweat, we sat on the couch pondering our immediate future.

As tired as we were, we were also in need of a carbo-load, so we brushed ourselves off and made it out for a quick stroll to a casual Italian dinner at a little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint near our apartment called Pazzia Caffe and Trattoria.  There, we dined on delicious bread, carpaccio, pizza and some house vino, reflecting on our day.  A quick stop to pick up my favorite late-night meal (carrot cake and vanilla ice cream from The Grove) concluded the activities.

Once the evening rolled around, I was actually quite glad I wasn’t wearing a FitBit or other device, because I wouldn’t want to log that meal down!  All in all, one excellent line-up for a Saturday in San Francisco.

Blazing Saddles
I wish we had our own bikes, but for now, we rent.
Bike riding
Yes, I totally took this picture while riding.  Check out Dave in the lead.
America's Cup
Team Oracle takes in some practice on the Bay.
Bike riding
Safety first my friends. A helmet is always a good idea.
Baker Beach
What a gorgeous day at Baker Beach.
Baker Beach
It sure feels good to put your toes in the sand.
Pazzia
Love a crowded little place like this for some Saturday night Italian.
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