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San Francisco, Day 2: Kinky Coffee (12/01)

Our first mission of the morning was to visit EagleRider and enquire about hiring a motorbike later in the week. As we strolled down 8th Street, pausing for a photo opportunity at the junction with Howard Street, we passed Wicked Grounds, which advertises itself as a cafe and kink boutique, just sitting there in a neighbourhood otherwise dominated by car dealers and workshops.

All right then, San Francisco.

Concluding that nothing particularly sinister could be going on at half past ten in the morning, we cautiously entered. My latte and Everything Cookie were to die for, although the barista either forgot my request for the former (a sign on the counter read 'All drinks can be served in a dog bowl') or they suspected that I wasn't taking things entirely seriously.

We moved on to the hire shop, sat on some bikes, and selected a Harley-Davidson for later in the week, at Howard's insistence that we could ride nothing else in California. I asked if there was anything we, as foreigners, needed to know about driving in the States:

"Well, over here we have this thing called 'road rage'..."

I told him that I ride in central London, where at least one person shouts or hoots at me every single day.

"Oh. No, it's not like that," we were assured.

The rest of the day was devoted to tourism: we took a cable car along Market Street to Fisherman's Wharf, where we ate shrimp and chips. We toured the submarine USS Pampanito, and learned that American submarines are named after fish, their number including the USS Wahoo. After shopping for socks and beer at Pier 39, we watched sleepy, yawping sealions in the dusk for a while before heading home.

panorama

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My latte and Everything Cookie were to die for, although the barista either forgot my request for the former (a sign on the counter read 'All drinks can be served in a dog bowl') or they suspected that I wasn't taking things entirely seriously.

Pity, that would've been neat! (Not that drinking a latte out of a dog bowl may have been particularly practical, but hey — life's all about fun, not efficiency, right?)

"Well, over here we have this thing called 'road rage'..."

I told him that I ride in central London, where at least one person shouts or hoots at me every single day.

"Oh. No, it's not like that," we were assured.


What is it like, then?
I did warn the barista that I'd make a mess with a bowl, and was told I'd get a mat. But in the end only a mug turned up, alas!

The only thing anywhere near road rage I saw all week was a cyclist shouting to a car driver "Oh, you're turning right? Awesome!"
A bowl and a mat, that would've been perfect. ^^
Love SF. We haven't been there since like '97. That's the only part of the Pacific Coast I've seen, too, except for Vancouver (which is also gorgeous).
*adds Vancouver to the ever increasing List*

I visited SF in 2003 and it made a big impression; I was really happy to go back and find I still felt the same way.
Riding down to Big Sur needs to go on your list...actually a bit farther even, down into the Ventana Wilderness. Unreal.
Ooh, that sounds amazing! Thanks.
It's interesting seeing the bay area through the eyes of a visitor. So many of the things I've grown to despise seem so quaint and cute in that light.

The fish naming convention for US fleet subs has, sadly, long since been supplanted by other schemes. I have a fondness for the Gato-class fleet subs and their successors. The Pampanito is a well-kept, well-loved example that, until recently, was operational. I seem to recall that she's no longer considered seaworthy, but I could be misremembering.

I would have recommended a BMW for California riding, myself, even though I've always been a Honda sort of fox. I hope the riding goes well—I look forward to updates on that. Also, I didn't know you rode! ^.^

Myself I'm back in Alaska, getting ready for an adventure—going up with a bunch of crusty rural Alaskans to a hockey tournament in the Yukon. (It's forecast to be -35C!)

Isn't life grand?

Your friend,
-Fox
Is that why you're on a boat? Cool!

Are you a biker too? Both partner and I ride Hondas at home (I have the scooter version of the NC700, the Integra), but we decided it had to be a BIG AMERICAN BIKE this trip. Updates soon :)