Signs of the Times They Are A-Changing

September 3, 2018    9 miles

I had a hankering to ride more of the San Francisco Bay Trail, this time starting from the Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge and heading south by the bay to a park I’d not visited yet called Heron’s Head. When I got to the Presidio it was cold and foggy and windy, typical SF summer weather. It was not inspiring. I expect sunshine and gentle zephyrs when I pedal around my happy place along the water. And there were the crowds. It was Labor Day, a major US holiday that marks the end of summer. I expect no crowds when I visit my happy place; do you? I decided against Heron’s Head because the crowds would not improve along my route, which goes through major tourist areas. I briefly considered going back home where it was warmer if a bit smokier from the wildfires around the state. Then I thought, nah, let’s explore the Presidio some more. I always find something new here. So I ended up taking a 3-hour tour over nine miles. And the something new? A great reuse of one of the military remnants with my favorite sign of the day.

By the way, I managed to take lots of photos with signs and lots with my bike but nary a one with both bike and sign. Ah well.

Pokey always makes sure I take a photo of her for the Crissy Field and SF Skyline postcard shot. In the background are the roofs of old hangars. The greenery is the restored airfield from back in the ’10s and ’20s. Oh dear. That’s a hundred years ago now!
I like how these stairs no longer really go anywhere.
Just a nice old military building, very much of its time in the late 1800s – early 1900s. I grew up on AIr Force bases that had this kind of architecture so I’m kind of imprinted on it.
Aha! A bonafide secret passage that is not official. Reader, I rode it.

Did you know you can camp in San Francisco?

Cheapest accommodations in all of San Francisco.
I never remember it’s Rob Hill. I always think it’s Rob Roy and wonder why the Army would have named something after a rebel Scotsman.

So I’m thinking …. dangerous, yes …. anyone else wanna go in on a campsite next year? We can ride from wherever (I could do a nice long ride from home) and meet at Rob Hill.

This sign says “Wind Study in Progress Please.” You’re welcome. Not sure if a wide swath of eucalyptus trees were cut down or blew down years ago, but this is a very good spot for a wind study. It’s just above the campground.

I noticed on the map that there was a battery that I hadn’t heard of before, so I kinda bushwacked my way from the campground to the street it was on. At first I saw some of the remnants behind some chainlink fence. A playground overlooked that part of the battery, and some community garden plots. As I went further I along I came to something I’d not known about before.

My favorite sign of the day. Also, first prize for Best Reuse of an Old Army Battery.

The gate was open. Someone was in a construction trailer-type building working on a computer. He happened to look out the window. We waved at each other. I pedaled around a little, exploring.

The gate was open. I rolled in and made it past the guard house.
Great old militariness with big heavy doors. And look at that ring bolted into the concrete. Not to mention the decorative although genuine wine barrels. But trust me, the wine shop where Seaside Janet works is much nicer.
The circular areas in this spot marks where each of four mortars (as in fat cannons) were placed. There were eight of these batteries. Check out the story from the National Park Service: Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg.

I had no idea of the scale of these things, and how big those mortars must have been. They could shoot a distance of eight miles. However, I am totally on board with using the magazines as wine storage. What a great idea.

There are several trails for bikes that are off-road. Makes for a nice change and makes you feel like you could take on the Great Divide route.

There were a few paths that were not on a road and they were just lovely.
The Presidio has several Andy Goldsworthy sculptures. I like his stuff. This one is called Spire and it’s made of salvaged Monterey cypress trunks from the immediate area. Really interesting how a sculpture can tilt the landscape like that.

I like coming upon art when I ride. “Spire” is something I look for whenever I’m in the Presidio. It also means that you’re close to the Presidio Golf Course clubhouse which has restrooms.

The fog cleared a little and the day got less gray. Still chilly but comfortable.

Aha! Found another secret passage that took me through a very scenic [sic] area.
I found myself at the main post and noodled around there a while.

Riding along the back of Officers Row on the Main Post. You can see adobe walls from the original Presidio. Not sure if they’re original or rebuilt.
This building used to be the Burger King with the Million Dollar View. When it was still an Army base, I came here a few times to get something to eat but mostly to just drink in the view. Alcatraz can be seen through the bottom of the window. The Golden Gate Bridge is to my left. And all the bay and the SF skyline and oh my it was great. Now you can rent the space for events.
More of the Million Dollar View.

I made my way back down to the water and rode through the crowds. As I rolled up to the back of my car I encountered a little boy who was just getting out of his car with his mother and some friends. I let out a little whoop to congratulate myself. He like that. He also liked the trike. As I got myself ready to reload he explored the bike and the bell and the pedals. We had quite the conversation about all of them. Mom said they would be bringing their bikes next time.

The Three Hour Tour

tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride my trike I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride it where I like (And I like to ride my bicycle too)

6 response to "Signs of the Times They Are A-Changing"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: September 9, 2018

    You may not have ridding very many miles, but you sure did see a lot in your three hours of cycling! Those are often the kind of rides I like as well. Thanks for sharing all the interesting things you saw on your adventure. I enjoyed it all.

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: September 10, 2018

      Yes, the rides when I’m poking around and learning new things and seeing new things despite the low miles are some of the best rides. Glad you enjoyed.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: September 10, 2018

    Interesting ride and in a beautiful area, Thanks for an enjoyable and informative tour.

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: September 10, 2018

      you’re welcome and glad you enjoyed it. Always an interesting place to ride.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: September 14, 2018

    Love the stairs to nowhere! And camping for 125 bucks a night!?!

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