Legendary Rides: The Inner to Outer Sunset and Back Again
A shorty, from back in the day. When we lived in the Inner Sunset in San Francisco and I started writing, I had no clue. I thought I could write all day long.
At noon, to clear the cobwebs, I‘d hop on my bike. This was before the advent of carbon fiber. I had a Merlin titanium, at the time the finest material that remainium.
Off I’d tilt down 9th to Judah and into Golden Gate Park. The beauty of the ride was very few traffic lights for a city. Once in the park, it’s three verdant non-stop miles to the Pacific Ocean.
Once at the ocean, take a left. The Great Highway used to be the Not-So-Great Highway, at least for cyclists. Then they installed a bicycle and pedestrian path right alongside. It’s raised a bit so you can pedal while taking in the vista of beach and breakers, with the wind usually at your back in this direction.
I’d always circle back to Taraval. Less crowded than Sloat. Also, shortly after crossing 19th Avenue is Guerra Brothers, makers of the greatest deli sandwich in the world. Shrimp salad on a Semifreddi’s seeded baguette. I’m salivating now as I type this, even though I’ve since developed a pretty severe allergy to gluten.
I‘d stop in every day. So often that when I opened the door, all the Guerras behind the counter shouted in unison Roy! It was like the theme song from the old TV show Cheers, except this was a deli where everybody knew my name— both embarrassing and wonderful at the same time.
These days I ride a lot more but write a lot less. We live on the other side of the country. And nobody shouts out my name much anymore.