Last weekend, I took the plunge and bought a road bike to ease my transportation woes in San Francisco. Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the Muni/BART train systems in this city but often I crave a faster, sunnier way to get around. I want to feel the wind in my hair, not someone else's sneezes.
So my friend Lizzy and I got outfitted at Valencia Cyclery (a locally-owned San Francisco institution). They had us try multiple styles and sizes based on our needs and ultimately led us to the right bike within our price range. We test-rode half a dozen bikes around the Mission and I finally decided on a Specialized bike, which is light enough to carry up the stairs to my apartment with one hand. We also got hooked up with helmets, locks (a must in this city) and the requisite bike bell.
Later in the week, a friend passed along a flier for the Disposable Film Festival - the perfect opportunity for our inaugural ride. The Disposable Film Festival is a "bike-in" movie screening of up-and-coming artists sponsored by a few local Bay Area companies, including ZipCar and Bear Naked Granola. We departed Noe Valley at sunset and rode down the hill, through the Mission and over to Civic Center, where we coasted into the parking lot that held the screening. Much to my delight, my food cart guys were there (Amouse Bouche, Curry Cart and Creme Brulet Cart) with a new addition -- the Popcorn Princess. Upon arrival, we checked our bikes at the free "bike valet" and headed into the Custom Lounge for drinks sponsored by SF Guardian. Coincidentally, May is "Bike Month" in San Francisco and the SF Guardian was releasing their annual bike issue that very night.
All in all, the films were short but moving and the food was incredible. I savored a full, 3-course meal from my cart guys, mingled with my new "biker friends" and then pedaled home to Noe Valley, tired, full and content.