My San Francisco cycling adventure | RecordCourier.com

My San Francisco cycling adventure

Record Courier Staff Reports

Scott and I took our first trip with our infant son Samuel the weekend of Sept. 11-12. We, along with Ranchos residents Scott, Lorna and Calvin Doerr, and Marty and Kelly Momsen, traveled to San Francisco to watch the T-Mobile International bike race.

Formerly known as the San Francisco Grand Prix, the race attracts some of the best cyclists in the world. The women’s course runs 52 miles; the men’s course is 108.

The weather was overcast and cool as we ventured out to Taylor Street, which has an agonizing grade of approximately 17 percent. We walked about halfway up to watch the cyclists climb this bear of a hill. It’s exciting to be that close to the action with riders whizzing by and the crowd going crazy.

Then we walked down to the Embarcadero to see the men finish. Along with about 500,000 other spectators, we watched Canadian Charles Dionne take the win. Fred Rodriguez finished second and George Hincapie took third. Nicole Cooke, Tina Mayolo-Pic and Modesta Vzesniauskaite won the women’s race, respectively.

Highlights of the trip included photographing and talking to the famous bicycle commentator, Phil Liggett, getting about 15 feet away from U.S. Postal cyclist George Hincapie after the race, and taking Sam on his first cable car ride.

Scott and I enjoy riding bikes and look forward to introducing Sam to the sport.

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However, the issue of bicycle safety does raise some concerns.

According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 500,000 people are treated in emergency departments for bicycle-related injuries each year, and more than 700 people die as a result of these injuries.

There are basic things a rider can do to help avoid a trip to the emergency room. Ride responsibly. Wear a helmet that fits properly. Always ride along the right side of the road with the flow of traffic. Obey all traffic laws which includes stopping at all stop signs and red lights. Be on the watch for other cyclists and vehicles on the road. Wear bright clothing to make yourself more visible. Use a headlight and wear reflective clothing when riding at night.

We’re fortunate to live in an area where there is some consideration given for cyclists on the road.

The new bike/jogging lane along Bluerock Road is a great start as streets with bike lanes are much safer for cyclists. It would be great to see more of these lanes put along the roads in the Ranchos.

If you’re looking for something different to do next weekend, why not stop by the Tillman Center? The Ranchos Volunteer Fire Department is hosting its second annual Beer Fest there on Oct. 2 from noon to 4 p.m.

Make a $10 donation, support our hardworking volunteers, and join in on the fun.

— Amy Roby can be reached RanchosRoundup@hotmail.com.