As I prepare to once again bike commute in the SF Bay Area I am faced with the same challenge as the last time around: I will be living on the east side of the hills and working on the west. People from the Bay Area will understand without explanation the semi-obstacle that the Oakland-Berkley hills present, for those who don't, I offer this:
Don't get me wrong - I LOVE riding in those hills and am eagerly awaiting rebuilding my climbing motor using them, but that riding is for the weekends and afternoons.
When I was there before I lived in Concord (the A point on the map) and worked in Alameda (the island to the west of the B point). This time I'll be living in the same place and working in Oakland (the B point) for at least a few months, then I'll be moving into my own place. My commute to Alameda was crack of dawn early (4 AM) so I could leave work early enough to get on BART before the 4:30 PM "no bikes in commute time" rule kicked in. Sometimes I would ride over the hills instead of taking BART home, which gave me trips like this:Personally, there's no better way to end a long day spent over a lab bench (at that time) or in front of a computer (this time) than a 10-15 mile climb through semi-wild rolling hills. That, and the bragging rights that I earned when I was strong enough to ride the whole route home while my preparing-for-a-tour-I-couldn't-go-on buddies couldn't do it.
I will get back to that, but initially I won't be taking my bike all the way. The new office is right next to the BART station, so I would be lugging my bike on the train just to carry it into the office.
But those hills are calling loud enough that I can hear them all the way in Baltimore...