It's been decades since I've ridden a bike in a skirt. What was decorously modest when I measured and hemmed it to skim just above the knee was guaranteed to make me spend the festivities yanking it down countless times. Yes, I snagged this in the hallway before I left, because I knew I was not going to have enough hands to attempt to take pictures this trip.
On the way out of Alameda, I got an "I LOVE YOUR RIDE" from a young woman sitting in front of her house with one of those Spuds McKenzie red and white classic English Bull Terriers and shouted back "I LOVE YOUR DOG!"
There was clearly a Giants' game going on at AT&T park judging from the hats and tees on the train. It was my first time attempting a bike trip into the city. For reasons only known to the BART system and their designers, if you want to use the elevator to the street in the Embarcadero station, you have to go out the turnstile, then go back INSIDE through the turnstile to get to the elevator. Bad design, bad, BAD design. The only plus was that the station agent who helped me was extremely kind about it.
Wended my way around the corner to Justin Herman Plaza to meet up with the rest of the group. Final count was maybe a dozen people, but apparently lack of planning and last-minute announcements of rides is traditional. We stood around admiring each other's bikes/outfits (both all over the map ranging from vintage to cushy Dutch bikes, two bamboo bikes and a fixie. BTW, the hipster take on tweed is to throw a men's vest over your tee shirt, roll your pants to below your knees and go.)
Introductions over, the guy running things announced we'd head up Market to Geary, take a lap or two around Union Square ("People really get into it!" he said), then head over to the Mission District where they were doing Sunday Streets with several blocks closed to traffic. Those who know SF know that the Powell Street side of Union Square is uphill. Compounding matters were rough pavement, road construction barriers and oblivous pedestrians getting their Sunday morning tourism on. So picture me in a very, very short skirt, trying to stop, start and get up the Powell Street side of the square while debating whether it's even worth dealing with the gear shifters on a short block. If anyone was getting into it, I was too busy navigating to notice.
We made it unscathed across Market Street in a big, tweedy clump of bikes, then headed west on Mission Street for a bit. The planned stop for drinks/lunch turned out to be at a bar that was closed on Sundays, so we backtracked a few blocks to another place. I think it was called the Sycamore, doubt I'd ever find it again. I had a mimosa and three huge glasses of water for lunch - I'd made myself a good, big breakfast this morning and really wasn't hungry.
And then we hit the Sunday Streets and I was Not A Happy Biker. See that? That's nowhere near what we hit on Valencia Street. I spent most of the rest of the route riding at slower-than-walking-speeds trying (a) not to lose the rest of the group and (b) trying not to run down the oblivious. Sorry, that's not fun. Particularly when I got rammed by a toddler on something with training wheels who shot into me at right angles out of nowhere. Wasn't going fast enough for it to be a problem, but it was a near thing.
Total route was less than 5 miles one way and ended with Yet Another Divey Bar, so Gary and I rode back to the 24th and Mission BART together, he headed south to the Peninsula and I came back across the East Bay.
I did meet some nice enough folks, but I don't know if I'll do it again.