Fitness + Outdoors
Deeply ingrained in modern surf culture is the desire to find the perfect wave. Somewhere out there in the world is the wave just right for you. At least that’s the story that the multi-billion dollar industry loves to promise in glossy surf magazines.
The problem is, as Ocean Beach resident and author Jaimal Yogis points out, that while “the search for the perfect wave” might be really fun for surfers, it’s not always good for the pristine coastlines where those elusive waves can be found.
Most local riders think of Marin as the ultimate road biking paradise—and in many ways it is. No one can argue that its gorgeous vistas, ocean views and perfect rolling hills make for world-class cycling. But with the Golden Gate Bridge bike lane closed through September, it’s tougher to reach that paradise, especially if you don’t have a car. So with the help of the folks at Mash Transit, the newly opened bike shop on 14th Street, I pulled together four great rides that that will keep you off the bridge and on your saddle.
“The Bay Area is one of the prime training grounds for elite athletes,” Kate Ligler explained to me when I walked through the doors of VeloSF. Kate is a professional cyclist and the General Manager of the indoor cycling-based performance center in San Francisco. “The weather and terrain make it an incredible place to develop as an athlete.”
Which is ironic, because one of the most efficient and grueling bike workouts that you can get around here is actually indoors at VeloSF, Bay Area weather and hills be damned.
The more I hear about bike accidents the more excited I am about stylish bike safety. Wearing a Bern helmet and bike lights are not enough. And with Burning Man less than a month away, channel your inner playa baby with some tricked out bike accessories that help ward away potential road damage.
I’m a huge believer in milkshakes. I also love burritos. And hamburgers. Oh, and pizza. So I am far from a likely candidate to tackle a three-day cleanse, composed entirely of raw, living juice made by Juice To You, but what the hell. You only live once.
I trained all summer for an Ironman, and Charlie Gulick (one of the founders of Juice To You, who I met at the dog park) kept telling me that a great way to celebrate the completion of the event would be with a cleanse. I had so carefully maintained my external, muscular health, and now it was time to take care of my insides.
July through October is prime whale watching season here. It's when the Humpbacks and Blue Whales spend time fattening up on krill off of the coast of Northern California before heading back down to Baja to breed. A trip to the Farallon Islands, 27 miles west of San Francisco, can be one of the best ways to get up close to these giants of the sea.
You can get out to the Farallones on tours organized by SF Bay Whale Watching, which depart early in the morning from Fort Mason (weather permitting). The two hour haul to the Farallons is a bit harrowing, which is to say strong stomachs, sea legs (and potentially Dramamine) are required.
For this week's Scenes of the City we got up early (4:30 am) on Sunday morning and made our way down to the Embarcadero to capture the SF Marathon.
Two runners take a moment to stretch and appreciate the early morning scenery.
Elite runner and Olympic qualifier Michael Wardian crosses the finish line in about 2 1/2 hours to win the overall marathon.
There are plenty of places in the Bay Area where you can buy a surfboard. And almost as many that offer customized boards, where you meet with the shaper and discuss the specific dimensions of a board you’d like. But Sunset Shapers, located in the Outer Sunset, is a totally unique surf shop, because you can shape your own board there.
Feeling indoorsy? Table tennis is just as competitive as the full-court version and inspires hundreds of tournaments held all over the globe. In North Beach, players 5- to 75-years-old practice at AMDT Table Tennis Training Center (1968 Powell St. at Lombard), which offers coaching Monday–Friday. The SF Table Tennis Club plays open-challenge games on five tables Monday and Friday 7:30–11 p.m. and on Saturday 1:30–5 p.m at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House (953 DeHaro St. at Southern Heights). Don’t be surprised if you get crushed by someone your grandfather’s age.