Fitness + Outdoors
Love it or hate it, it’s Burning Man season, which means our fair city is about to be flooded with everything Playa-bound: the people, the fur, the rented RV’s. And while much of the Burners are prepping their art cars and modified pop-up vans, a fair share of hardcore Playa folk are putting the finishing touches on another form of desert transit: The Burner Bike. From the slice and dice choppers to the glitter-covered top tubes, we bring you portraits of four long-time local Burners, their favorite desert bikes, and their tips on how to Playafy your ride.
EDDIE VALTIERRA (14 years at Burning Man)
(photo by Molly DeCoudreaux)
Origin of bike: Two years ago my Burning Man bike's pedal fell off and was beyond repair. Thankfully, a girl who had come to Burning Man from the UK and could not take it home, gifted me her bike.
Accessories: Last year I spent hours bedazzling my bike and adding pink faux fur. The only new additions this year are the cupcake antennas.
Advice for last minute bike builders: Decorate your bike because you can easily recognize it and lessen the chance of it getting stolen or accidentally taken.
Tips for riding on the Playa: Always have lights on at night and watch out for grooves of loose playa dust.
Most important in a Burner bike: Comfort, style, and a nice basket!
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.