I’ve kept in touch with a couple of new friends from the road, and I just heard from my Dutch friend, Ferdinand, and he told me another story that I’m happy didn’t happen to me (but easily could have).
If you recall, I had a hard time finding my way to the proper route across the Golden Gate bridge. In Sausalito people were less friendly than they had been for the rest of the trip, and I had trouble getting directions. It’s not that the people are different, it’s just a different environment. It was a transition from a rural countryside to the halo of a bustling city of a million people. There were signs, and advertisements, separate bike paths and bike lanes, and numbered streets going in every direction. If you were paying close attention, you’d notice that my picture in front of the golden gate was at least a hundred feet above the bridge. Did I really chose to climb a huge hill at the end of my journey for a photo? No I did not! I followed what I thought was the route, and ended up on top of the Marin Headlands looking down at the bridge I wanted to cross. It’s OK though, it was a nice view.
What happened to Ferdinand was worse. He continued on highway 101, and missed the sign that said “no bicycles!”. The traffic became very dense, and the shoulder disappeared completely. There was no safe way to continue across the bridge, so he called 911 from his cell phone. The police shut down traffic across that section of the bridge and a motorcycle cop came and towed him off of the bridge! If anybody reading this has a picture or video, please email me! He didn’t get one because he was holding onto a police motorcycle and a touring bike.