Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Inline Skating San Francisco -- from 1997!

I wrote this in 1997 and found it in my old pre-blog Web 1.0 archives. I decided to republish it here because, you know, I could. Some of it may even be relevant today.

Before blogs we did this kind of thing in wysiwyg tools (FrontPage 97 for this piece) and then FTPd to a web server. 

The original page is still on the web but it is not known to Google. Astonishingly it's in the Wayback Machine.

San Francisco

Based on a trip in May of 97. San Francisco is a beautiful but very challenging skating city. It is also a crowded city with narrow roads and crowded paths -- extreme politeness and some caution is advised. There are steep hills (surprise). A fresh brake is recommended. Only fairly expert skaters should leave the flatter areas of town - if you can spin to a stop you're probably ok. A topo map would be most helpful.

Presidio - Palace of Fine Arts - Marina - Fort Mason

A pleasant and not too strenuous route with few hills, though the Presidio can be hilly. Traffic and people not as heavy as East of Van Ness, though some areas of the Presidio have heavy traffic. 

  • Exit Presidio by Gorgas street, so that one has done most descending within Presidio. 
  • Skate around and admire Palace of Fine Arts (no skating on grounds) 
  • Skate along quiet Marina streets or take wide paved area of the Marina. 
  • Skate around Fort Mason, admire scenery. Note location of enviable Fort Mason Youth Hostel. 
  • Nearby park has very smooth winding paths, easy descents for intermediate or better skater. 

Golden Gate Park to Outer Richmond to Laurel to Pacific Heights

On Sunday the park is closed to traffic and, in the early morning, the other streets are also quieter. Streets with bicycle paths are ideal. This is a strenuous and challenging route for an expert skater. A helmet is adviseable. I began at the east end of Golden Gate Park. 

  • Golden Gate park forbids skating on walkways (shame, but understandable). On Sunday one can skate on roads. Slightly rough surfaces. 
  • Ocean Highway (route 1) has a wide west shoulder, but sand spills prevent skating. Take Balbo and 46th ave to 48th ave climbing straight up to Clement. Great views of Seal Rocks. Clement runs downhill, so it might be easier to take Geary west instead and maybe miss some climbing/dropping. 
  • Take 32nd Ave up go the beautiful Camino del Mar. The Legion of Honor drive is too rough for skating. Check out the ultra chic/wealthy Sea Cliff neighborhood. 
  • Take 25th Ave south to Lake. Lake is a nice relaxing skate with virtually no hills. 
  • If you're feeling brave take Arguello into the Presidio and fly down and up West Pacific Ave. Do not then take Presidio Ave south into the Presidio. Traffic is heavy and moves fast, and there are no shoulders. This was my major error, but at least I survived.
  • To get around Pacific Heights, the better part of valor might be to head south again to Sacramento, and take Sacramento east to Franklin or Polk (not too steep). One may then explore the Union street shopping area from this end, heading back west (basically circling Pacific Heights).

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