Today's bike ride was inspired by President Obama. (Not him above!)
I got up in time to watch The Man address the British Parliament in Westminster Hall, his appearance there an historic event in and of itself. And...he nailed it. How anyone can find anything wrong with this guy at times like these I just do not know!
Anyway, in that speech he mentioned the Magna Carta, reminding me that it's currently on display at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco's Lincoln Park. Despite predictions of rain, I put one and one together, pulled out my dusty Burley rain gear, and set off on my bike, thoroughly expecting a quick ten-miler, then home. (To think I put my rain suit up on eBay when I lost my job last year. Thanks to all you bidders who thought my reserve was just too high.)
The ride there was wet, although nothing like the rain I expect to battle through during next year's E2E ride in the UK, for which I am in training. What I had forgotten, from the handful of times I've been to this museum before, was the nasty-ass hill it crowns. It was just one of number of climbs I had to do, into the wind and rain. I will admit...they were all fun...once I topped them. Fond memories of climbing Hartside Hill and Black Hill in England in 2000, when I rode the Sea to Sea. Not so fond remembrances of 20 mile, 10 hour days on the bike in 2003, the last time I tried the End to End!
Checking out the precious document was amazing. It's the second time I've seen it. The first time was for free in the British Museum in London, where I also saw lyrics handwritten by Beatles Lennon and McCartney, music scores from Classical masters...and so much, much more. I've seen some cool shit in my time, including Vikki Carr AND Tom Jones. (hehe) Today I saw more coolness...just by going on a bike ride.
Not only did I see the document without which the US Constitution might have been very different, but I saw artworks by El Greco, Rodin (Thinker, pictured above), Cezanne, Rembrandt, Monet, van Gogh and Renoir...all right here atop a bitch of a hill, for just $10. I spent two hours in the museum...just enough time to completely dry off, before heading back out into the rain. I did, however, take a few moments to give in to a stunning female visitor to our shores from Brazil who asked me to take a picture of her in front of a wall-sized oil painting. I only said "yes"...in the interest of global harmony. You see. Obama got to me, talking all flowery, and democracy-like. Come to think of it, my friend Joe recently told me it's important to have a beautiful Brazilian as a friend....you never know when you'll find yourself alone...in Rio.
I left the museum just as the skies opened up again...but hit the road, regardless. My goal was 7th and Folsom streets where, according to its Twitter feed, a certain beef-centric food truck was supposed to be serving up hot meaty goodness from noon to 3pm. Got there at 1:30. No truck. Oh, well. I settled for a slice of pizza, and then headed for home, chalking up a brilliant 20 miler.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Gotta ride. Gotta run.