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  • Waiting for a ride

Monday, May 17 – I’m back and Bay to Breakers is over!


Monday morning, the day after the 99th Annual Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco – and my first go at it! I did it. 7.46 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes. I walked – briskly – rather than running – in deference to a damaged knee, but it was still quite a work out. Sorry to have abandoned the Commuter Gal blog, but daily workouts at the gym plus a heavy time of year at work kept me away. I can’t believe I walked across San Francisco. It was great. Wow.

My ride today is a warm, luxurious Mercedes sedan with a diminutive, accountant-type lady driver. The weather is like November. Drizzly, 50 degrees and the prediction for the rest of the week is the same. Yuk. Traffic is fairly heavy today – at 7:20 a.m. – but today, for the first time in many I am not rushing to get to the gym to hop on the treadmill before work. I’m taking a day off.

We pass a stalled, broken-down commuter bus about half way down the 80 Freeway. What a drag for that bunch of folks. I’ve had a few carpool breakdowns. All very unpleasant. One was on a hot day returning home in the early evening commute. The driver’s car heated up and was smoking. The other rider and I had to give him our bottled waters to pour in the radiator. Really. It was ridiculous, but we made it home. One other time a car ran out of gas on the Bay Bridge (“my fuel gauge doesn’t work”, the driver said, “and I guess I underestimated how much gas to put in. Sorry”. Uh huh.) and last year the new lovely car I was in just stopped running. All systems failed. A highway patrol halted traffic on the 80 and pushed us over to the side of the road where we waited for a mechanic. I and the other rider wound up having to take BART the rest of the way in – the mechanic gave us a ride to BART and the driver graciously gave us money for our fare.

As we cruise past Berkeley and Emeryville today I look across the bay to the City and it is a dark, gloomy vista. Not a glimmer of sunlight. The marshlands at the end of the East Shore Park are quiet with only two terns gliding in the pools. We quickly pass the gridlocked toll lanes approaching the bridge and join the slow-moving traffic on the bridge. The quiet empty bay on my right is a contrast to the packed, squirming impatient commuter pack on my left. What a deal. We’re in the City at 8 a.m.