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Steeps of San Francisco
Words: Lee Jakobs
I have lived in San Francisco for 20 years, still I am constantly reminded that you can't really know The City unless you do it on two wheels. The up and down, up and down, meandering throughout San Francisco's neighborhoods is as unique a ride as you can find anywhere around the world. This past weekend set out from the Cycle Club to experience 30 of the steepest climbs in The City, 13 of which pitched 27% or greater.
Heading straight up Broderick Street—so windy and steep that cars are not allowed—our ride leader Scot Nicol took us onto the sidewalk because it was steeper. Something about the satisfaction of the top being that much greater. Behind Scot was a motley, but motivated, crew of road and mountain bikes. Some within the group choosing to muscle straight up the climb, others 'checking the mail', zagging across the road to keep from flopping on their backs.
After conquering Filbert, Pollard Place, Kearny and Montgomery we aimed for the flat Embarcadero waterfront for a reprieve. Dodging the SF Giants baseball traffic, we made our way to Potrero Hill and down Vermont Street. This is where the "old" San Francisco still shows itself. 24th Street to the cobblestoned street called Deharo. Over to Bernal Heights, where we finished our 'Steeps of San Francisco' with two of the steepest streets, Prentiss (37%) and Chapman (36%).
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