Saturday, January 14, 2012


I must have been 14 or 15 years old when my nephew Jack, another friend and I decided that the thing to do was to ride our bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I suppose we were on summer vacation, because the weather was warm.

At the time we lived near the south side of the city, and the bridge is at the north end.  So off we went -- across 19th Avenue, through Golden Gate Park, over Doyle Drive, and onto the bridge.  When we paid the toll, which wasn’t much, we learned to our horror that we had to walk the bikes, not ride them!  Well, all right.  It is a beautiful view, and it was a beautiful day.  So being law-abiding young citizens, we walked.  It wasn’t nearly as crowded as when my dad walked.

Having been driven across the bridge many times since the opening, I remembered that there was a twisty back road down into Sausalito, the first town on the other side of the bridge.  (Which reminds me of a joke by Jack Benny, if I can recall it all.)  Anyway, we went sailing down the back road into the little town of Sausalito, and that was a lot of fun.  Then we road across town on the level adjacent to the bay where that little road intersects with the main north-south highway. 

We may have had some lunch, and then it was time to head back.  Well, we had to go back by way of the main highway (at least we thought we did) in order to be on the correct side of the bridge going home.  The first stretch was a lo o o ng uphill hike - we walked - until we got to the top of the grade.  That was not fun!  And then back on the bikes, and swo o o osh down the road onto the bridge.  That was fun! Of course we had to walk across the bridge again, and we headed home.

I really don’t remember, but it must have taken us all day.  I do remember my mother asking us when we got in, “Where have you guys been all day?”  I suppose we told her.

I know, I know.   I said we had to walk our bikes across the bridge, and the photos show people riding.  Perhaps the policy was changed at some later date.

Humor --

My sister Frances (Jack’s mother) used to take me to plays and such.  One time Jack Benny was in person on-stage at one of the downtown theaters, and Fran took me.  Part of Benny’s routine was to extol the virtues of San Francisco from its beautiful hills, to its lovely buildings, to the friendly people, and on and on, and on.  He continued by talking about the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, and the gorgeous view to be had, and again on and on in this praising manner.  He must have been saying all this for a good five minutes, when he ended up with (and I probably don’t have this exactly right, but close), still in his voice of praise, “...and when you get to the other side of this marvelous bridge, what do you find?”  Slightly disgusted tone, “Sausalito.”


  1. I remember doing adventurous stuff like that when I was young - great times and wonderful memories!

  2. You can say you did it! (Even if it took all day.)

  3. beautiful experience and memories, I wish I have also