As part of our Spring Break 08 Rea family vacation in San Francisco, we were enjoying a pleasant bike ride from the Pier 39 across the Golden Gate bridge, about a 12 mile round trip. Instead of renting bikes on the warf, I decided to pack six bikes so we could have our own steeds for the adventure, which did include a few days of urban free riding in the mean streets of San Francisco (lots of fun walls and stunts by the way). After all this urban stunt riding we started to look at every terrain feature in the city as a potential skill ride or huck…we call it having “Freeride Eyes.”
As the family of six approached the mighty Golden Gate bridge, my son Greg (age 13) and myself (allegedly age 44) were struck by this perfect little retaining wall and seeing it with Freeride Eyes we couldn’t resist the urge for a photo op…I cleared the sidewalk of pedestrians (we are courteous freeriders after all) and set up the camera shot, the Gregory commenced with his clean wall drop on his newly rebuilt/repainted Oakley themed trail bike.
Apparently there were signs warning us all to stay off the walls, but we were so caught up in the moment we didn’t seem to notice. (The Peoples Republic of California has weird laws, you can’t smoke in a bar, ride a bicycle without a helmet, or cut down your own tree without a permit…God bless Nevada). Shortly after the wall shot we were notified by the benevolent guardians of the Golden Gate (Federal Park Rangers) via loudspeaker that we were conducting illegal activity and ordered us to stop. We found out later that the Federal Park Rangers have the whole bridge under video surveillance, probably to identify potential suicide jumpers.
After being ordered to stop over an intercom system, we did what every good father-and-son-on-vacation should do…WE RODE LIKE MAD.
We were later apprehended by a cranky old Park Ranger (after my wife split too) and I was ticketed $100 for our illegal activity.
And worth every penny.