So the first day, or rather first afternoon in SF had been pretty rough, with the realization that I had just jumped into the unknown. Still, I managed to open a bank account and get a mobile phone deal. These were the most pressing objectives I wanted to reach before leaving the city. I also met a former colleague and we discussed the ups and downs of Ubisoft. And by sundown, I found a Burger King to wash it all out.
On saturday morning, I decided it was time to put my bike back together. It was a stressing moment, hoping nothing was broken, and that I wouldn’t make a mistake – the kind were the front wheel suddenly gets free on a steep downhill.
But bike mechanics are not overly complex, and everything seemed to be ok. I was especially happy that I had all necessary tools between an army knife, an allen kit, and a monkey wrench. I had bought a complete tool set that was way too heavy, and decided not to keep it, and these three seem to fit all uses.
And so I got to ride in San Francisco ! It was exhilarating, going up and down, in a different city, a different country. The streets are wide, the drivers are courteous, the weather was perfect. There is a lot of wind though – I thought it was Chicago which was called the windy city. Anyway, I was on my bike, exploring the city, much faster and much easier than on foot.
I did a complete circle all around th city, going along Market street, the whole Embarcadero, up until the foot of the Golden Gate, then south to the golden gate park, then back into the city. It was a fantastic experience.
Getting to see the bridge was both exciting and intimidating. It’s the starting point of the journey, and the final, real jump into the adventure. Right now, I’m still cosy into a downtown motel and I have a bed, a shower and a lot of space. It’s tempting to stick into the warm shower each morning rather than go outside and start the day. Still, I felt I should not wait too long, and get moving earlier than planned.
While I was going around the city, I had a few objectives in mind. I was looking for a printing shop, to try and get a smaller version of the flag to be mounted behind the trailer. The one I have is too big, too heavy. But they couldn’t do one print on both sides. What I just did is use the larger stickers on top the of original flag provided with the trailer. It’s not perfect but it should do the trick.
I was a lot more successful in solving a big issue : battery life. I got a new iphone to avoid the dying battery of the old one. But after a couple of days, it’s clear the totally new iphone 5 has a battery life on par with the very old iphone 3. It’s really a shame. The phone is supposed to double as a camera, but if doesn’t last more than a day, I won’t get to take pictures.
But I found a bike shop that fitted the bike with a dynamo plug providing a usb charger ! I can get any electronics charging while moving. The short test I did today proved that it was working, and I charged 5% in about 5-10 minutes. That should be well enough to keep me up in desertic areas :p Now I just need to find a way to store, or upload the videos I’m making… I can transfer from the video camera to the iphone, and then upload them on the cloud, but it takes one hour for a 4 minutes video. I have to find something more efficient 😉