Biking trip in San Francisco

Today Gargi and I went for a day trip to San Francisco. Our friend Prasanna was supposed to join us, but then he could not make it and hence we started our trip at 6:30 AM. We first went to the shoreline lakes for doing some birding and bird photography. This session was largely unproductive, but for some really good shots of Eared Grebes adorning their breeding plumage in winter. I also managed to get a good shot of an adult Mourning Dove. Then we decided to move on to San Francisco. As this was an impromptu visit, there was absolutely no planning. But the weather gods were kind to us and it turned out to be unusually clear and sunny day in the City.  We went startight to the Pier 39 parking and parked our car. This parking lot seems to be pretty safe, though it is slightly on the expensive side. It placed strategically close to all the major tourist attractions. We went to Pier 41 and rented a bike from Blazing Saddles bike shop. In case of ordinary bike, they charge $7/hr , $35 maximum for the bikes. There are a few caveats in the deal. They include your ferry ticket in the bike rent. But if you do not use the ferry and come back by bike, then you can save the $15 on the ferry. The shopkeepers conveniently forget to tell you this fact. Additionally make sure that you get the best possible bike as they try to skip the old ageing equipment which breaks down at a wrong time. My bike developed a problem midway and the rescue service took 2 hours to get me a replacement bike. We wasted some good time on such a good day just waiting for my bike. The biking track has some steep hills but overall it is moderate in difficulty. It is a magnificent feeling to look at the Golden Gate bridge on a bicycle as you can stop whenever you want to take a quick picture. We proceeded all the way to downtown Sausalito. We had our lunch and then took our ferry back to our starting point. After returning our bikes, we checked out few shops in Pier 39. It was a decent place to be in though it was of little interest to me. On our return journey back to San Jose, our butt was hurting due to the hard seats of the bicycles but it was a day well spent.