First was the invitation from our friends Pete and Kim Young. Pete’s blog Occhio Lungo is one of three that I check daily for motorcycle news. Anyway Pete and Kim were leading a motorcycle ride from Ft. Baker to Kiehl’s in San Francisco and invited me to join the fun. Lots of free stuff! Coffee, free GG Bridge toll, lunch and free Kiehl’s products! Whoo hoo! Although this was a charity event dedicated to raising awareness of San Francisco’s Homeless Prenatal Program as well as to celebrate the 160 year anniversary of Kiehl’s and the opening of a new store on Fillmore, it sounded like an adventure to me! In response, I raced to work to give the Scheduling Queen a request for this day off.
On the day of the ride, we met in front of the Cavallo Point Lodge. This is a converted army base, but these must have been officer’s quarters for the luckiest officers…elegant old buildings nestled under the Golden Gate with amazing views of the city and the bay.
We were about 40 motorcyclists. There were all types of bikes. Old, new, big, small. And all sorts of people unknown to me, including Chris Salgrado, Kiehl’s US President.
There were also some old friends including the rarely seen Paul d’Orleans. Paul’s blog, The Vintagent, is an inspiration and source of valuable information. However he showed up without a camera. I gladly lent him mine with the result of getting some unusual shots. Paul is an excellent rider to begin with. On this ride, he showed great chivalry in posting himself at corners to stop traffic and take photos.
As we rode from Cavallo Point, to the Marin Headlands, I realized two things. One, I’ve never participated in a group that rode together as closely as this, and two, I’ve never been out on the Marin Headlands. Both were new experiences that I could repeat.
It was one of those stunningly beautiful sunny days, which make everything seem possible. I felt comfortable riding my bike so the closeness of other riders made me feel more protected than threatened about incidental issues like whether or not the driver of that car will see me, or if I’m holding a line correctly, or does my butt look fat.
At the headlands we stopped and admired the views. Then it was back on the road and over the Golden Gate Bridge, though parks, past waterfronts, up hills and back down to Fillmore where parking had been reserved for us… and the cameras were waiting.
The store was mobbed. Celebrities Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart, cameras, journalists, Kiehl’s staff, lunch and a DJ, along with passersby were all present.
In all this excitement, it was good to remember one of the reasons for this event was to support the homeless prenatal program. (http://www.homelessprenatal.org)
Overall, the event was a big success. My awareness that a program for homeless prenatal care was raised… and yes, given the chance, I’d buy Kiehl’s cosmetics!