Tag: San Francisco

Musée Mécanique: Steam Powered Motorcycle

Musée Mécanique: Steam Powered Motorcycle

While sifting through photos on my iPhone this morning, I found a few (terrible) images that I’d snapped of a steam powered motorcycle that was on display at the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco.

the steam flyer san francisco

The Steam Flyer


My pic of the informational card stinks. Thankfully, you can read the full David Sarlin article A Motorcycle Full of Steam in a pdf on the Musée Mécanique website.

A quick search around the web for The Steam Flyer turned up lots of photos of the bike, so do give that a whirl. I also found this video on YouTube that methodically looks over the motorcycle in its current display. (Turn off the sound unless you REALLY love air hockey.)

Pretty nifty machine. Jules Verne would be drooling.

Musée Mécanique
Pier 45 at the end of Taylor Street
Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133

California Love: It’s Time to Hit the Road

California Love: It’s Time to Hit the Road

Hotel Room Wall at Tomo JapantownIf there were roosters in San Fancisco, I’m sure I would’ve woke them up while making my morning coffee. I was up long before the sun rubbed the sleep out of it’s eyes. By the time blondie finally came to and began his usual morning scratch, I’d already put the room’s Keurig machine through it’s paces, read dozens of blog posts and chewed what was left of my fingernails. The breakfast of champions.

We had the hotel front desk call a cab for us and soon after were on our way to pick up our rental bikes. I must’ve had some residual tension about the inability to get a cab the day before. We weren’t a 1/4 of a mile away from the hotel when “why’s it so freakin’ hard to get a cab in this town,” swan-dived from my lips. The daggers in the rearview mirror didn’t go unnoticed, but I could tell that the driver did his best to be pleasant and conversational about it. The answer, by the way… there isn’t one.

When we pulled up to Dubbelju we found our two Tiger 1050’s ready and waiting for us. All we had to do is cross a few T’s and dot a few I’s. Then we were free to drop our stuff into their Givi boxes.

I’d opted for only a top box and a tank bag on my Tiger. Kenny went for a set of side boxes and a tank bag. This decision would prove to be a Godsend a week later.

By 11:00am we set off for 7 days of riding aboard the 2 orange Triumphs.

Rented Triumph Tiger 1050s on Highway 1

The first few miles after pulling away felt tremendous. There was a palpable feeling that it was the beginning, the start of something great – it filled me up with a sense of infinite possibility. Do you know that feeling?

When you leave on a strange bike, there is a period of adjustment as you get to know each other. You learn about it’s power delivery, the feel of its suspension, the clamp of it’s brakes. It’s all new and adds to the excitement of a trip.

I’m glad to say that the Tiger and I got along famously right out of the gate. The familiar whirrr of the 1050 triple made me feel right at home.

Now, it was time to get the party started!

More Posts From This Trip:

Hello, San Francisco – So Good To See You Again

Hello, San Francisco – So Good To See You Again

Bike chick street art san franciscoThough our trip to California centered around motorcycle riding, we padded that time with a day up front and the tail end of the trip for hanging around in San Francisco. Our first visit in 2008 left such a great impression on both Kenny and I that we were very much looking forward to walking it’s streets again.

The city in many ways seems so “un-city like” when you compare it to a place like Manhattan. At least on the surface the frantic hustle just isn’t there. There is a laid back vibe that I love.

Hotel Tomo Lobby San FranciscoWe stayed at Hotel Tomo in Japantown again. I just love the feel and the decor. From the artwork on the walls and ceilings, the furnishings and cartoons playing in the lobby – this place is just my speed. I’m not a fan of fancy; fun is where it’s at.

Being a morning person means that when I am on the west coast, I’m up in the morning long before the sun rises. I quietly padded around the room and surfed the web while the rest of the world was still asleep. I sat around drinking coffee and considering all of the things we could do with our day of leisure. Everything pointed to what I like to do best: wander around and just see the city.

Medusa Mural near Haight Street

Legs over Haight StreetWe left the hotel on foot and walked up to Haight street. Given the early hour, nothing was open. Aside from a few people who appeared to live in the park it was pretty much just the two of us peering in to closed shops. I’m not much of a shopper, so just looking through windows suited me fine.

Eucalyptus trees in the PresidioWe charged our batteries with some breakfast at Whole Foods and set off again on foot, walking towards Presidio Heights and into the Presidio. We strolled under the canopy of the Eucalyptus trees on Lover’s Lane.

California’s roads are so twisty, even the paths through the trees are serpentine!

By the time that we’d walked from our hotel in Japantown, to Haight Street, through the Presidio and on to Crissy Field, my feet started to protest a little. Perhaps walking so many miles in a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors wasn’t exactly brilliant. It wouldn’t be until later in the evening with a few more miles on their treads that I would realize just how dumb that would be.

The Palace of Fine Art - Exploratorium San Francisco

Love left to be found on the jettyWe parked ourselves on the end of the jetty by the Golden Gate Yacht Club to rest our feet and listen to the sounds of the bay being piped through the tubes of the Wave Organ. On our way, I managed to find some love that someone else left behind. That made me smile just a little bit more.

In true tourist form, we continued our walk along the bay past Ghirardelli square, to Fisherman’s Wharf where we stopped for a bite to eat and a few cold ones and then on to the Embarcadero.

Cupids Span San Francisco

By the time we’d made it to Cupid’s Span we’d logged 14 miles on our Converse. My dogs were BARKIN’! They’d reached the point that I could no longer think about anything but the desire to stop walking. The soles of my feet felt like they were swollen with a layer of water. Raygun Gothic Rocketship - San Francisco

We finally decided to give in and hail a cab. If you’ve walked San Francisco’s street you may in fact be snickering as you read the words “hail a cab.”

I’m a happy person. I would go so far as to say that it takes a lot to make me angry. We discovered on our walking tour that non-existent cabs in major tourist thoroughfares and empty cabs that drive right by are 2 things that will peg my freak-out meter into the red. It took us no less than 25 minutes to finally get a cab back to Japantown.

About 1 hours worth of time has been expunged from my memory surrounding this time frame as I recovered from my meltdown.

My love - Kenny

Between the jet-lag, the throbbing feet and the anticipation of getting our road trip underway the following morning, I was done for the day. Shortly after dinner I sank into the beautiful fluff of my Tomo pillows and slept the sleep of the righteous.

More Posts From This Trip:

California Dreaming: Willits to San Francisco

California Dreaming: Willits to San Francisco

June 20, 2008 – Willits to San Francisco

There was a little bit of a sting to leaving Willits. This was our final day of riding in California. We had to be back in San Francisco to return our rental bikes by dinner time. Though another beautiful day of riding along the serpentine tarmac of the coast lay ahead, the ride was tinged with the sadness of knowing that the trip we had been dreaming of for so long was nearly finished.

We headed west towards Fort Bragg and began our easy-going meander down the coast. Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

We stopped along the way, enjoying the views and visiting the lighthouses at both Point Cabrillo and Point Arena and having a bite to eat in Mendocino. Onward we went, heading back to where we’d started from in San Francisco.

Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

When we rode inland off the coast, the heat felt like a punch to the gut. One minute we were cruising along in the mild air of the coastline and then WHAMMO!, it was H-O-T. We’d passed a bank sign while making a pit stop that read 114°.

I saw Greg put on his signal and move to the shoulder. Flat tire! The sun and the heat were merciless while we were standing there on the side of the highway. It felt every bit of that 114 degrees we’d seen earlier and then some. Thankfully, this roadside repair was done in jig time using the fabulously small and flexible Slime compressor and a Stop & Go Tire plugging kit.

The irony of getting a flat  at the Lucky Drive exit was not lost on me 🙂

Bike repairs in 120 degree heat outside San Francisco

With Greg’s tire plugged, each of us was hot and admittedly cranky but we were back on our way. The big red bridge though beautiful was like a dagger in my heart. Our ride was over. In what seemed to be the blink of an eye, we were pulling our bikes back in to the garage at Dubbleju.

Back to Dubbleju

How could 9 days have passed so quickly?


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