Angel Island Cruise

Angel Island Cruise

A couple of weekends back a bunch of my friends and I rode the ferry out to explore Angel Island on bikes. For those of you who aren't familiar, Angel Island is to the left of Alcatraz if you're looking at it from the Golden Gate Bridge. It's Miwok land and, as I understand it, it was the Ellis Island of the West in the early 20th century; Not a history to be proud of, but in its current iteration as a state park, there are abandoned buildings to explore, a couple of nice beaches, and a wonderful trail loop at the the top that weaves in and out of the hillside.

I've found that if you want to get a group bigger than five people together, it's helpful to make a flyer, even if it's super rudimentary. They're fun to make, anyway.  Here's the one I made for this ride:

I'm not an accomplished illustrator, as you can see. I do want to learn though, so I can still make stuff when there isn't enough water to develop film anymore.

Anyway, I brought my Voigtlander Bessa L with a 35mm lens and shot a roll.


We're off! It was a super foggy morning, which was fine with me because I was still pretty sun-kissed from a ride the day before.

Bram n Katie. Drinking coffee on a ferry rules.

More of the crew.

There are two loops around the Island, one lower road loop, and one upper trail loop. We did both, and this is the beginning of the road loop. Both of them are basically flat once you get up to where they start.

We took a slight detour to explore Quarry Beach on the East side.

Bram and Adrian.

Back up to the road loop.

We stopped to explore one of the abandoned buildings.

Myles - not the Miles who, apparently, was here.

Climbing up to the trail loop.

Rachel on her Clem H.

This trail goes around the top cap of the island and is totally flat. Actually It's more dirt road than trail, and you can circumnavigate the island in about 20 minutes, with fantastic views the whole way. It's so, so fun - I want to go back and do it three times in a row.

We took a break at one of the campsites and had some lunch.

This is one of the defunct batteries from WWII era. They're all over the Bay Area coastline.

Then we went down to the beach to wait for the next ferry. The fog had burned off by this point.

Dave, dippin' his toes.

And we're back! Another fun one for ye olde memory bank.

If you're in the Bay Area and you want to ride bikes with someone who's not a total bike maniac like you are, I recommend Angel Island. There are some climbs, but they're short enough to walk, and the size of the island precludes a ride that's too long. We easily achieved a ride:hang ratio of 1:2, and much of that was hanging out on the beach waiting for the next ferry to come in and take us home.



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