Tuesday, December 6, 2011

San Francisco - Part 1

I am in San Francisco for the AGU Fall Meeting. This is a large geoscience conference that takes place every year sometime near the beginning of December. I have been attending this event for the last five years initially to attend meetings related to the IT infrastructure in Barrow. There are still Barrow meetings but I also really enjoy attending the science talks. This year, I volunteered to help judge student presentations for the Outstanding Student Presentation Award. We are not to judge the science itself but the student's presentation and their ability to communicate with the audience. It was a great experience and I think I will continue to do this in the future given the opportunity. Like every other time I've been here I've learned a lot and have run into many familiar faces.

Tomorrow morning, I get to leave the hotel around 5:30 in the morning to head down to Pier 48 for the start of the AGU 5K Fun Run Walk. I was originally going to try and actually run the 5K but it's about a 2½ mile walk to the start of the event. I think that I'm just going to walk the event and not try to run. I also walked last year and but was able to take the bus to the start but this year, they had to move the start point due to the popularity of the event. Also, the t-shirts for participation are much nicer than last year. They refer to it as "technical" material. I have some other shirts of the same material and they are very comfortable as a base layer under your riding gear.

There seems to be a lot more bikes running around than there were last year. And this obviously includes scooters. During the day, all of the motorcycle parking spots are occupied and I've seen a number of San Francisco police on dual-sport bikes running up and down the streets and alleys. Just around the corner from my hotel, there is a parking garage and maybe a quarter of the spaces are filled with bikes and scooters. Maybe the high cost of gas and parking around here is getting more people to ride.

Picture from the Internet
Yesterday evening, I splurged and went to Sankura Japanese Restaurant. I remember this restaurant when it was in the Sony Metreon which used to be located across from the Moscone West Hall. I say used to since the building is being turned into a Target. How's that for progress. I had the sashimi plate with a side order of Otoro or fatty bluefin tuna. I haven't had the opportunity to have this since last year and it is a real treat. It almost melts in your mouth. No pictures since my iPhone battery was dead due to all of the data usage during the day. This evening, I walked down to Fisherman's Wharf and simply had some street food along the way since I wasn't very hungry and I wanted to make sure that I got back before it got too dark.

Wednesday Morning - There was a pretty good turnout for the 5K this morning and with police on motorcycles blocking the streets, we started out at 6:35 AM. I'm sure the early morning commuters were not amused. This was listed as a "Fun Run" but many were taking this quite seriously, at least from my perspective. The first runners came in in 17 minutes. From my hotel to the start, a couple of miles of the 5K (I got lost) and back to my hotel was over 7 miles. That was good enough for me. Now time to head back down to the Marriot and Moscone. Today should be good for at least 15 miles...
Near the finish line

It was still a beautiful morning for a walk.

Wednesday Evening - I did find out at least one reason why the course was changed this year. Occupy SF was camped out near the Port of San Francisco Ferry Building and the course had run right through there before. Over seventeen miles walking today. I think I'm going to sleep good...


  1. Have a good 5k!
    You're an inspiration. :)
    I'm up to 2 mile runs now, a couple days a week. I don't know if I'll ever try a 5k or not...maybe, we'll see.

    I wimped out on my run tonight. Freezing and foggy, I didn't want to go out. (No laughing! I know that would positively be sunbathing temps for you.)

  2. Sounds like you are having a good time. It is cool that you get to judge the presentations.

    Pretty sunrise. Maybe we'll actually see the sun today. If the darn fog ever burns off.

  3. Richard:

    Nice sunrise, and I imagine a change of scenery from what you are used to. Too bad they didn't give you a map to keep yourself on track. 60°F would be nice right now. We are near freezing, and tonight will be below freezing

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Bluekat:
    Inspiration, now that's not a term that I hear very often. You are very kind.

    Judging the student presentations has been a blast. Such enthusiasm. I don't see that much within the university administration. It's been sunny here everyday but this morning during the race it was in the mid 40's.

    Most of the participants looked and actually ran. Last year there were a lot of walkers but not so this year. Everyone left me in the dust so to speak. The shirt sleeve weather is a nice change. The only thing I don't care for is the number of aggressive pan handlers and smokers. Since smoking is banned in most places, the sidewalks and parks are full of smokers.

    Thank you all for commenting.

  5. Dear Richard M.

    God, how I love San Francisco! If I were there now, my own 2k marathon would take me through all the crab places on Fisherman's Wharf.

    Some day, I will ride a motorcycle through San Francisco — and to San Francisco.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  6. Jack:
    For me, I really like seafood. A tour of Fisherman's Wharf crab places would probably do me in! I think that those riding around San Francisco are borderline crazy. Between the steep hills and road hazards like trolley tracks I don't see how they do it.