San Francisco MS150

This past weekend marked the beginning of my three month alt. travel journey. It all commenced with an on-time arrival in San Francisco, and straight to dinner with three friends from my very first internship, at Abbott Laboratories, in 2008. Two of the fellow interns I haven’t seen since the internship, so catching up with them was kind of incredible. Also incredible: We chose a Korean BBQ restaurant, where we were definitely the only white people in the entire restaurant. Authenticity for the win.

I spend the next day racing around the city, picking up my bike, lunching at Fisherman’s Wharf with Caroline (Longhorn reunion!), picking up the MS150 rider packet, and then transporting my luggage (and bike) from one friend’s apartment to another. It actually wasn’t too messy (thanks for the lift, Caroline!), until I had to hike my luggage and bike up a classic San Francisco hill, to arrive at Kasey’s apartment. Kasey, good job securing an apartment at the very top of the hill. Nice view, strong calves.

Kind of like this...

I arrive at Kasey’s apartment, with a homeless woman circling me (how defenseless I feel with all my gear), and Steve in the shower. 5 minutes later, I text Steve, “Suspicious person…feel threatened….please hurry”. To Steve’s credit, he certainly does hurry. So much so, that he runs outside in his towel to save me from the wandering nomad (the homeless woman, not me).

We quickly get ready, as we have a taxi pick-up at 6:15, to meet Whitney’s previous UT professor for dinner. 6pm rolls around, and no Whitney in sight. She landed in SF  at 3:30, and went straight to the bike shop. The trip took a bit longer than she expected and we see her flying up the steps to Kasey’s apartment right at 6:15…only slightly frazzled. Well done, Whitney.

After dinner, Whitney and I prepare for our 5:45am wake-up and start to the MS150! Steve crawls into bed, and the polygamous trio cuddles in a full size bed. Typical.

In the morning, Whitney and I hop on our bikes and bike to the start of the MS150. On our way, I see another cyclist and I quickly yell to Whitney “Hurry, it must be another MS150-er! Let’s catch up and follow him the rest of the way.” I speed up, and right as I’m about to call out to the cyclist, I notice he is wearing a suit. My first thought is “Hmm, how odd. Who bikes 100 miles in a suit?” Second thought: “Mormon.” I don’t call out to him. He was definitely not one of us.

Everyone who knows Whitney Yang, please continue reading. I hope you find this as absolutely entertaining as I did. For those who do not know Whitney Yang very well, let me preface this story: Whitney and luck go hand in hand. She is the kind of person who will go to Vegas for someone else’s birthday and win $1500, while the birthday boy loses. Also, she is a strong cyclist. She biked from Austin to Alaska, with essentially no problems at all. Here’s the story of what happened to Whitney while attempting to bike 175 miles through San Francisco:

  • Whitney fell down playing kickball on the Wednesday before the ride (3 days prior). She got a concussion. She decided riding 175 miles through the steepest and longest hills in the nation was entirely doable. I agreed.
  • Whitney cut her palm, during said fall. As a result, she could only partially grip the handlebars of the bike.
  • 75 miles into the first day, we arrive at lunch. I know, why was the lunch stop 75 miles in?!? That’s what I said. We get to lunch and Whitney is not looking straight at me. She is not looking at anything. Her eyes are a blank, and she doesn’t really say much. She decides it would be wise to get a ride to the campsite, rather than try to bike the last 25 miles. We go to the medic tent to re-bandage her hand and wait for a lift. A bee lands on her good hand. A bee stings her. As it turns out, Whitney is allergic to bee stings.

Whitney's hand post bee sting

  • We arrive at the camp grounds, have dinner, and retire to our hotel for the evening. Whitney notices she has two very enlarged saddle sores on her buttocks. This has never happened to her before. She spends a lot of time examining her buttocks, while I laugh hysterically, and take pictures. I know, I’m a good friend. She attributes the sores to our rented bicycles.
  • The next morning, Whitney pops 6 ibuprofen (wise decision—drug yourself before the bike ride), grits her teeth and gets on the bike like a champ! We pep-talk it out, and she makes it to the first rest stop. She pops a few more ibuprofen and by the time we reach lunch, she is smiling and completely numb, in all parts of her body. A very good thing, because she will soon be hurting more….

Partner in crime, Whitney Yang!

Whitney and I part at lunch, and I have:
Meeting a Famous Person Moment # 1:
Earlier in the day, a very cute gay boy asks me to take his photo. I take his photo, and swear I recognize him from something. I brush it off, until I meet him again at a rest stop. I take his photo again, ask his name and then BAM! I realize he is the latest reality starlet….he was on Whitney & my favorite reality show, Millionaire Matchmaker.

Charlie from Millionaire Matchmaker!

Speaking of matchmakers, I met a nice, older Jewish man on the ride who kept talking about finding me a nice, Jewish husband.  I’m EXCITED to see what he comes up with!!! 😉

Meeting a Famous Person Moment #2:
Whitney and I meet again at the end of the ride, catch a shuttle back to San Francisco, and meet up with Kasey, Kasey’s boyfriend, and Kasey’s boyfriends’ two childhood friends, for dinner and drinks. While at a local martini lounge, I am sitting across from two of the childhood friends who are visiting from LA. One of them is an adorable gay man with large hair (Blake), and the other is a pretty red-head (Molly). I have a flash of recognition and I laughingly say “Oh my gosh, you know who you two remind me of? The singing kid from Full House….Michelle Tanner’s friend—he did this adorable duet with this girl. You two look just like the two from the duet! Ha!” The rest of the convo goes like this:
Tracey: “Do y’all know what I’m talking about? Have you seen Full House?”
Molly: “Yes, of course, I watched Full House!”
Blake: “Hmm, ya, I’ve seen it once or twice.”
Me: “You look just like them! They were SO cute in that duet!”
Molly: “I think I remember the scene….what song did they sing?”
Me: “Hmmm……ummm…..ya, I haven’t a clue. But, it was SO cute!!! Cute cute cute!”
Molly: “Hmmm….oh! Don’t go breaking my heart?!”
Me: “YES! Yes! You remember (I look at Blake)?”
Blake: “No….but let’s youtube it!”
Me: “OKAY!”
(Blake youtubes it, we all watch it)
Me: (sigh) “They are just too cute”
Blake: “Yea, that was me”
Me: “Huh? Who was you?”
Blake: “Derek, the little boy singing, that was me”
Me: “Huh? What?” (I’m really having a tough time conceptualizing this).
Kasey: “Yea, that is Derek all grown up!”
Molly: “The girl isn’t me, but that really is Blake”
Me: “WHAT. You’re lying”
Blake (laughing): “No, it really is. IMBD it.”
Me: “OH MY GOD. OH. MY GOD. NO WAY!! Are you lying?”
Everyone: “NO!!”
Me: WHAT!! (then I calm down and have a normal conversation with Blake about how long he worked on the set of Full House (3.5 yrs), is he still acting now (no, song-writing), if he still stays in touch with the cast (not really), and if he liked working there (yes).
I then promptly text everyone I can.
The rest of the weekend is unimportant. Mostly because this all happened Sunday night.

Look familiar?

Blake, all grown up!

YAY to famous peeps, SF, and charity bike rides!

Conquering the hills of SF!

Tomorrow, off to Vegas for 46 hours. Weeee.

2 thoughts on “San Francisco MS150

  1. Whitney Yang says:

    Oh my gosh, I laughed SO hard at your blog. Oh the memories…And as an update, my hand is almost it’s normal size again! Woohoo!

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