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On Saturday, Jesse and I loaded up his car to drive to Sports Basement with the hope of riding through Marin on Paradise Loop, an ambitious 40-mile round trip. Biking from our apartment down Bay Street is a nightmare, with no bike lane and tourists and locals alike driving like maniacs, and the only way to get to the Golden Gate Bridge, so instead we opted to start our ride from Sports Basement and Chrissy Field, avoiding vehicle traffic as much as possible

We left Sports Basement at 11am; in hindsight, I never want to leave this late in  the morning again. The longer you wait, the more likely you will cross paths with throngs of tourists with questionable biking abilities and bikers who take themselves very seriously but neglect safety and caution. We biked over the bridge with few problems and started heading into Sausalito.

Once we were over the bridge, I had mentioned to Jesse that I needed to use the bathroom, so we agreed to stop at a corner store at the bottom of the hill. While approaching the store, I attempted to bike up a driveway and onto the sidewalk so I could dismount from my bike and walk across the street to the bathroom.

I thought this was so simple, but somehow when my bike wheels touched the driveway, my bike slid out from under me and I crashed hard onto my right hip. I saw Jesse up ahead waiting, but he didn’t see me. After assuring lookers-on that I was fine, I walked over the Jesse where I promptly burst into tears. I was more scared than hurt, and I stubbornly told Jesse I wanted to continue on. It only took a couple more miles before the pain set in; generating power on my right side was extremely arduous and painful.

We returned over the bridge where it was by then a zoo, and the experience made me even more on edge than I already had been. It wasn’t until we watched Hunger Games: Catching Fire and drank a couple of beers that night at Kabuki Theater that I let go on the frustration and anxiety I felt and forgave myself for making a newbie mistake.

I have a huge bruise on my butt now, and from my maiden voyage I’ve learned two important things: always leave for Marin at the crack of dawn and beware of curbs of all sizes.

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