I left my bike in San Francisco.

A bit of an obvious start to a story about the opening of the Rapha Cycle Club in San Francisco, but completely true. My Pereira “Continental” bicycle is tucked away in the basement of the Cycle Club that opened yesterday morning in the Cow Hollow neighborhood. I’ve looped the handle of my old Soigneur’s Bag (packed complete for next week’s ride with Jeremy Powers and Chris Jones of the Rapha-Focus Cyclocross Team) around the seat post in an effort to dissuade anyone from riding my little 52cm around the basement like a toy.

With the help of customers, friends, partners and more friends we opened the club for the summer with some festivities, filling the shop and the adjacent patio with a vibrant crowd of cyclists. The famous and beloved Sky Yaeger tended bar, passing a steady stream of Stiegl Lager cans, while Brett “The Viking” was keeping people level with Four Barrel espressos throughout the night. Tell Tale Preserves had a sampling of sweets scattered inside and the award-winning 3Sum food cart was blowing minds and taste buds with ‘macaroni & cheese spring rolls’ and Cuban sandwiches. Good people, good food, and a great cycling community, made for a wonderful celebration to start our summer in The City.

When the warmer-than-usual morning sun bounced off the windshield of the HVan the next morning, the Cycle Club officially opened for business. As the first cyclists showed up, either on their commute into work or back from an early ride, the Club felt immediately welcoming and familiar to what I had watched in NYC last summer. As a great friend from NYC texted me the other day saying that the San Francisco Club is “no New York”. Very true, and believe me when I say we miss NYC this year, but I will say that the seven-minute ride from the SF Club to the Golden Gate Bridge that leads to the roads of Marin is just a tad more lovely and convenient than the 45-minute haul up the WSH to cross the George Washington for the 9W. Come visit Tom, we’ll go for a ride. Come out next Thursday at 2pm and you can tuck in behind Jeremy or Chris.

Photos: Nick Allen