by Christian Mundloch
photos by Christian & Charlotte Couchet
July 4th in San Francisco is much different than other parts of the country. The weather is often cold and foggy, and (except for the few neighborhoods where SF natives still live) the city seems to empty out. Which makes it a good time to ride.
Charlotte and I spent this 4th of July doing some recon on the route that would be our wedding ride 2 days later (yes, we got married in kit). We enjoy cycling together, so it was easy for us to decide to get married on a ride, but it wasn't easy to decide which route. Some of the wedding attendees weren't going to be riding, so we had to pick a route that had a nice stopping point (for the actual wedding) and was drivable.
We decided to do a classic Marin Headlands loop because there is a beautiful, flat, and open overlook near Rodeo Beach and Battery Townsley. You have to ride a few dirt trails to get to that overlook, but it's doable on a road bike and it makes the ride more interesting. Charlotte and I had already done a standard Headlands loop a few times, but the problem was that I had only been to that overlook once before and we couldn't remember exactly where it was located. We tried to find the overlook a few weeks before while hiking, but the fading daylight ended our search. Needless to say, we needed to make sure our wedding location actually existed.
Charlotte brought the new Electric Cycling Kit and Discharge Transmission-A shirt to SF with her. I was particularly excited to see the designs in person and really excited to wear a kit that she worked on. This July 4th was shaping up to be warmer and sunnier than expected, so we brought the camera along on our recon ride, just in case our search for the overlook provided some photo-ops of the new kit.
The day was indeed beautiful, and the colors outside were crazy. Unfortunately, the crazy colors were caused by wildfires in the surrounding Bay Area, but they made the city have a warm, orange glow that looked like a skate video. I love the aesthetic of the late-90’s/early-2000’s skateboarding videos. The colors are ridiculously over-saturated and golden. A lot of the photos/videos I shoot are taken from that perspective, even if only slightly. Everything reminds me of those videos, and riding around in the Electric Kit, on a sunny day, on the 4th of the July was definitely fitting.
We ended up finding the overlook and had a sigh of relief because, although Charlotte and I enjoy riding around with loose plans, we didn't want to go on a treasure hunt on our wedding day. We took some fun photos and stopped at places that I've never thought to stop, then headed back towards the city. I find it interesting that riding with different people gives you different perspectives; both on riding itself and the landscape around you. Riding with Charlotte makes my usual routes feel like new routes.
When we got to the city we cold-called every Mexican restaurant in the Richmond District until we found one that was open (thank goodness) and then went home to look at the photos. I once heard a photographer say something along the lines of — The best way to choose/edit your photos is to keep them on the shelf for years, forget you ever took them, and then find them later. I don't remember who the photographer was, but I think about that line often. While I appreciate his objective approach, I think it’s more fun to have a connection to the things you make. I feel the same way about taking photos or wearing a kit that someone else made; sometimes it’s cool to know the story and know who worked on it.
We finished the 4th by meeting some friends in the Mission District at a firework show that was...well...homemade. Two days later we had our wedding, which was perfect, and no one was lost in the process (but that story is a much longer one)!
See you out there!