Monday, September 21, 2009

Blogher Food 09 - Pre Conference Urban Hike

Walk with Me through Beautiful San Francisco

picture photograph image ALT 2009 copyright of sam breach

Blogher Food '09 attendees are invited to join me on an early morning urban hike prior to the start of the conference. This 5 mile walk will energize you for the day in store, give you a head start at meeting other attendees and provide you with a healthy helping of fresh air before heading indoors for the rest of the day, as well as affording you with some of San Francisco's most loved views and famous land marks. This, in particular, is a great way for first time visitors to San Francisco, to see a little more of the city than the inside of a hotel room!

Meet outside the front door of the St Regis Hotel at 6.15 am. The walk will start at 6.30 sharp. If you need a coffee, please leave yourself time to pick it up before we begin. There is a Peet's less than a block away on the corner of Mission and 3rd that opens at 6AM. I still need to check to see if the St. Regis concierge will allow us to leave any bags with them whilst we walk.

Our urban hike will start off in darkness as we head through the corner of downtown towards China Town. As we walk, the rising sun will start to light our way as move through North Beach and up the gentlest route to the top of Lombard, famed worldwide for its windy section of road. From there we will switch direction, towards Telegraph Hill. At its peak, from our vantage point by Coit Tower, (no fog, willing), we'll enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, Alcatraz, Marin, Oakland and Berkeley too. From here we'll head down Filbert Steps, an almost tropical micro climate where, if you are lucky, you'll spot the hoards of green parrots who have made it their home.

picture photograph image ALT 2009 copyright of sam breach

Once we reach flat ground again, it's all plain sailing back to the hotel, as we make our way along the Embarcadero, with views of The Ferry Building before continuing down Market towards the St Regis. Our estimated arrival time is before 8.15 am, allowing plenty of time to join the other attendees for the networking breakfast before the welcome speech begins.

I have completed this walk twice, for test purposes. On both occasions I have not rushed, stopped to take plenty photographs along the way and it has taken me 1 hour 40 minutes. This won't be a leisurely amble, but neither will it be a power walk - I have tried to balance it somewhere in between. Training shoes or walking shoes are advisable. There are a couple of hills, but in each case I have chosen the least steep routes up them. Also be aware that there are also downhill steps to tackle. We will be aiming for a pace of 20 minutes maximum per mile so please feel comfortable with maintaining that rate over 5 miles.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, and although sign up isn't required - it's for whoever shows up in time - it would be cool if you'd like to drop a note to say you intend to join me. And I really hope you will - I look forward to meeting you all on Saturday 26th September.

Below is a link to the GPS route of the last time I completed this exact same walk, to give you some idea of how it looks on a map. (Ignore the wobbly bits - I wasn't drunk - the GPS system I have sometimes heads a little off kilter!):

© 2009 Sam Breach
Blogher Food 09 - Pre Conference Urban Hike


  • At 21/9/09 09:54, Anonymous Fatemeh said…

    Thanks for organizing, Sam!

    Just a quick note on behalf of those of us who might be taking BART -- weekend schedule on the train doesn't start 'til 6am.

    In my case (from Lake Merritt) this means the first available train won't get me to Montgomery station until 6:27 am.

    Might I suggest starting the walk at 6:45 so those of us in the East Bay can take transit?

  • At 21/9/09 09:54, Blogger Kelsey B. said…

    I would love to join you. I anticipate being up early since I'll still by on NYC time! I hope we can leave bags with them however. I will wear my sneakers and a good walking outfit, but I don't want to wear that to the conference.

  • At 21/9/09 10:10, Anonymous Sean said…

    Ambitious! But looks like tons of fun. I'll probably be on site helping set up a bit, but have a blast!

  • At 21/9/09 10:18, Anonymous Jackie said…

    The walk sounds like a fantastic way to see the city. Sadly, I can't commit to anything in the morning mainly because I'm not good company that early, but I may try to walk this myself on Sunday before I have to go home.

  • At 21/9/09 11:17, Blogger Alice Q. Foodie said…

    I love this idea - but I'm a little leery of the idea of walking 5 miles and then going to the conference without a shower? Is there anyone with a room at the hotel who might volunteer to let us shower there?? Otherwise, I might have to peel off and head back to Tommy's in the middle of the walk.

  • At 21/9/09 11:54, Anonymous Genie said…

    This is such a great plan, Sam! Not sure yet whether I'll be joining or not -- guessing not, just because of schedule constraints, but I'm definitely going to use this walking route another time, if not this weekend!

  • At 22/9/09 08:57, Blogger ChrisB said…

    That's a great walk Sam brings back memories not that I did it all in one go!

  • At 23/9/09 09:06, Blogger Beccy said…

    It sounds like a fab walk, wish I was there to join in.

  • At 23/9/09 16:24, Blogger nikki said…

    What a great way to explore the city and stretch our legs pre-conference. I plan on joining you for the walk, however, I do have a toddler who will be with my mister back at the hotel so if all goes well with them, I'll be there.

  • At 24/9/09 21:39, Anonymous Rachel said…

    Thanks for organizing this! I'd love to join in, so I'll plan to be there bright and early Saturday.

    I might also peel off about 4 blocks before the end to switch out of my hiking clothes (I'll be close by the St. Regis) at my hotel.

    Thanks again! See you Saturday!

  • At 25/9/09 13:20, Blogger Sam said…

    looking forward to walking with everyone who makes it to the rendezvous at 6.30 tomorrow! See you there.

    Thanks for all the interest.


  • At 25/9/09 21:09, Anonymous rachel said…

    :( My Virgin America flight let me down--delayed by 4 hours, to well after midnight. Planning an early morning seems a pipe dream right now.

  • At 25/9/09 22:28, Blogger Sam said…

    Rachel - I am so sorry to hear that - I read your tweet earlier. Maddening. I usually love Virgin. If you happen to wake up anyway on account of the jet lag from Seattle ! - we'll still be glad to have you join us.

  • At 25/9/09 23:20, Anonymous leena! said…

    I literally just read about this at 11:21pm on Friday night, but it sounds amazing, and I am going to try and make it. Thanks for organizing this, and I look forward to meeting you.

  • At 30/9/09 12:29, Blogger FaustianBargain said…

    *completely unrelated*

    i dreamt of you last night...actually it was a dr.who dream(tardis in SF..this might be possible..who knows) and you were rose tyler. i dont know how that translates, but there ya go...

    i had to share!

  • At 30/9/09 13:52, Blogger Sam said…

    Although I personally find it rather too flattering, I have, more than once, been told I look like Billie Piper. I think they probably meant "you look like you could be Billie Piper's mother, at a stretch".

  • At 30/9/09 23:54, Blogger Brooke said…

    Doh! I wish I had heard about your hike! I truly love a great hike in the AM. It's one of my favorite ways to start the day.

    Next time I'm up for Blogher (I bet next year they'll have their food act together), I'll be there!

  • At 15/10/09 10:46, Anonymous Julie R. said…

    What a great use of Map My Run! I should use this more often when describing jaunts through Portland.

    Ah, I miss San Francisco. If only I could be there for this!


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