Friday, February 19, 2010

NOPA VELO Draws On Death-by-Duel Drama: Second Ride Set for February 28

Design by Rick Helf

NOPA VELO, the North Panhandle's much buzzed-about bicycling group for neighbors and friends, is geared up and ready for its second ride. More than 35 cyclists helped NOPA VELO launch its first outing, the wondrous Patty/Tania Hearst / Presidio tour. Organizers invite everyone to return for a trip just as memorable. Newcomers are definitely welcome.

On Sunday, February 28th NOPA VELO cyclists will meet at the Matching Half Cafe to get charged up and primed for the dastardly "Death-by-Duel" dash down the coast. Each month the group delves into the neighborhood's vast and arcane "NOPA Lore" to define its ride and determine its destination.

On the last day of February, VELO vibs spin their wheels in memory of the last days of David C. Broderick, the U.S. Senator from California who was shot and killed in a duel by a California Supreme Court Justice in 1859. Both Broderick and David S.Terry were Democrats, but they disagreed on abolition. Broderick was an anti-slavery advocate, and his one-time best friend Terry wanted to bring slavery into California. In the heat of arguments, they defamed each other's good name and then agreed to a duel near the shore of Lake Merced. Broderick's pistol fired prematurely, and Terry didn't wait for a second round. He shot and mortally wounded Broderick, who died three days later in a house at Fort Mason. The current resident reports that the house is haunted by the man who gave his name to a NOPA street.

February's ride will accommodate bikers of all levels with an emphasis on good times and pumped-up exercise. Kids with their own bikes who are accompanied by a guardian are definitely welcome. The death-by-duel ride will be a flat jaunt from NOPA through the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park to the Great Highway and then south to Lake Merced, a ten mile, one hour easy ride. Along the lake shore, the site of the deadly duel has been preserved for occasions like this. Memorial posts mark how far the two politicians paced before turning and taking their best shots. A re-enactment seems inevitable!

Flickr hoto by uzvards

After contemplating politicians who couldn't talk things through, NOPA VELO riders return by 12:30 pm for drinks and lunch at one of the North Panhandle's new restaurants, Bistro Gambrinus on Fulton near Masonic.

Heavy rain cancels; otherwise the ride is on. For more information contact Lenore at (415) 300-6744 or at Get all the NOPA VELO news and ride pics at the group's Google group here and look for future BIKE NOPA coverage of the Death-by-Duel ride.

Sunday, Feb. 28th
9:30 am Meet and Mingle @ Matching Half Cafe, 1799 McAllister at Baker
10:00 am Kick off for the ride
12:30 pm Drinks and lunch at Bistro Gambrinus, 1813 Fulton near Masonic

Site of Broderick-Terry Duel, California Landmark No. 19

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