You may have heard that “San Francisco is hilly” or that there are “a lot of hills in San Francisco”.
Those are gross understatements.
This “city” is teaming with giant, steep and incredibly treacherous hills! And the crazy part is, everyone here goes about their day as if it’s completely normal to park your car on a 23% grade or hike-up the equivalent of the Appalachian Mountains to fetch a cup of coffee!
San Franciscans have adopted a series of intricate guidelines, rituals and even laws that help them adapt to the terrifyingly vertical landscape. Here a a few to keep in mind:
1) Navigate in Three Dimensions
In San Francisco, it’s not sufficient to know your way along a standard X-Y axis. Here you always need to consider the Z access before you set out on any journey. Otherwise, a simple trip to the tattoo parlor could strand you on the top of a freezing cold windy peak or at the base of an impenetrable cliff!
Evidently, from time-to-time, parking brakes fail and cars have been known to careen down the aforementioned steep hills of San Francisco, subsequently smashing into buildings, other cars and people. This is not a good thing.
So the “city” of San Francisco has a strictly enforced, and easy to remember, “curb-your-wheels” law: If you’re parked on the right side of the street, facing up a hill, turn your tires to the left and set the emergency break (or use the easy to remember abbreviation: RSFUHTTLSEB). If you’re parked on the left side, facing down a hill, you’ll of course turn your ties to the left (or LSFDHTTLSEB).
OK, so once you get to the top of hill there’s often a really nice view. That is if you survive the hike, or your bike has incredibly low gears or your car recently got its clutch replaced.