No idea if Taylor Street between Pine and California is one of the steepest blocks in San Fran. But it is steep enough that on one sidewalk the city planners went ahead and made it a stairway. Thank god, as it makes the trip down so much easier on my knees.
I know this block pretty well now. I did a dozen sprints up and a dozen walks down the other day. It was a real ass-kicker of a workout, all the more so as my ass was already feeling kicked from dealing with my five-year-old son having broken his tibia the day before at the Nob Hill playground a stone’s throw from the top of Taylor.
The photos don’t do this monster justice. Nor do the cold and dry facts. According to Google maps the block is just .0621 miles long. It is roughly a 30-percent grade.
How to put this into more relatable terms? Easy. Stand in the end zone of your local high school’s football field. Ask a friend who is handy with a hammer and nails to build a nine-story building in the other end zone. Ask the same friend to install a ramp from your end zone to the top of his building. Boom. That ramp is how steep and how long Taylor Street is. That is a 30-percent grade.
My interval session felt great. Fizzing with endorphins, I went back to the hotel gym to round out the workout with some elliptical and weight work. As I was signing in I bragged about my hilly effort to the woman behind the counter. She smiled but there is no impressing a San Fransican with talk of romping up and down their hills. They do it all the time.