I have been keeping an eye on the Urban Dare race for a couple of years and I finally got a chance to give it a go. My good friend Hiyamallar brought some long time SF knowledge and his big MIT brain and we had a great time tackling this unique event.
The start involves a series of clues that must be solved. Fortunately, you can use hand held internet devices or event better — you can call someone on the phone and have them look stuff up for you. In our case, we called both Hiyamallar’s brother and my wife Julie in an attempt to multitask. Once you figure out the locations you plot them on a map and try to figure the most efficient route.
Here’s the catch, you can only travel by foot or public transportation and San Francisco is hilly!
Each location requires your team to either photograph evidence that you were there (e.g. the photo here of us down by some tugboat on the Hyde Street pier), or to complete a "dare" in the form of a physical challenge. The funnest of those was the "bucket brigade" that required casting a bucket on a line into the bay and hauling up water to fill up a larger container.
We huffed and puffed our way around the city (from the embarcadero to north beach, the wharf, pac heights, hayes valley, tenderloin, and on to SOMA) making a couple nice mass transit connections and a few wrong turns.
Unfortunately our top ten finish was torpedoed when Hiyamallar suffered a freak urban accident fracturing his finger on a parking meter! He managed to complete the race but our judgement was clearly impaired and we blew 15 minutes getting to the last checkpoint when we were only 2 blocks away.
All in all it was good fun. This is not an extreme event–anyone can participate. It is also a fun way to get to know your city along with some arcane facts 🙂