Now, can you imagine rollerskating down it?
Fast forward a few minutes, at approaching break-neck speed, starting down the middle of California Street, dodging obstacles, an act of defiance likely to grow more heroic with every telling, and all because of one man.
Wayne Freedman: Are you a daredevil?
Zigfried 'Ziggy' Stuhl: I am.
"He's 85 years old and on roller skates. He can skate the pants off of you," said friend Ralph Boethling.
Yes, 85 -- a retired Muni man, whose claim to fame is that he improved the braking systems of cable cars. It's probably a good thing today.
"When I fall down, I can always manage to go down then scrape along," Stuhl told ABC7News.
You know, this is not the first time that San Franciscans have used our famous hills for sport. In fact, they have done so quite often.
Who knows what stunts brave soul may have tried around here in the days before video or movies. We know only the rules of physics never change, what goes up eventually comes down.
And while Ziggy didn't fall, Thursday, his partner did.
"The brake on my skate kind of twisted," Boethling said.
Kind of attempting this downhill assault seemed kind of twisted.
Wayne: Does this qualify as 'do not try this at home?'
Ziggy: For sure!
But for a legend in his home city -- why not?