As I pedaled the Avenue of the Giants, I saw an old Northwestern Pacific railway bridge over the Eel River. It would be so civilized if the Sonoma-Marin (SMART) rail line were extended north to Eureka and Arcata, with a spur to Fort Bragg, enabling one to access (and bicycle tour) the Redwoods and California coast from the Bay Area without a car.
Pedaling through Marin and towards the Golden Gate Bridge last Sunday was also truly inspiring. There were hundreds of cyclists out on the regular Marin circuit, many with friendly waves and greetings. The Golden Gate Bridge was packed with smiling cyclists out for a rigorous Mt. Tam ride or rental bikes heading to Sausalito.
If you share in the dream of car-free vacations and bicycle touring, I urge you look at the California Bicycle Coalition's upcoming organized bike tour from Santa Barbara to San Diego. This could be your launching point for rethinking how we vacation in America.
Street Fight is a monthly column by Jason Henderson, a geography professor at San Francisco State University and the author of Street Fight: The Politics of Mobility in San Francisco.