If you've spent even a day on a bicycle in San Francisco, you know the mix of ease, accommodation, fury, and terror. Some of the city's main thoroughfares that practically have grooves worn into them by skinny road tires are also fraught with the ferocity of traffic lights timed for 35 mph, expensive European SUVs in a hurry, buses with blind drivers, and bike lanes that either don't exist or might as well not be there. (Hello, Fell. Good to see you again, Oak.) But the city's pedaling masses are a tenacious bunch, and there's a movement afoot to establish crosstown routes that would (among other things) create wide lanes between sidewalks and parked cars, providing a buffer from the fast-moving, two-ton harbingers of roadkill. Come get a feel for one of these routes at the Bay to the Beach Bikeway ride. It's part of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's plan called Connecting the City, and it's the first on the agenda to be built. As it should be. A lot of human-powered commuters use parts of this route, and the coalition wants to show that even a long and potentially difficult path can be safe for riders of any age or skill level with the right amount of planning and consideration.
Sat., Jan. 29, 10 a.m., 2011