I heard the surf, the waves, the Pacific Ocean while biking along the Great Highway today. My first time biking the western edge of San Francisco without cars for company. A good day to be a San Franciscan with temps in the 60s and 70s. For those of us who live and bike in NOPA: Just a few blocks to the park and then to the ocean: what better location?
San Francisco's Sunday Streets came to the Great Highway today and opened one long stretch of highway from JFK Drive to Sloat Blvd. (Motorists might say the highway was "closed" to cars. It's a matter of perspective). The highway has been blocked to traffic before, most frequently to clear misplaced sand dunes from the roadway and recently for the Tour de California cyclists, but I've never before been here amid bikers and peds only. This was special.
I heard -- and saw -- kids on bikes. On the highway. The Freedom from Training Wheels crew were out once again to help parents help their kids with biking skills. This is biking of the present and the future.
Just when the serenity of the ride lulled me, I was jolted by Fossil Fool, the Bike Rapper at the Rock the Beach Bike Party. This otherwise lonely stretch of sand at the intersection of Noriega has never seen so much bike energy, literally. A line-up of bikers provided pedal power for Fossil Fool's band and mic -- although FF projected so much of his own energy he might not have needed them. What they say about themselves: "We're bike people. We're inventors and advocates working away in a sweet little workshop in Berkeley, California, pushing the limits of bike culture." Visit their site, check their tunes, get to their performances.
Sunday Streets in San Francisco has been so popular that planning is already underway for more street openings next year and more frequently. I loved the long open ride through Golden Gate Park to the ocean -- we don't "go to the shore" here -- but I'm looking forward to more Sunday Streets in city neighborhoods next year. But then, why wait? Why not open our blocks regularly on our own?