Saturday, September 07, 2013
Biking the Beautiful Bay Bridge
This past week the eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened. Since Robb and I moved to California this bridge has been under construction and under a cloud of controversy.
I'm happy to say that the bridge is a beauty, and that Robb and I were quick to try out the new and almost-completed bike path. I imagine that the entire bike lane won't connect to Yerba Buena and Treasure Islands until the old bridge is demolished.
Because I'm working on Saturday, I had the day off on Friday. We figured that every single person with a bike would be trying out the bridge this weekend, so we scampered over as quickly as possible. The weather was dazzling, and every cyclist on the bridge was grinning like crazy. The pedestrians weren't quite as giddy, because the downhill slope didn't make their six mile walk any easier. The climb up is steady and gradual. And holy moley! The decline is a huge amount of fun. Typically, I'm very cautious going downhill too fast on my bike. I worry about hitting a patch of gravel, and having an unpleasant wipe-out. I don't think I've ever ridden on such an immaculate road in my life.
Nor have I ever seen such a clean, gleaming bridge.
It is a wonderful thing to ride right next to the old bridge, and to think about the changes in architecture in the eighty years since the old bridge was built. The old bridge was, no doubt, a marvel in its day. But the new bridge is downright elegant -- all swooping curves and stark surfaces.
The bike lane hugs the south side of the bridge, and when the old bridge is dismantled, the views are going to be breathtaking. How about it? Have you ridden the new bridge, yet?