Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sacramento goes for gold

Image of bicyclist encountering a coyote on the American River Bike Trail near SacramentoWe need more editorials in major metropolitan daily newspapers like this one, from the Sacramento Bee, 10.26.06:

Editorial: Next, go for gold
Sacramento earns the bronze for bicycling

"Sacramento isn't spinning its wheels when it comes to facilitating bicycling. Although there is much more work to be done, the city, for the first time, has earned a bronze ranking from the League of American Bicyclists for its bike paths, bike lanes and other recent improvements. Cycling advocates and the city's transportation department deserve credit for this national recognition as a bicycle friendly community...We can't rest on our laurels..."

I was fortunate to do a lot of bicycling in the Sacramento region, during my time living in nearby Davis. The selection of Sacramento as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclist was well deserved, and a real credit to the efforts of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates.

Among other things, Sacramento cyclists enjoy one of the country's best bicycling facilities, the American River Bike Trail (above), a 32-mile Class 1 bike route from Sacramento to Folsom. In addition to attracting thousands of recreational cyclists, the trail also serves as an important bike commuting corridor, providing an alternative to traffic-clogged U.S. 50 and I-80 freeways from the Sierra Nevada foothills to downtown Sacramento.

A small minority of "bike rights" advocates are known to object to bike paths, or more accurately, multi-use paths, feeling that the proper place for "serious" bike travelers is on the road. However, paths provide an important option for bicyclists uncomfortable with riding in traffic. As the American River Trail demonstrates, paths are often more pleasant than congested streets. And many casual cyclists become bike commuters after developing their interest and skills through recreational riding.

More facilities like the American River Bike Trail would encourage even more bicycling.

Resources:
Inside Guide to Sacramento
Best Short Hikes in and Around the Northern Sacramento Valley
VIA Magazine article on Sacramento and bike trail

Image: Bicyclist encountering a coyote on the American River Bike Trail near Sacramento. Photo by Paul Dorn
Visit: Bicycling along the American River, Manteca Bulletin
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips

3 comments:

Web said...

The Sacramento area is getting more bicycling facilities. How about the new trail that just opened to Rio Lindo? Or the proposed extension of the trail on the American River.

As a national cycling advocate and a lover of bike trails, I can tell you that Sacramento is definitely a world class bicycling destination.

Respectfully,
Larry Lagarde
World-Class-Bike-Trails.blogspot.com
Urging bicycling for recreation, commuting, health and a better future.

SacForums said...

I grew up biking on the American River Parkway & think this is great news. They need to do more to make it safer. Many years later, I would still feel okay biking alone, while it's light out, but not if it were my wife going solo...

Anonymous said...

So what does a cyclist do when they encounter a coyote? What an amazing experience for an urban dweller. Connection with what's real.