Promoting pedal power

Alternative transportation a must

From the Marin Century on Aug. 3 to the Tour de Fox on Aug. 24, there are plenty of challenging charity rides to support this month. Photo: Curt Hentschke

Summertime, and the cycling is easy…except when it gets hot. Ride early, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

From the Marin Century on Aug. 3 to the Tour de Fox on Aug. 24, there are plenty of challenging charity rides to support this month. For a change of pace, check out the Garden Railroad Tour by bicycle, incorporating my two favorite types of transportation: bicycles and trains (See Save the Dates).

Just got back from Europe, a fantastic foray featuring short stops in Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Rostock and Copenhagen. Sure, I enjoyed the museums, the cathedrals and especially the bakeries! What stood out almost everywhere we went, however, were the buses and bicycles (and the resulting lack of cars).

You need to know that I am proud to be an American, but I get a little embarrassed when I see how far we lag behind other countries with regards to bicycle infrastructure and clean, efficient, punctual mass transit. We have accepted it that clogged streets and anemic transportation systems are our lot in life. The aforementioned European cities clearly proved to me that it doesn’t have to be that way.

So, how do we effect change with a culture so hopelessly devoted to automobiles? “Think globally; act locally” might be the answer when the task appears daunting. Start by joining your city’s bicycle committee. Ask your neighborhood school how you can help with Safe Routes to School. Change will take time, but change can happen. 

Save the Dates

• Aug. 3: Marin Century/Mt. Tam Double, marincyclists.com

• Aug. 10: Garden Railroad Tour—South County, [email protected]

• Aug. 17: Tour de Menlo—Atherton, tourdemenlo.com

• Aug. 24: Tour de Fox—Santa Rosa, tourdefox.com

Curt “Cycle Guy” Hentschke has pedaled more than 60,000 miles of South Valley and San Benito County trails. Send your cycle celebrations to [email protected] Check for last minute changes before attending.

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