08.20.14 // Bring Your Bike to Outside Lands
Written by Jake Ellis
It’s not car-free, but it sure felt like freedom to be out on the road, no longer encased in a careening metal box; I had just exited BART onto 16th St in San Francisco. The whole ride over—from downtown Berkeley—I planned to read The Prophet by a Middle Eastern poet, Kahlil Gibran. Instead, I had focused my attention on the shifting of the bicycles leaned up against one another on the designated BART car bike-railing. It seemed a miracle that the bikes did not detach from their precarious stack of metal and roam about the cabin as if the seat belt sign had been permanently turned off. Every time the BART car hit a bump or made a slight directional change I lurched in expectation of an oncoming disaster, praying for my bicycle to remain calmly seated: something I was apparently incapable of.
Out on the road, I headed towards Golden Gate Park for the Outside Lands Music Festival; gliding up 16th St until I hit Market, I then cut up the city grid north towards Haight St. If you follow this route, it’s roughly 2.5 miles from 16th St to Golden Gate Park, but you feel like you’ve earned every revolution per minute cresting the mountain that is Haight St—crawling past steep grade residential blocks and randomly dispersed liquor stores, you finally reach the glorious, iconic Haight St bustling with hippies, homeless, and wanna-be stoners wandering around with undefined intentions. Imagine a tour bus on two wheels: all the satisfaction of people watching, except you are your own guide.
The journey from 16th St to the right wing of Golden Gate Park took about 45 minutes if you count the time I took to stop at Whole Foods and one of the randomly dispersed liquor stores; in this way you can avoid spending fifty dollars on beers and a single slice of pizza inside the venue. I spent another 20 minutes wandering the park honing in on the booming sound of Outside Lands as I snaked along side-paths that inevitably fade into JFK Drive. After observing the SF Botanical Gardens on my left, and the Japanese Tea Gardens on my right, I had landed at the clearly designated Bike Valet—painlessly guided by the ample signage posted along the way. A group of relaxed, smiling faces greeted me. One of the workers said, “Leave your helmets and locks on the bike if you have them, it’s totally fine.” And free! A safe, secure, and free bike parking lot and I don’t even have to carry my helmet at the festival?
Every year, Outside Lands continues to grow more and more massive with its rising popularity and eclectic artist lineup. This means traveling to and from the festival is and continues to be an absolute disaster. Thousands of people simply cannot pack into the inadequate number of Muni buses riding up and down Fulton. This year, some Uber cab fares from Golden Gate Park to BART were reportedly $300-400. Two years ago, my Muni bus driver drove us for 20 minutes before kicking everyone out of the bus because “her shift had ended.” We were closer to BART before we had stepped onto the bus. With a bike, I traveled to and from Outside Lands essentially for free ($8 round trip from 16th St to Downtown Berkeley BART station), and on my own time frame. I implore you, bring your bikes to Outside Lands!
08.12.14 // Exploring San Francisco: 5 Car-Free Zones
Written by Jake Ellis Whether you’re looking to hone your riding skills in peace or simply enjoy beautiful scenery while working out, there are countless car-free opportunities in San Francisco. I’ve compiled a list of my five favorite journeys located throughout the city; explorations of the breathtaking San Francisco, great for the family or a […]
11.08.13 // Fall Mountain Biking in Truckee, CA
Written by Cheryl Carmo We were smack in the middle of a torrential rain storm in mid-September driving from the Bay Area to Truckee. We had thoughts of turning back, but we knew that if we took it easy and drove safely, the one-day storm would pass and we would be in a mountain biking […]
Written by Cheryl Carmo On the spur-of-the-moment, we set out on a day-trip bicycle ride to take advantage of some natural air conditioning. Our foursome met at the public parking garage at Washington and Embarcadero West at Yoshi’s in Oakland, where parking is free with a ferry ticket validation. The rate from Oakland to The […]
06.05.13 // Volunteer Day: Amgen Tour Mount Diablo Stage 7
Written by Cheryl Carmo When we learned that Amgen Tour of California Stage 7 was coming to Mount Diablo, my husband Denny signed up as a Course Marshal Volunteer. Race day was Sunday, May 18, 2013. It was a great opportunity to be a part of this experience. Mount Diablo is in our backyard and […]
04.01.13 // A Day with the Livermore Bike Cruise
Written by Peter Fleming Photo credit: Ivan Angeles A month ago, I’d never heard anyone use the phrase “bike party.” I’m fairly certain that given infinite time to ponder the mysteries of humanity and the nuances of the English language, the two words would never have come together in my mind to form a phrase. To […]
11.13.12 // Biking In Brooklyn
Written by Nick Moore One of the benefits of finding travel accommodations through the burgeoning peer-to-peer system (which includes organizations like CouchSurfing and Airbnb) instead of through the more established system of hotels, motels, and hostels is that you often get more than you pay for (and you almost always pay less). This notion was […]