Car-Free Roads – Photo Essay (Pt. 2)
Over the past two months, people of all ages and skill levels seized the unique, seemingly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride some of Marin’s most iconic roads–including Ridgecrest Boulevard, Bolinas-Fairfax Road, and Conzelman Road–all without the danger and threat of car traffic. We asked you to share your experiences riding on closed roads in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, Mt. Tamalpais Watershed, and Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Over the next few weeks, we will highlight your rides on car-free roads. Your messages will support our efforts to pursue future car-free events throughout Marin’s public lands.
we want to hear from you!
If you rode any of Marin’s car-free roads during Shelter in Place, we still want to hear from you! Please take a few minutes tocomplete our short survey and upload photos from your rides. Your testimonials will help us thank park agencies for keeping these roads open to people on bikes and advocate for permanent or periodic closures to cars after the Shelter in Place Order is lifted.
Car-Free Roads Make for CareFree Rides – Pt. 2
As a 20 year commuter from Marin to SF and back 3 to 4 times a week, I have become very conscious of cars. I ride about 7,000 miles a year. Car-free-roads have made riding even better. It is great to see more (like 5 times the number) people on bikes. I hope the riders don’t stop once the doors are opened back up. – Frank R.
It was wonderful to ride out to Tennessee Valley one day — very serene. The ride up to Hawk Hill for the first time was made by the fact that there were no cars to worry about! And we saw a coyote on McCullough. – Jennifer G.
The first time I rode Ridgecrest I was able to spy on a coyote who was waiting for his meal to appear from a burrow. I watched him for a good 10 minutes. The next time I rode it it was clear the coyotes were loving no cars up there as their scat was all over the road and they had figured out it was safe to use the roads more regularly as a way of traveling and well, as a bathroom apparently. – Chris N.
I have only ridden the Bolinas Fairfax Road once before–when the road was closed due to a slide. I love that both the Sky Oaks Road and the Bolinas Fairfax Road are closed now and I hope that we can get each of them closed to cars at least once a month. We have walked and ridden on both recently and it has been such a joy to feel safe and experience the incredible quiet of getting way out there without cars. There are so many more animals about (deer, turkeys, coyotes) and the whole landscape seems to be regenerating without the masses of people. – Lisel B.
After living abroad in Amsterdam in 2008-2009 and commuting solely via bike, I rediscovered a love of cycling and brought that back to the US with me when I moved to Marin. Since our cycling infrastructure is vastly less developed than that in the Netherlands, I’ve generally kept to mountain biking due to safety concerns on roads with no bike lanes. The past two months have been absolutely magical in the GGNRA and Mount Tamalpais State Park, particularly the world-class experiences of riding on Ridgecrest Boulevard and Pan Toll Road, which I’ve only done on a handful of occasions over the past decade. These carefree car-free experiences have been the brightest of lights in the dark days of the pandemic, and I treasure every moment. – Brett G.
It’s been wonderful. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting a vehicle to come bearing down on me. It took me a while to relax and adjust. My wife and daughter rode to Alpine Dam for the first time. I don’t think they will do it when the traffic is back. We also hiked on the BoFax road. – Mark K.
I have sheltered in place for over two months and have ridden six days a week INSIDE on my trainer to avoid any accidents that may have burdened the healthcare system. As things have begun to stabilize and reopen, I have ridden solo outside from my house and sought quiet roads early in the morning for my mental and physical health. It is a completely different experience riding up Alpine Dam, over Ridgecrest and up Pantoll to East Peak now. I find it peaceful and calming. There is a community of human powered adventurers enjoying the quiet and savoring the natural beauty. I still look back constantly – still finding it hard to believe that a car or truck won’t be barreling through the quiet scenes of wildness I get to witness. I feel lucky and grateful to have had this time to enjoy these beautiful roads without cars and hope it may happen periodically again in the future! – Brian W.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ROAD CLOSURES
All parks, with some exceptions in Pt. Reyes National Seashore, are once again open to vehicle access.
For the latest news on the County’s Shelter in Place Order and what it means for bicycling in Marin, please visit our Covid-19 Resource Page.
WHAT ABOUT SLOW STREETS IN OUR CITIES/TOWNS?
MCBC staff continues to encourage agency officials to bring “slow streets” to our cities and towns. For more information on our slow streets efforts, click here.
Your voice needed! We have been fortunate in Marin to enjoy continued bike access to popular park roads that have been closed to cars during the Shelter in Place Order. Help us thank the agencies and make the case for permanent or periodic road closures by sharing your experiences riding Marin’s car-free roads during Shelter in Place.