Sunday, October 6, 2013

Car-Free Headlands, thanks to the Republican Party

I rode Hawk Hill in the Headlands today, and what an eye-opening experience. Rather than a traffic-clogged photo-op, it was a peaceful vista to be savored and enjoyed. Walkers, hikers, cyclists were going up and down the hill, all smiling at the rare opportunity presented by the Federal shutdown... the shut-down of a national park service that is so car-centric it views "access" synonymous with "car access". I went to the summit then started descending the backside of Conzelman. As I turned a corner I saw two women slowly climbing the other way. My first reaction was "they're crazy", until a few seconds later it occurred to me... why not? The "narrow" road is plenty wide enough for bidirectional bike traffic. So when I reached the bottom I turned around and climbed it myself: ouch, that is steep. It's an opportunity I'm not likely to get again.

I strongly recommend checking it out. It's a chance to envision the potential of Hawk Hill -- something more than a traffic-clogged parking lot where people step out of their oversized vehicles, snap a few photos, then drive back down. I really wish the park service would realize that their version of "access" destroys the beauty of what they have the duty to protect.

One downer: I suffered dearly on that oh-so-steep climb of the Conzelman backside only to later upload my data and find the segment was flagged. The pain, the pain...

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