Monday, February 25, 2013

The Road to the Far North

For cyclists who want to avoid riding on a freeway, Southern Humboldt County--and all of California to the south--has been linked to Oregon and everything to the north--by a single, rapidly disintegrating bridge over the Mad River. If, say, you were headed south (You don't want to tour the Pacific Coast heading north because you will be fighting head winds daily) you needed a way to cycle from this…

Redwood National Park

to this

Downtown Arcata

"Emily's House"  7th St Arcata

You had to hope the Mad River bridge on The Hammond Trail, which is crusted with rust and no longer maintained, lasts long enough for you to cross it.

Now we have a very sold alternative. Caltrans has added a protected and separate bike lane to its Freeway (route 101) bridge over the Mad River. The bike path wasn't officially opened yesterday, but I followed the lead of other cyclists and joyfully jumped the detour--and rode across the river.

Pick it up in Arcata (on the south side) by opposite the Chevron station on Guintoli Road. On the north side simply take Central Ave in McKinleyville to North Bank Road.

I headed north yesterday...

...and returned on the Hammond Trail, which I had all to myself for miles on end.

To the north Oregon, Washington, Canada and Alaska. And to the west the whole way…