Bicycles, Traffic and Caltrans

Photo by Richard Masoner (cyclelicious)

It is unfortunately difficult to ride a bicycle on public streets in most parts of the country without running into someone expounding on all the ways that bicycles hinder auto traffic.  While there is no denying that a car has occasionally been slowed by a cyclist, the more realistic truth is that cars do a much better job of slowing each other down than a cyclist cruising in a bike lane ever will.  In fact, that cyclist is actually helping by removing one car from that traffic snarl.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that on the whole California cyclists do have the governmental support – even if sometimes that doesn’t trickle down to the general population.

This was brought to the forefront of my thoughts with a tweet from The Path Less Pedaled:

whoa. a CalTrans page all about bike touring!

Caltrans District 1 Bicycle Touring Guide

I was a little surprised myself when I followed the link to that page.  In fact it does have some good information.  The page is specific to District 1, which according to the supplied map is the area around along the coast north of Napa and Sonoma.  Honestly this has got to be one of the more beautiful parts of the state, and if there was to be anywhere that deserved this much cycle touring attention, this would seem to be a good candidate.

The guide features maps, as well as documents on bicycle related topics such as cycling related laws, safety tips, and a rather handy list of contacts in each of the 12 Caltrans districts for all things bicycle related.