Bridge To Bridge Cycling Connects Two Counties
Benicia’s unique geographic orientation near the mouth of the Sacramento River was the perfect criteria for a port town in the Gold Rush era, with it’s accessibility to San Francisco and beyond by boat, and then up to the foot of gold country. The construction of the first Carquinez Bridge in 1927 (a cantilever bridge to which a second span was added in 1958 and replaced in 2003) and the subsequent Benicia-Martinez Bridge in 1962 (new span added in 2007) made Benicia an easy destination from any direction by car. And the opening of a Carquinez Bridge bike lane in 2004 and Benicia Bridge bike lane in 2009 upped the city’s bike-ability exponentially. It’s actually quite rare for a city to be flanked on either side by bike-able bridges, allowing for a multitude of circuitous routes. Scott Overfield of the Benicia Bike Club knows this. “The cycling in Benicia was pretty limited before the bridges had bike lanes. Now there’s a lot more choice. We are really very lucky to have so many options.” The bike club holds several bridge-to-bridge rides each week along different routes, which can be individually tailored by distance and difficulty. The bike club has over 100 members and all their weekly rides are listed on the website, beniciabikeclub.org. Overfield says as few as two or three people show up for a ride, and sometimes as many as 15. They always see hosts of other bikers on the bridge-to-bridge rides. Annual membership to the Benicia Bicycle Club costs $20 and is open to newer riders as well as seasoned experts.