Now that the Golden Gate Bridge has celebrated its much-anticipated 75th birthday, one more date hereby joins the timeline of San Francisco’s most notable landmark. On such an occasion as this, I find it quite interesting to look back into history, to the birth of what will very likely outlive our grandchildren’s great-grandchildren!
Monthly Archives: May 2012
Finally! Relieved cyclists are at long last returning to the west sidewalk of the Golden Gate Bridge, thanks to its much-anticipated and very necessary reopening this week. This of course comes just in time for the iconic landmark’s big 75th anniversary celebration this weekend, while not a moment too soon– as I’ve said before— for us cyclists simply tired of having to navigate the narrow and overcrowded east walkway. For months the bridge’s east side has been nothing more than a maddening pedestrian obstacle course. Now, happily enough, the madness is all over, at least for now if not– fingers crossed– for good.
This lengthy and unfortunate cycling inconvenience came about, as you may very well know, thanks to south-end construction of the new Golden Gate Bridge entry plaza and Bridge Pavilion, which has now finished up right on schedule with this weekend’s anniversary festivities. Not only did the work wipe away existing pathway access to the west sidewalk, but bridge officials apparently decided not to let cyclists pass through the service area or alongside the toll booths, which would have been perfectly fine with me. Instead we waited– and suffered– until now, as finally the time has come for cyclists to “go west” once again.
Happy 75th, Golden Gate. I’m looking forward to my first west-side crossing in far too long. Plus, seeing as the new pathway from the plaza to the west sidewalk is much improved over the previous, wider and smoother that is, in the end it looks like we cyclists have been rewarded!
Let’s See More…
A professional cycling race making its way along Sunset Boulevard through West Hollywood was truly an impressive and memorable sight to behold today. Indeed this was the first time the Amgen Tour of California featured such a route, along a stretch of roadway my own bicycle knows all too well– at somewhat slower speeds among a few more cars of course. Still, to see the peloton hammer through such familiar territory was nothing less than an honor and an inspiration.
As plans evolve for 2013, I hope the Tour of California decides to bring road racing back to even more of L.A., to some exciting and challenging streets yet to be conquered. Mulholland Drive, anyone? In any case, let’s see some more of this in our own backyard. May today’s first not be the last!
In addition to the Tour of California, another major professional cycling event currently taking place is of course the 2012 Giro d’Italia. One of my favorite racing powerhouses, “fastest man on two wheels” Mark Cavendish, continues to prove he’s beyond awesome in taking today’s Stage 13 in the northwestern town of Cervere, as we see above. No matter how it all ends on May 27, Cavendish and his numerous awesome competitors are already fueling my anticipation of this year’s Tour de France, come June 30!
In The Blink…
Blink and you probably missed them! The 2012 Tour of California is well underway, with Stage 2 kicking off this morning in San Francisco’s picturesque Marina District. The peloton didn’t exactly stick around for coffee; within minutes riders were hammering south en route to today’s finish line in Aptos. Hitting a mere 40 MPH on my own ride today, no doubt I would have been dropped.
If you did blink, look for the gang again tomorrow at the start of Stage 3 in San Jose. Quite a cycling week it is!
“What The Hell’s The Presidency For?”
In light of one refreshingly frank rhetorical question from President Lyndon Johnson almost 50 years ago, President Obama might very well be asking himself the same thing today. Considering Mr. Obama’s now-clarified support of same-sex marriage, it seems a very solid question on which to base his announcement.
In addition to the expected widespread liberal praise, agreement with the president’s viewpoint is coming even from conservative sources. Former Bush Solicitor General Ted Olson, who more than two years ago wrote the conservative case for gay marriage, wasted no time yesterday in reminding us Mr. Obama has it right. In fact, Mr. Olson goes on to articulate precisely the argument that too often seems to be forgotten:
“How many citizens would have voted to continue separate-but-equal schools, if you’d put that to a vote in 1954? In fact, in 1967, there were 14 states that prohibited interracial marriages, indeed made interracial marriages a felony, and the Supreme Court struck down those laws unanimously in 1967.” (Avlon, DB 5/9/12)
It’s been said before and will be said again: Civil rights, for any group at any time, need not be put to a popular vote. Why gay marriage continues to be left to “the will of the people” certainly baffles many of us. Nevertheless, President Obama has now placed himself in the position of initiating some real and permanent change on this matter, while perhaps drawing on the experience of LBJ. After all, the question that rang true in 1963 should certainly carry its weight in most any circumstance.
Regardless of what comes next, at least Mr. Obama is no longer “evolving.” And in spite of all the tension, argument and debate, we always need a good chuckle!
Untouched & Unmistakable
Some designs in the automotive world never change, nor should they. As we now approach the 50th anniversary of a beloved icon that debuted in 1963, and throughout this past half-century of remarkable technological advancement, the basic shape remains largely untouched and refreshingly unmistakable.
In other words, a Porsche 911 is and seemingly always will be, well, a Porsche 911. Having recently enjoyed my first roadside spotting of 911’s newest incarnation– the seventh-generation 991— among all else, the longer, flatter tail lights immediately flagged a striking resemblance to its oldest predecessors. Before delving further into the features of this amazingly advanced machine, I was already both impressed and nostalgic.
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche clearly made an indelible mark on the auto industry, while living long enough to see this latest version of his half-century-old creation. May he now rest in peace. And may all future 911 generations continue to respect and preserve Mr. Porsche’s original, one-of-a-kind design.