Peace, Love, and Bicycles: (Re)Discover Your City, Ride Every Road
Bicycle Program Coordinator, Jeffrey Bruchez, shares how he's discovering Davis by riding his bike down every road--and wants to help you do it as well!
As a recent Bay Area transplant and new cyclist to Davis, I am eager to see as much of the city as possible and get to know my new home. With over 100 miles of bike paths, bike lanes, or multi-use paths, Davis is an idyllic oasis for the transportation cyclist. There’s a lot to discover--even rediscover--if you’ve not explored all the nooks and crannies of your city by pedaling up and down some new road.
Why Ride Every Road? | Who wouldn’t want to learn all about their new home? Like many people sheltering-in-place, I’ve got the time. I’m also driven and was inspired to ride every road by friends who have attempted to ride every road in San Francisco (one finished, another’s attempt is ongoing), which is a city with far more elevation gain and streets. What my friends discovered was their city's heartbeat and I'm inspired to learn what gives Davis life by doing similar. Cities are filled with lots of character, much of which is brilliantly visible by bicycle. Additionally, riding every road in Davis is helping me to immerse myself in this artistic college town and see what makes it so dynamic.
What I Discovered (So Far) | You get to see a lot of the city when you take to riding every road. I've seen how each neighborhood has a different architectural style. I've noticed how bike paths often connect a whole lot better than roads (nod to good city policy). And, I've observed an incredible amount of dead-end streets, adding to the charm and character of niche neighborhoods. Other points of interest include weird art cars, quirky yard aesthetics, unique public sculptures and an array of incredible murals painted in some intersections. Even in lockdown, you really get a feeling for the incredible Davis art community, a community still thriving, albeit quietly, down every street.
How To Get Started | Imagine the things you could learn about your neighborhood by going down an unfamiliar block. It’s plenty easy to walk every street in your neighborhood, or bike every road in town, just take the time and go out to go somewhere new. I use my phone to record a GPX track via a mapping app, it makes it easy to keep track of where I’ve been. Making use of spare time, I’ve taken up priority to finishing this project (riding with tight adherence to a safe social distance) and making this map. I find myself still asking, “How many dead ends do you think there are in Davis?” There is always more to discover.
- Plan Your Route/Don't Plan Your Route: Whether you're following a strict route or not, track the route you've ridden through a mapping app, or mark it on a City of Davis Bike Map. This will help you know where you've ridden and what's left to discover.
- Be Safe, Wear a Helmet, Observe Social Distancing Guidelines: Always take safety precautions when riding a bicycle and please observe social distancing rules and COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, which can be seen here.
- Start Easy: Ride around in a 1 mile radius from your home. Choose a specific and new neighborhood to explore. Plan to cycle anywhere for an hour, then head home. Whatever your point of entry is to explore Davis, do what you can and build from there. Have fun.
If you do choose to explore the streets of Davis, share your pictures and thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from cyclists and learn what you discover on your rides.
About the author
What’s playing: Donald Byrd. Places And Spaces, Blue Note Records, 1975.