My bikey friend Janet Lefleur of Mountain View now writes a “Bike Fun” column for the Mountain View Voice. She writes on the secret bike passages of Mountain View in her latest column.
Google, Moffett Field (with its Hangar One and the NASA Ames Research Center), Intuit, the Mozilla Foundation, and numerous other high tech enterprises are located in the city of Mountain View, California. About 40,000 commuters also call this Silicon Valley city home. With an average commute time of 20 minutes, 6.2% of residents commute by bike.
Janet and her husband are both long time bike enthusiasts, and I frequently run into Janet in San Jose during our bike commutes. She recently began writing a column for the local paper focusing on the fun of riding bikes. In her most recent column, she looks at the secret bike passages in Mountain View.
View Secret Bike Passageways in Mountain View in a larger map
In her map, Janet only lists the official, public passages. I don’t know Mountain View well so I don’t know of those secret shortcuts that might lack public sanction.
I can tell you about some of the various fence cuts in various parts of San Jose. A colleague asked me this morning, “How do you find all of these shortcuts?” I find these secret passages mostly by watching where the homeless guys push their shopping carts and by looking for telltales such as social trails where grass and shrubs are damaged by frequent foot traffic. I found this walkway where San Pedro Street is interrupted at the train tracks, for example, by following a pair of apparently homeless men.
How about you? Do you take “secret” shortcuts like this on your bike that aren’t available to the car-bound? How do you find these passages? Are they marked on your local bike map?