“The Bicycle is King Again”

Ahead of the holiday, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite things that Herb Caen ever wrote:

“And then to the rarest treasure, Golden Gate Park on a car-free Sunday morning, the air wet and clean, the meadows green with the promise of spring. Not a single automobile: The silence is deafening, you can actually hear the branches dripping moisture, squirrels scrambling through the underbrush — and the birds! Hundreds of redbreasted robins bobbing across the lawns, now that there are no cars to frighten them. On Stanyan, the families are renting bikes and heading into the winding trails.

“Slowly it dawns on them that they can use the main drive and the roads. For once the world does not belong to the automobile. The bicycle is king again and the rider may go where fancy dictates without looking nervously over his shoulder. You are even allowed, for a few unrealistic minutes, to reflect on how pleasant life would be if the car were banned from San Francisco.”

-Herb Caen, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 28, 1973

Ten years ago, inspired by the promise of more mornings like the one Herb Caen described, your San Francisco Bicycle Coalition won Healthy Saturdays — opening JFK Drive to people walking and biking on Saturdays from April through September. Now we have the opportunity to make the bicycle king again in Golden Gate Park every Saturday, all year long. But we can’t do it without your help. Will you help fund our organizing work by making a personally significant, year-end gift today?


In a busy, dense city like San Francisco, we cherish our open spaces. With over 1,000 acres of parkland, Golden Gate Park is the backyard for thousands of locals and a destination for thousands of visitors. That’s why I’m asking for your support to step up our advocacy and open up Golden Gate Park to people walking and biking year-round.

In 2007 we fought powerful interests who were more concerned with seeing JFK Drive used as a parking lot than as an open recreational space for families, seniors and people from every neighborhood across our city. Those same wealthy opponents are determined to stop us again, even though access to the 800-spot Music Concourse parking garage would not be affected.

We need your help to build a strong coalition of advocates to help expand Healthy Saturdays. We will use those resources to mobilize members, local institutions and organizations to show City leaders that San Franciscans want more open streets in Golden Gate Park.

In an uncertain world, the peace and freedom of a Saturday morning bike ride in Golden Gate Park is one of the few things I can count on to restore my spirit. Let’s take Caen’s “few unrealistic minutes” and multiply them for all San Franciscans. Let’s win Healthy Saturdays year-round.

Become a member and you'll improve your commute and get discounts at shops across the city.