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transcendental bike path

By enelson
Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 at 9:22 pm in Bicycling.

MeHiWheeler1.jpgOakland born and Hayward bred, Martin Krieg has survived clinical death after a 1978 auto accident and recovered enough to ride a bicycle across the United States a year and a half later.

Today he was trying to give something back to the society and community that he credits with helping him get back on his feet.

Now bicyling from Berkeley to Oakland may not seem so spectacular, but when you consider that it was one of the final legs of a Boson-to-San Francisco relay ride, it seems a little more impressive.

Where I really have to tip my hat, however, is knowing that he rode through Sacramento on Sunday in 113-degree heat to receive a proclamation in support of what has become  his life’s work.

His mission is to promote the creation of the mother of all bike paths, a 3,100-mile National Bicycle Greenway from Beantown to the City by the Bay.

What route it will take and who will pay for it are details he plans to work out in a business plan after he completes his third transcontinental bike ride next year.

His enthusiasm is infectious. It’s a marvel that anyone could get so worked up over chatting with the mayor of Berkeley about traffic calming measures like roundabouts and speed bumps. After that, it was on to Oakland and a lecture on the challenge of convincing Caltrans to run a bike lane through the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel.

As he does everywhere he goes on his annual relay, aptly named the Mayors’ Ride, he received proclamations  at both his stops today. In Oakland he got two, one personally from Councilwoman Nancy Nadel and another from a representative of Mayor Jerry Brown.

On Friday, he’ll be riding the last leg on his hiwheel, or pennyfarthing bicycle, you know, the kind with the huge wheel in front. He’ll be landing another proclamation in San Francisco and another promise of support.

If it were me, I might ride to Lake Merritt, and appeal directly the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for a few million, or maybe visit Sacramento when it was a little cooler and the legislature was in session.

But not Krieg. He just likes to spread the good word about his project, for which he keeps up a website and runs a modest nonprofit.

And heck, if the bike people could get $50 million for a bike path on the Bay Bridge, why not go all the way?

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