The Ventana, Big Sur rugged and warm backcountry, is easily accessible from the Bay by training to San Jose either via Amtrak or Caltrain and then taking the Amtrak thruway bus to King City with a bicycle. We rode the car-free, rugged Indians-Arroyo Seco Road for a loop ride that took in Fort Hunter Liggett unending fields of oak and army operations as well as the cold waters of the Arroyo Seco gorge.Photos of day one and day two, with day three to come, by erik jensen of cosmic country.
I recently wrote a response to a pro-electric cars essay in the excellent journal n+1 by historian Daniel Albert. One issue that Albert addresses is called anxiety an oft-cited obstacle that stands in the way of widespread acceptance of the electric car standard. Range anxiety is technological, part psychological Albert writes; the internal combustion(IC)-conditioned motorist expects to be able to travel unlimited distances with minimal stops made possible by widespread fueling stations and short amount of time it takes to re-fuel with oil.These expectations are put in doubt by the untested electric car re-charging infrastructure.
As I was formulating a response to the n+1 piece, which embraces an electric car future on narrow, determinist grounds (Albert assumes we all be driving electric cars soon, and wonders why it is taking so damn long), I began to think about my own anxiety. It turns out I have it too, even though I have not owned a car for years and hope to never own a car electric, IC, or biofuel-powered. moped accessories .I experience range anxiety whenever I have to think about taking a trip with a car, without my bicycle and transit. The idea of having to use a car for a trip, whether it be for trail riding in Marin, exploring Big Sur and its backcountry, or visiting Death Valley National Park, makes me anxious. If I want to go for a bike ride or a hike in Marin county, using a car will mean that my fellow travelers and I will need to start from a certain point, leave the car there, and then make sure to get back to that same point by a certain time, drastically limiting the range of the journey.
I recently took transit from Oakland to Point Reyes Station and road along a series of trails and roads, in a linear but self-directed, exploratory fashion, to San Francisco. If I had had to drive, the trip would not have been possible. I would have been stuck doing a loop ride, tracing a circle when it is often much more interesting to ride to a different destination, in this ride case, the bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park. For me, anxiety is not the fear of the IC-engine driving motorist pondering an incomplete electric car infrastructure, but is the anxiety
that I will be tied down to a car at all. Yet again the supposed limitless freedoms of automobility are less than they appear when looked at from the post-car point of view.