A cyclist is a kind of wheeled chimera with the head of a pedestrian and the body of a small, slow car. They make their way seamlessly between street and sidewalk habitats with hardly a backward glance, obeying road signs only when its convenient.
This street-to-sidewalk fluidity is one of my biggest frustrations as a motorist, but it’s one of my favorite perks as a bicycle commuter. I consider it a point of pride when I find a new short-cut that is off the beaten path.
My current office is within walking distance of home, so I don’t bike much anymore, but previously my office was a 3-mile cyclable distance. Some of the roads had bike lanes, some didn’t, and over time I found alternative paths to avoid being honked at and sideswiped for going slow up a long hill.
Google apparently heard about my plight, because they’re beta testing a bicycle path feature in GoogleMaps. Now, you can navigate your route with those special cycle-centric traffic laws you’ve been practicing all these years.
Google’s suggested route for my commute is marked on the map above, and you’ll see some green lines indicating bike paths and greenways. The yellow line shows the way you’ll really want to go if you don’t enjoy having commuters throwing beer cans at your head when your lungs give out in the middle of a busy hill. Just an FYI.