It's hard to fault the city of Sausalito for trying to raise money for its charities during this year's Tour of California. It's just that it costs motorists $6 to drive across the bridge these days, so charging a select group of VIPs $500 each for the thrill of pedaling a bicycle across the iconic span (on the roadway itself) seems to send the wrong message at the wrong time.
This is not business as usual... California has dropped its budget chain, unemployment is spinning faster than a runaway fixie on Lombard Street, and the dopers in Detroit still haven't figured out the world doesn't need a new fleet of gas-guzzling SUVs.
There's an opportunity here, and sadly we're missing it. Instead of opening the bridge to a small peloton of bib shorts with deep pockets, why not close the bridge to motor traffic both ways for two or three hours and allow cyclists to cross the span for the regular $6 toll. Imagine thousands of cyclists of every kind, young and old, riding together through that Golden Gate as a symbol we need to change our priorities. And by all means give the money to the charities.
Now I understand closing the bridge, even for a short period of time, is a logistical nightmare with an economic impact. And it's true that cyclists can ride across the bridge perimeter most days of the year, but this is different. If it wasn't, Sausalito wouldn't think they could charge $500 for the experience.
It's ironic that sharing a bridge could be the perfect metaphor for sharing the road. I wish someone had thought that through before I did.