I’d say it’s great to be back in Carson City, but this weather kind of stinks! Thankfully the weather on California’s north coast was fantastic when I visited recently, and I got some much needed R&R. The family and I spent a lot of time exploring the beaches and woods of the Lost Coast, and home base for the adventures was in Eureka.
Whenever I travel, I like check out the local bike scene. While I didn’t get to fully explore Eureka or visit a bike shop, I did observe what was happening downtown. With a population of less than 30 thousand people, the city is slightly smaller than Carson City. Eureka has the feel of a bigger city though. More urban. Buildings are taller and spaced closer together. With fewer parking lots, parking is less abundant, and riding a bike around the city looks like it would save a lot of hassle. In the downtown area, there seemed to be a bike rack at every corner, and many businesses had bike racks too. No bike lanes were present downtown, but the short blocks and low traffic speed allowed bikes to easily take the lanes.
The numerous cyclists and bikes that I observed downtown are worth mentioning as well. The bikes were mostly simple and utilitarian, and almost all had a basket or rack of some sort. Many were old bikes that had been fixed up, and I saw very few that cost over a couple hundred dollars. Not a thread of spandex was seen either. Everyone wore their plain street clothes, and I think I only saw two helmets all week. I saw one particular guy two times during the week, both times wearing a pink bandanna on his head and riding a girls bike. It might have looked odd somewhere else, but seemed right at home in Eureka. I’m not even certain these people would call themselves cyclists. They just seemed like people living on bikes as if that’s what you were supposed to do.
There is definitely a heart to the downtown in Eureka. The downtown is walkable and bikeable, and there is art to bee seen everywhere you look. Victorian style architecture can be seen throughout the town, adding to its intrigue. There were people out and about talking, mingling, and enjoying the restaurants. Eureka is even home to the Lost Coast Brewery.
My visits to Eureka have been short, and I’m looking forward to going back again to learn more. I’ll have to visit a bike shop or two when I go back and get the real scoop on the town. It looks like Spring may come back to Carson City later this week so we can get back to some pleasant riding. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few more pictures of Eureka…