Monthly Archives: November 2014

Secrets of the East Bay, Vol.1: Caldecott Tunnel Free-Fall

Oakland Sunset by Thomas Hawk

Oakland Sunset by Thomas Hawk.

If you come out of the Caldecott Tunnel towards Oakland at the right velocity, about 67mph in freely moving traffic, you can put your right foot flat on the floor and your car will simply drop down out of the hills. At sunset, with the Bay opening up in front of you, framed by the darkness of the eucalyptus-scented hills, the lights of the Bridge coming to life like fireflies and all the cities glittering, it feels like flying.

This is safest if you’ve come through the left-hand bore, as otherwise you may¬†have to cheat and tap your brakes smartly when people exit onto the Warren Freeway towards Berkeley. Caveat: I’ve only tried this with a variety of 4-door Hondas and Corollas, and my friend Tinny’s small pickup. Larger, heavier cars may not have the right combination of wind resistance, momentum and cambering to effortlessly keep up with traffic.

the photo was taken September 25, 2013 by Thomas Hawk, about whom I know nothing except that he has a photo named “Straight to Hell” (after the Clash song) in an album called “Where’s Rothko when I need him?”, so he seems cool. It is cc-licensed.