Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Satisfied another ride notion
A couple of days ago, I had a few hours free to take a long-ish ride and uncharacteristically didn't feel like doing any hills. I have, however, an endless store of odd notions about where it might be entertaining to ride stored in the back of my mind, and this time the time seemed ripe to check out the bike lane across the Dumbarton Bridge.
After following the Stevens Creek Trail out to Shoreline, I skirted the edge of the bay through Palo Alto Baylands and East Palo Alto to the base of the bridge. It was quite interesting to note all the new development in East Palo Alto -- I used to live there back in '94 when the whole area was much more scruffy; now there's a bizarre juxtaposition of newer (mostly soul-less) chain stores and higher-density houseing developments along with the more run-down small weed-infested lots of yore. There was, happily, a good bike lane leading out to the bridge.
Even the old salt ponds out in that neck of the woods appear to be receiving some restoration. The view along the run-up to the bridge showed an interesting melange of mud, salt, a bit of brave vegetation, and large construction equipment.
For a brief moment, it looked like the bike trail was going to go along the old lower bridge.
Alas, that was not the case, but there was a comforting large cement barrier separating the bike lane from the fast-moving traffic. One nice thing about being on a bike is that you can stop and look at the view as many times as you want. (The presence of the small indestructable camera in my bike bag means you all get subjected to a small fraction of the view as well...)
After dropping off the bridge, I followed my nose across the wildlife preserve (Don Edwards) and wound my way over to the Alameda Creek Trail, which turned out to be a delightful flat paved bike trail along a relatively wide creek drainage. The creek still had quite a bit of water in it; it was quite peaceful and there were a lot of birds to look at on the way over to the base of the hills.
It was so gorgeous out, I took the long way home, heading into the hills along Niles Canyon and Calaveras Road before rejoining civilization. I ended up doing about 70 miles, of which only about 2 miles was in icky traffic. Pretty good for an urban area!
Despite the new territory, typical Anna habits still manifested themselves:
1. Missing the entrance to the bridge the first time (mmm, snack time)
2. Passing the same guy in the red shirt and his buddy 4 different times after getting off the bridge and due to lack of knowledge of the area, choosing a clearly indirect route over to the creek trail
3. Missing the turn from the trail onto Niles Canyon Road and ending up in a dead-end park (mmm, snack time)
4. Accidentally turning off of the main road at Sunol (How the heck did I get here? mmm, snack time)
5. Foolishly not getting more water when stopped in Sunol
6. Remembering too late that there's a bit of climbing to get up to the reservoir along Calaveras road (remember I forgot to refill the water bottles...)
I'd do it again.