Today we rode 25 miles on the Iron Horse Regional Trail; a really nice off-road path that travels Concord to Dublin just west of Mt. Diablo. We actually started pedaling shortly after 10 AM, and there were again, lots of people enjoying the trail by then. This multi-use, whole-access trail between the cities of Concord and Dublin follows the Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way established in 1891 and abandoned in 1977. Currently it is complete from Highway 4 in Concord to Dublin. When fully completed the trail will span the distance from Livermore in Alameda County to Suisun Bay in Contra Costa County, a distance of 33 miles, connecting two counties and 12 cities. Many trails are both near and cross the Iron Horse, for example the Canal Trail, and the Lafayette Moraga Trail is not far from it either if you’re in Walnut Creek.
As you can see civilization isn’t very far away. It’s pretty nice, but if you want to really get into a rhythm it’s best not to ride on a weekend as there’s lots of people and unfortunately one has to slow to check for cars for many streets the trail crosses. But this was our long mileage day, and the goal was long, slow distance. So while it was sometimes a bother to have to slow, I imagine if we could get going earlier we’d miss a lot of people and cars on the cross streets.
We just took our time, and because it was our first time on this trail we had a couple stops for navigation purposes. Then there was the little shopping center diversion for a restroom, and we didn’t seem to notice that the first 12.5 miles were slightly uphill. We did an out and back route. We stopped at the turn around spot and enjoyed some water in the shade and headed back to the start. Since we now knew our way combined with the downhill I think it took us half as long to cover the same distance back to our starting point.
I didn’t mention that there are BART stops all along this route, in fact, we started at the Pleasant Hill BART and just rode south. K seemed to enjoy the trail and I think we’ll probably do our 30 miles next weekend on it too. I have a new Revelate Designs tangle bag and I’m planning on using a bladder next weekend. What’s great is the bladder will fit inside the bag and has a hole so the tube can exit right along the stem. Between my Carradice bag and the tangle bag I’m still getting away with no backpack. I also tried a new Hammer product today; the Electrolytes Fizz, grapefruit flavor. It was really good. I used the capsules in my training for my Kayak race and they worked well too. Since I’m drinking water anyway I thought I’d give these a try. Thumbs up! I’ve also used the Perpetuem powder; I’d make a multi-hour bottle. I did well with this product as my stomach doesn’t really like food when I’m exercising. Today however, I used the Perpetuem tablets, which are extremely convenient, but I don’t like them as much as the powder. Just so happened I have several of the tubes of tablets left, so they’re getting used up first.