Walk dogs at 6:30 AM; windy and a little cold. Out of driveway at 7:33; sunny and wind has died considerably. Unload at the trailhead (and I say trailhead because the majority of this ride was on the SF Bay Trail; no cars), depart 8:10.
So today was the last big ride (50 miles) before my Permanent next Sunday. It was a really good ride for me, great weather and a great route. This was the first time I mapped a ride and exported the tcx. file to my GPS, and it worked flawlessly. Since we did an out and back, I mapped it for 25 miles and then stopped routing and selected “return to start.” First time I’d used that function and it saved us as I took a wrong turn on the way back. When I didn’t recognized the trail I looked down at my GPS and instantly discovered we were off route. Only about a 25 yard mistake.
Since we got an early start on a Sunday and it being Mother’s Day it didn’t really get too crowded on the trail today. We began in Oakland and rode through San Leandro, Hayward, Union City and Fremont. Basically from Oakland to the Dumbarton Bridge though we did our last few miles on the Alameda Creek Trail near Coyote Hills Regional Park. Some miles on the street to get over the San Mateo Bridge and only a few in Union City and Fremont; we were basically without cars the majority of the ride.
Here’s our first stop; we’re in San Leandro.
We came across that bridge and you can see that now the road is dirt (a fair amount of gravel too). OK for me, I’m on my Sam Hillborne with 32 mm Gran Bois Cypress tires, but my partner has 23 mm tires. I felt bad; I was totally comfortable on the mixed terrain, however K mentioned the miles of teeth chattering. )-: I wouldn’t have taken us this way but I really didn’t know it was dirt.
I have to say both my Hillborne and the GB tires were fantastic. This was the first extended time off-road for both, and though I had no worries about my Sam, I wasn’t sure about taking the paper-thin GB tires on dirt and gravel. We rode all along the Hayward shoreline and popped back onto the streets somewhere in Union City. We stopped at the turn-around point for a quick snack and headed back.
I know K wasn’t looking forward to all the miles back in the dirt. What made it even worse, the wind had really picked up. If it wasn’t a headwind it was battering us at a 90˚ angle so we each took turns pulling to get some rest. All in all it was a great day and a great last long ride before the Permanent. I feel ready.