Say it isn’t so. Officially Spring. Had a nice ride though.

SF Bay
SF Bay
SF Bay Trail
SF Bay Trail

50 Miler

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.

at the trailhead
at the trailhead

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.

the bay's out there
the bay’s out there

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.

snack stop
snack stop

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.

Almost Twice

I had all intentions of getting out on my ride early today, but didn’t. I finally managed to leave the warm, sunny deck, and cozy coffee and get dressed for an easy 15 miles. I’d planned on repeating the nice little loop I did last Sat. Well, it was 11:30, the trail was crowded and the wind was already up. When you ride the SF Bay Trail at this time of day you have to be prepared for others.

At about 2 miles into the the ride a father with 2 children on bikes were up ahead. As usual I slowed and moved to the left, and called out. I moved as far to the left as I could as I was almost taken out by a child on a bike earlier in the week. But…….. just as I almost squeaked by, the little boy darted right in front of me. I swerved, having to go off the trail and expertly (haha) negotiate the dirt, rocks and brush without hitting him! I crashed last Sun., so I really didn’t want to go down again.

It took me a few miles to let go of the incident, and after stopping for some pictures I’d left it all behind me. Here’s the sentry to the cool Berkeley bridge I’ve been using to get over Highway 80, sentry

and the bridge itself. Bbridge

I was actually looking forward to getting onto the city streets with a bike lane; there was just too much traffic on the trail. Crazy huh?

A few more miles and I was on the Ohlone Greenway (hardly crowded at all) which took me to the street which would again deliver me to the Bay Trail. Now that it was lunchtime there seemed to be fewer people and on a major section of the wetlands I stopped for some more pictures.



Can’t resist one of the Sam:


Twenty To Go

Yesterday we did 45 miles, essentially flat and mostly along the SF Bay Trail. Pretty much uneventful; other than my crash. I was riding parallel to the curb/gutter. They’d just resurfaced this street but did not make the asphalt even with the concrete. Their work created a lip of concrete that apparently was like a magnet for my front wheel. I guess the closest comparison would be riding parallel to train tracks and your tire getting stuck in the space of the track; your bike goes one way and you the other. Luckily no serious injury.

This is the last big week of mileage with 50 on Sunday, then the following week we’ll be tapering before the Permanent May 19. I was going to do a pretty hard ride as far as elevation on Sunday but we decided since the Permanent is virtually flat we wouldn’t punish ourselves. I have a partner to train and ride with, but after the Permanent I think I’ll be on my own again as I try to prepare for a Populaire the end of June. I’m still not sure I’ll be ready for it. Not too worried about the distance, more worried about the mountains. So after May 19, I’ll probably do some shorter, hillier rides to try to get ready. Pretty excited as I go on vacation for the second half of May. I’m hoping to do some new rides in the area.

Here’s yesterday’s route, an out and back:

Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 4.17.31 PM

Nice Little Loop

I planned a 15 mile ride this morning; wanted it to be nice and easy. I didn’t map it out and played it by ear. I rode through Richmond, El Cerrito, Berkeley and Albany. It came out to only 14 miles but tomorrow’s our 45 miler, so it was ok. I started on the San Francisco Bay Trail, cut up and over Highway 80 via that cool Berkeley Bridge, rode through the shops of 4th street and headed for the Ohlone Parkway. I had a really nice ride. It was cooler than I expected; probably could have afforded another layer. It was really nice riding in the sun when it finally came out. As mentioned, tomorrow’s a 45 mile training day, but no mountains. I planned a route mostly along the San Francisco Bay Trail with a few miles inland through Oakland and Berkeley. Here’s today’s route:

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 12.25.55 PM

Bay Trail

Still stuffed up with a dry cough so I decided to take it easy this weekend but still get in a bike ride. I rested yesterday (Sat.), and K and I did a flat, 17-miler all along the SF Bay Trail. It was a beautiful day; very little wind, sunny and warm. I got up at 7 AM (Pacific Daylight time) and was hoping to get going a lot earlier than we did. No problems really, you just risk more people on the trail on a glorious Sunday like today.