A birthday ride in the wine country

My new Nantucket Bike Basket

Last week on my birthday, we did one of my favorite wine country rides. We parked in Yountville, headed out on Yount St. to Yount Mill Rd., which we followed until we came out on Hwy. 29. Then we rode the shoulder of 29 to the newly reopened Oakville Grocery, where we stopped and enjoyed coffee in the garden. Weather-wise, the day was perfect.

Garden at Oakville Grocery

After coffee, we headed up Oakville Crossroad toward the Silverado Trail. Although the road is narrow at the bridge crossing over the Napa River, the shoulder is wide enough for comfortable riding on this road, and the traffic is not too heavy. When the Groth Winery loomed up on the left side of the road, it was such an arresting sight that we decided to take a little detour and ride around it. My husband remarked that the building looks as though mass might be held there on Sundays.

Groth Winery

Continuing up Oakville Crossroad, we turned right when we arrived at the Silverado Trail, which we followed until we again made a right turn, this time on to Yountville Crossroad. The scenery along both Oakville and Yountville Crossroads is pastoral and beautiful, mostly vineyards dotted with architecturally imposing wineries.

We ate lunch at Michael Chiarello’s Napa Style on my birthday, and then on Sunday after the Joshua Bell concert, we ate at Bottega. The casual restaurant in the store is good, and I love the pretty patio under the olive trees. But Bottega is a memorable place to eat even in this land of culinary excellence.

By the way, I am pleased with my Nantucket bike basket, which is handy for carrying small things when I do not want to attach panniers. And it provides a place for my purse when our dining plans include a place where my floppy backpack seems too casual.


South Shore Lake Tahoe Ride

Lakeside Marina

My husband, my grandson, and I did this ride on our first whole day at Tahoe. We left the hotel, headed toward the mountains, and then turned east into Nevada. Just over the Nevada border, we headed down toward the lake. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, not too cold. We were on fairly lightly traveled streets for most of this part of the ride, and we had some beautiful views as we completed the circuit back toward our hotel. Because this part of the ride was rather short, we turned onto the path that runs along Lake Tahoe Blvd. This path is scenic in parts but largely runs past commercial establishments, and it is a rough path with gaps in the pavement. However, it does become pretty at El Dorado Beach where it is right on the edge of the lake. Having reached this beach, we admired the view and then turned around and headed back to the hotel and our next adventure, a ride on the Heavenly Gondola.

Please click here to see a video of this ride.

Have Some People Forgotten the Golden Rule?

Yesterday we did one of our usual rides on Iron Horse Trail from Danville to San Ramon with a visit to the farmers’ market in San Ramon. Most of the people that we ran across on the path were being considerate of others, but as is often the case, there were some people who seemed unaware of the rights of others. As I have reiterated many times the path is a thoroughfare, and any group should not take up more than one half of the trail.

Just before we reached Sycamore Valley Road on our return trip, we came up to a family with two parents and four kids. The father was on skates, the mother on a bike, two kids on bikes, one on a skateboard and one on a scooter. This group was all over the path with the father showing off and behaving the worst. Two of the children had no idea about staying to the right. In defense of the mother, she finally held on to the kid on the scooter to let others pass. This circus was going on where the path was busy in both directions, and it presented a dangerous situation.

In our busy overcrowded world, people need to be more considerate of and aware of others than ever before. Please folks, try to remember the “golden rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Safety may depend on it.

A Scenic Bike Route through Livermore

Arroyo Mocho Trail

We have ridden the Arroyo Mocho Trail in Livermore many times, but last time we rode there we decided to vary our trip a bit. We took the Isabel Ave. Trail from the shopping center where we always park on Jack London Blvd., turned on to the Arroyo Mocho Trail, where we cycled until we hit Livermore Ave. Here we turned right to get on the Concannon Blvd. Trail, which as the name implies runs along Concannon Blvd. for a fair distance. After the trail runs out, it is easy to ride in the bike lane along the side of Concannon Blvd., which eventually leads to the Isabel Ave. Trail, with an easy run back to the starting point. This trip is a distance of about nine and a half miles, a scenic  interesting trip.

Route around Livermore


And as we do at the end of most bikes rides in Livermore, on this particular day, we ate at Garré Winery, where the food is always good and the service friendly although occasionally a bit slow. It is very pleasant to enjoy a leisurely lunch on their patio.

The patio at Garré Winery

Please click here to go to YouTube to see a video of this trip.