A Near Miss and a Discovery

The Near Miss

On Saturday, as we rode toward the San Ramon Farmers’ Market, we were stopped by the red light where Iron Horse Trail crosses Crow Canyon Road. The light changed and the walk signal came on, but just as my husband started across I saw that a car was about to run the light and shouted at him. Fortunately, he stopped in time, and the car swerved around him. A similar incident occurred on Danville Blvd. a couple of years ago. On Crow Canyon, motorists can clearly see the people waiting to cross, and in any case, it is against the law to drive through a red light. However, the lesson for us as cyclists is that we cannot trust motorists at all; we must ride defensively. One important tactic is not riding out too quickly when a light changes.

The Discovery

As per our usual custom after our Saturday ride, we treated ourselves to a nice lunch. On this particular day, we chose Martini Sky, a restaurant in Danville’s Livery and Mercantile that has been open about three months.  Our son met us there to check out their small plates that we had read about the previous week in the newspaper. We sat outside in the shade of the trees where the temperature was probably in the low 80s. Between the three of us, we split two salads, two main courses, and two desserts. We agreed later that we should have ordered only one dessert. We had goat cheese raviolis, beef sliders with parmesan truffle fries, a beet salad, and a Brentwood salad with greens and peaches in a light raspberry dressing. These were all excellent as were the chocolate cake and vanilla panna cotta. The service was friendly and efficient, and we all hope that this restaurant will thrive.  There is a large selection of various kinds of martinis, thus the name. Although we have no interest in the martinis, we feel that Martini Sky is a good addition to Danville’s dining options.

Inviting Setting at Martini Sky

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The Truckee River Cycling Trail

The Truckee River

This was the third ride of the ones we did in Tahoe, and while it was not my favorite it was a good ride with wonderful river views. We had a bit of trouble finding the access area for the path in Tahoe City, but after asking, we discovered that coming from the south on Hwy. 89, one must turn left on Fairway Drive. Then to the right there is ample free parking. There is a bridge over the river at this point and to the left is the trail toward Squaw Valley.

The path itself is paved, with some rough patches, and while it is mostly level it does have some steep spots that require caution. There were not too many rafts on the river the day that we rode the path, but I understand that it can become quite busy at times. We did see one raft with a dog contentedly swimming beside it. On our return trip, the dog was in the raft.

Much to the disappointment of our grandson, we turned around just before the path headed toward Squaw Valley, believing that the path would become steep. Later when we drove into Squaw Valley for lunch, we discovered that the path running along the side of the road did not look difficult at all. Next time we will definitely do the Squaw Valley portion.

All of our Tahoe rides were good. We had the pleasure of our grandson’s company, made possible because we were able to get 3 Dahon bikes in our car. And I love smelling the mountain air with the fragrance of sun-warmed trees and earth as I ride .  It is a restoring experience.

Please click here to see  a video of this ride.

Fairfield Linear Park

Strawberry Fields

With my daughter-in-law and grandson, I rode the Fairfield Linear Trail today, a paved trail of about nine miles for a round trip. We parked in the Solano Mall and crossed the road to the park to access the trail. It was not hard to find. There are a couple of children’s playgrounds and landscaped park area on this end of the path. As we started out I was not too impressed. Soon after we left the civilized portion near the shopping mall, we rode along Hwy. 80. But as we pedaled closer to the Solano Community College at the end of the path, we started to hit real farmland, cornfields and strawberry fields. The landscape began to remind me of the California of my youth.

On our way to the community college, we noticed a sign pointing to farmstands and wineries, so we stopped off on the way back. We turned down a country road, went around a small traffic circle, and rode a few feet down another road to a stand selling berries and vegetables for very reasonable prices. It was fun to pull up on our bikes and load my daughter-in-law’s panniers with recently picked produce.

Although the lunch at a Solano Mall restaurant was barely adequate, we had a lovely day, one in which I felt that I had gotten in touch with my roots.

Two of my favorite companions

Tahoe Forest Ride

Lake Tahoe

We turned off of Hwy. 89 at 13th St., where there is space in front of the houses to park. The trail actually starts at 15th St. and goes on until shortly past Baldwin Beach, where it comes to an end, a distance of about four miles. This path passes through venerable Camp Richardson and the Tallac Historic Site, where the grand estates of the Popes and the Hellers were located. It is fascinating to peek into the old buildings which are preserved with furnishings of the period when the elite vacationed here.

Pope Beach gives easy access to the lake, and we walked out to the end of the dock to admire the scenery and to peer into the depths of the lake, now amazingly clear. We spent about a half hour walking around the Tallac site, admiring the rustic yet elegant arrangements.

After riding to the end of the trail, we turned around and rode back to Camp Richardson, where we had a simple deli lunch. This is an easy ride on a path with a good paved surface. As the day wore on, the path did become somewhat crowded.

Please click here to see some video scenes from this ride on YouTube.