Even though, we had a wonderful time in France, it is good to be back home and riding our wonderful Dahon bikes. One of the first trips we made when we got home was to the Napa Valley where we like to ride Yountville to Oakville and back to Yountville via the two crossroads and the Silverado Trail. This is lovely vineyard country similar to that we rode in in France only with a drier, less green overall aspect than Burgundy and Alsace. Also the cuisine is as good if not slightly better, especially at places like Michael Chiarello’s Bottega.
LIVERMORE TO PLEASANTON
Last Saturday, we rode from Livermore to Pleasanton on the Stanley Blvd. trail, a nice wide, well-paved trail. From the trail, the streets mostly have bike lanes leading to downtown Pleasanton, where we like to go to the farmers market, one of the best in our area. An added bonus this last Saturday was a high school band competition with fifty high schools in northern California taking part. The streets of this small town were thronged with people watching the bands or leading small children in Halloween costumes around trick or treating at the various stores. It was a happy atmosphere.
We ate lunch at our favorite Forno Vecchio where we had butternut squash soup, and I had a tomato basil mozzarella salad while my husband had a chicken pesto wrap. For dessert my husband had his usual ice cream, but I had pumpkin creme brulee, which was heavenly.
When we do this ride, we prefer to take the Isabel Avenue trail to the Stanley Blvd. trail, but that has been closed for a long time due to the road construction in the area. I think that the City of Livermore or the Livermore recreation district should have a notice of this closure on its web site. Web sites should be used to inform the public, and they should be kept up-to-date.
Coming up Sycamore Valley Road and then transitioning to Camino Tassajara is a pretty ride on a wide shoulder. Although the car traffic whizzes past, a rider can usually keep a comfortable distance between himself and the traffic. Yesterday, however, there were four spots where gardening trucks were parked across the bike lane making it necessary for a rider to pull into the car lane. I realize that the gardeners have to do their work, but it seems to me that they could put two wheels up on the curb so that the entire bike lane is not taken up. Or they could park out a bit further, using their cones to make the car traffic move to the other lane. Then cyclists could pass on the right. Cyclists are widely criticized for all sorts of things (some justified), but they face so many hazards that could be eliminated with a little thought on the part of those who lay out and maintain our roads.