Last Saturday, we decided to try a different route to our favorite farmers’ market in Pleasanton. Parking where we often do in the small shopping center at the intersection of Jack London Blvd. and Isabel Ave., we headed down Jack London and picked up the pleasant path that runs alongside the road. By the factory stores, we switched to the bike lane in the road that soon becomes Stoneridge Drive. This is a new area that is attractively landscaped; there are some pretty parks on the right. When we reached Santa Rita Road, we turned left and followed that into downtown Pleasanton. This road has bike lanes for most of the way, but in two spots, the bike lanes abruptly end, and we were left to ride in the automobile lanes. This was disconcerting, but there are two lanes in each direction, alleviating the danger somewhat. However, I think that town planners need to give more thought to the safety of cyclists when they are designating bike lanes.
Once in Pleasanton we parked our bikes at one of the many inverted u-shaped bike racks, had coffee, and then shopped at the farmers’ market. This is a large, crowded market. Some of the booths are a bit pricey, but there are several in the middle of the market that have good organic produce that is reasonably priced.
After a satisfying lunch at Baci Bistro and Bar on Main St., we plotted our way back since we were not crazy about the route along Santa Rita Road. From 1st St. in the main part of town, we headed up Stanley Blvd. and turned left on Valley Ave. Although we were only on Valley for about a half a block, we found this to be a very dangerous stretch, which we would walk next time. But shortly thereafter, we saw Busch Rd. with Iron Horse Trail right there. This is a quiet section of Iron Horse Trail with pretty landscaping, and it runs right into Stoneridge where we retraced our original route back to our car. Next time we will use Iron Horse Trail both ways and walk our bikes for the half block along Valley Ave.