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ADT JOURNAL: CHAPTER 32
Fair Oaks to Golden Gate Bridge, CA
This is being sent to you from the home of our good friends, Susan Miller and Wes Schulze of Pacifica, CA.
July 30, Wednesday
Many of the streets in Sacramento have marked bike lanes making the city travel decidedly safer. While eating lunch in a Mexican restaurant, Pete Escalante walked in. He had seen our loaded bikes outside and sought us out. When he found out about our trip, he remarked, "That puts you in the top 3% of humanity!" We're not sure exactly what criteria he was using, but it had a nice ring to it. Pete is a member of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates who are the impetus behind all the bike lanes in the city, so we thanked him profusely. Leaving Sacramento, we rode the paved levee roads down the Sacramento River. A strong headwind impeded our progress but kept the day cooler. On our side we could see the fertile Sacramento Valley filled with vineyards, orchards, and fields of fruits and vegetables, making the area appear as a real cornucopia.
We stopped in the town of Locke for the night. The town sign showed an elevation of 13 feet although we are still at least 50 miles for the bay. Locke is a small old rural Chinese community. The buildings looked like they were built in the 1920's and haven't been painted since. Inquiring about a room, we were directed to a B&B although the manager informed us they didn't serve breakfast. Our room was unusual to say the least. It was more of an upstairs apartment with a complete kitchen and several bedrooms off of it. We had to negotiate our bikes up the narrow staircase with two L-shaped landings. The bathroom had two showers, and two toilets, partitioned off. The showers were tinned lined walls and cement floors with wooden slats on top. The showerhead was definitely 1920's era with a broad head and lots of water. Most of the apartment had beaded wooden walls painted a pale institutional green but there were plenty of old time pictures and framed local photographs with poetry. In short, we loved it. For dinner we had a choice of the local restaurants "Al, the Wop's," "Wimpy's," or Chinese. We chose Chinese.
July 31, Thursday
We continued our ride down the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and levee system. Several times we crossed over waterways to find the road less traveled. It still seems amazing to us that we see so few cars and that we are in fertile farmland, most of it at or perhaps below sea level, as we ride the levees. It's a far cry from the California we have all been shown on TV and at the movies.
The ADT route actually climbs 3800 foot Mount Diablo which we have been seeing on the horizon since Sacramento. Unable to deal with the logistics of switching back to hiking for a short 30 mile segment and since there are no roads up Mt. Diablo on the north or east sides, we will bypass it on roads on our bicycles. We rode over the huge bridge into Antioch and then on over Kirker Pass to Concord and a convenient Holiday Inn.
47 miles, 10.2 mph, 4 hours 35 min 3,433 total miles biked
August 1, Friday
From there we traveled down Telegraph and Broadway Streets to Jack London Square and we caught the ferry to San Francisco. The ferry provides wonderful panoramas of the San Francisco skyline. Getting off at Pier 39, we saw a number of docks totally covered with sleeping sea lions. These guys know how to relax, except for the occasional fights and tossing their fellow lions off into the water.
San Francisco is filled with people, diversity, street musicians, restaurants, and historic sites. It was fun weaving our bikes through all of this and getting the looks of people wondering what we were doing with all of this junk on our bikes. Then on to the Golden Gate Bridge which we first rode over going north and then back south just for fun. There is a nice wide sidewalk on each side of the bridge. The sidewalk on the bay side is for pedestrians and the seaside one is just for bicycles. The wind was so strong as we went around one pillar that it stopped us dead in our tracks. Riding over the Golden Gate Bridge has to be on anyone's "must ride" list. It is totally awesome. After dinner at an Italian restaurant, we were picked up by Wes Schulze, our friend from Pacifica. He took us back to he and Susan's house.
48.3 miles, 8.3 mph, 5 hours 45 minutes, 3,481 miles biked
This completes the bicycle portion of our ADT trip through California. We will take August 3rd, Bill's birthday, off and then begin our three day hike to Limantour Beach on August 4th. Thus, we should finish our ADT adventure, except for Utah and Nevada, at 12 noon on Wednesday, August 6th. If anyone on-line is in the Bay Area, we would be pleased if you could join us. We can be reached at 650-355-5647.
53,3 miles 11.1 mph 4 hours 47 minutes total biked 3386 miles
© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.