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Goodbye California!

It’s time to leave to Hawaii, Denis has finished his assigned jobs here; last week he spent it organizing things for the jobs in Big Island; helping at the office to wrap up all his site visites, jobs done and getting ready for the next projects!

Time just slipped through my fingers like water… and it is already end of February.

Rode a couple of times to Mare Island under gorgeous blue skies and warm weather! Perfect for a nice picture!

One Friday, because is open!, I rode again to the reserve, too it highest hill where the views around are magic!, well, at least today! Even the sky is pretty with a few thing clouds in the horizon!

With Deb we organized to go on a ride up the hill in Berkeley, what I didn’t know we were going to go “very much up”! To cross the tall hills all the way to Tilden park!

Right from her house you go up!, zigzagged the first neighborhood, a bit of a straight section but always with an incline up! We stopped at a small lake at the top and starting heading back south. A few descends and some ups, and up to go back up to the top of the hills! I recognized this area from driving from the golf courses where Denis was working to Deb’s house for dinner! Is a road I had always wanted to ride but never felt safe as there are no shoulder or bike path, so one really have to shear the road with cars… It is quite safe because there are cyclist every where so drivers really have to share, respect us; plus there is no much of speed as the road is very windy that you don’t even drive at 40 miles/hs…

Riding under the redwoods, eucalyptus, oaks, and any other tree around is so refreshing! You fill your lungs with lots of gorgeous air!

Once you cross the crest of the hills, the views of the San Francisco Bay and all it surroundings are beautiful! The multimillion dollar houses with their pretty gardens; the nice looked after Berkeley street; San Francisco city and the gorgeous Golden Gate all the way down there!, is such a nice ride!

A quick stop at Inspiration Point to enjoy the views at their plenty, no having to worry about cars, people or other cyclist! And then, again, pedal to the metal!…, down the hill as fast as you can… I used the breaks all the time because I don’t like speed…

I can’t believed we just rode over the Berkeley hills and on Grizzly Peak Blvd! What an achievement for me!

Back to Crocket Hill for a nice, scary, wild pedaling… not that really is like that but, for me, it feels like that! A small steep hill with a huge zigzag trail to make it easy to reach the top.

We were invited for dinner at Roy and Deb’s and I didn’t feel like spending the whole day sitting in Denis truck while at work, so decided to ride my bike all the way there! Something I have been wanting to do for a long time!

Crossing Carquinez Bridge, turning right on San Pablo Avenue towards Point Pinole, passing bay the refinery, Rodeo town where I take the San Francisco trail. I have been here ones, it is a very pleasant ride on a path off the streets, following the shores of the bay. It is a well used section by pedestrians and some cyclist!

From here back on San Pablo Ave through some neighborhood where the road hardly has a white line and a shoulder for bikers, I didn’t like…, cars go by to quickly… Glad that is just for a few miles/kilometers.

Once on Richmond Pkwy the ride is better, there is more room, and Point Pinole is getting closer! The views of the bay and its blue water are so pretty! The park is so green! I stay just to its edge moving towards the south entrance where I rested for a little while as this could be half way of my trip! Enjoyed the views, the warm weather, the silence! So relaxing!

Up to here, one way or another I sort have been; not through Rodeo though; but next section never been so I’m exited to for what it will come!

I have chosen a green line on google map, like a path through Richmond and I thought it could be a green space, as California has many but!,… for my surprise!, from this entrance all the way to Marin I will, actually, be riding on San Francisco Trail!! I’m so happy because I always want to follow this trail! But never imagen it will be so well marked, so well maintain, next to avenues or road but on by itself! No worries abut fast cars driving pass, no worries about trucks! So relaxing!

Some section is a bit scary because homeless have taking the lands around the trail, where burnt cars, trash, filthy things, broken bikes, cars or whatever else…have been chucked; their trailers, tents or “living in cars” are so disgusting that you ask yourself “What am I doing here…”

I drive pass worrying, concerned if it is safe…; kept my eyes on the trail and I just pedaled! Ja! Ja! Ja! I think my concern is greater than reality but the look of things are not nice.

Other sections, the path is very pretty with community veggie gardens, fruit gardens; a couple of parks for kids; the views of the house back yards and the whole mountain in front of you as you ride towards east, towards El Cerrito del Norte.

By this stage the trail goes underneath the bart/train on rails above the ground. Some of this trail I have walked before with Sylvia but no the length that I want to do today! It is nice to see people walking, biking, skating! I have to go slowly because is busier but is nice to be surrounded by people!

Marin is a lovely pretty street!, with trees touching above you; with well marked bike paths at ether side of the avenue; with lots of bikers, runners and over all people!

It has a nice incline, I love hills, so I enjoy this section even more!

Finally, 4 hs later, I reach my destination!, done 51 km/31 miles and my heart is full of joy for such a great ride!

With Deb we had planned ahead that on Thursday we were going to ride together…, Thursday was the day after my 4 hs ride!…, and Deb has picked to go all the way to Point Pinole on the SF trail! ha! Ha! For me, was going back half of what I did yesterday! Thinking I was up to it I tagged along!

So we traced back the path under bart!; through the pretty and scary section of the green space in Richmond!; the trail along Richmond Pkwy and we reach the south entrance to Point Pinole. The weather was warmer than yesterday, the sky and waters as blue as on those gorgeous CA days!

Nothing seemed as scary as yesterday… or as exciting exploring, I’ve been here before but still I enjoyed the trip, even more, Deb’s company!

We decided to go back another way, to do a loop! Rides are alway nicer if you do a loop!! But…, the loop meant we were going to be claiming hills…, even, way sooner than expected…, bah, right away out of the park… ha! Ha! Now I’m not that sure that I will manage all these pedaling… but I push forward!

We picked a route but I get lost very quickly, we don’t take the street we had thought but Deb knows the way… so I followed! Neighborhood looks quite alright, houses are simple and average, some areas with more trash than other until we cross I-80. Always up hill but now very steep up will, this will be one of the harder section of the chosen path as we go from half level to high hills! I’m loving it!, my legs no so much!… ha! ha! Burning sensation started to be felt!!…, but we both manage to pedal all the way to Arlington!

Now we will follow this street parallel to the mountain, still lots of ups and downs! We take sort of like a short cut up another street and man!…, what a killer…. Ha! ha! ha!… Deb said this one was easier than going down and up Arlington for the next few blocks… wow! I don’t even want to think how that section is…

As we claim, the neighborhoods became prettier and prettier! All around these hill, houses, trees, streets are well look after, are pretty! Multimillion dollar houses, expensive cars, cyclist go by on expensive bikes! The pleasure of living in Berkeley hills!

The view of San Francisco bay with its blue skies, even bluer waters!, the surroundings towns, San Francisco city and the gorgeous Golden Gate!, is so beautiful! We stopped at Inspiration Point to appreciate it all!

We walk a few yards/meters, I ended up back on my bike because I found it better to ride than to walk… We reach the golf course, cut across back to Arlington and soon the down hill starts! yuju!!! My legs are so happy for no pushing hard any more!! Down, down there we go all the way to her house!

What a wonderful day!!

As I write I’m on the plane to Hawaii! Bikes were packed on Friday to make sure we didn’t forget them… if I will… ha! Ha! Ha!

Chau! Chau! California!

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