A few weeks ago, I decided to ride from the East Bay to Mountain View to meet up for a Grand Cru ride. I checked out the maps and decided that I could start a ride from Union City BART and ride a manageable distance (with ALC training in mind) including the round trip from Union City to Mountain View and the Grand Cru ride itself.
The Learning Tree, a preschool located on Paseo Padre Parkway at Fremont Blvd
It was around this point that I ran into some bike trouble. My pannier, though built very nicely, doesn’t have a hook at the bottom to keep the base in place. And it’s a rather long (tall) pannier. As I was standing and swaying around a bit to get up the incline of one of these overpasses, the pannier got caught on a spoke and made a pretty horrible-sounding crunching sound. I stopped and discovered that the wheel reflector had broken off (no big deal), a few spokes were bent (sorta big deal) and a fairly large hole had been ripped in the bag (a sorta big deal). Luckily I had one of those delta cargo nets and a spoke wrench. I put the cargo net on the outside of the pannier and then trued the wheel enough so that it was ride-able and finally set off again. It didn’t seem like a good start to the ride, though.
By this point, it looked like the wheel and pannier were holding up, so I continued. This photo is from Marshlands Rd, which travels along the marshes and leads to the Dumbarton bridge. The road kind of sucks for cycling – the asphalt is super bumpy.. but at least it’s isolated from most vehicular traffic.
the pannier with the netting was not very pretty.
I’m glad that the Dumbarton bridge has a separate bike lane. But it’s not very much fun to ride over. Traffic is fairly loud as the cars are traveling highway speeds and it’s quite dusty. The lane is decently wide though and I appreciate that there’s a large barrier between bikes and vehicular traffic. On the east side of the bridge on the south side of the bay, there looks to be remnants of a pedestrian walkway that is no longer in use.
Here’s where the map (based on google maps) got a little sketchy.
Google maps has this trail marked as dark green. It was okay for me to ride over since I have 27 and 32-sized tires but it was a bit uncomfortable and I was a worried that the rest of the ride along the shore would turn out to be like this. It’d be fine for a mountain bike though.
The bumpy trail eventually led to a paved trail and all was good again.
I had just turned off of Stevens Creek Trail at this point.
I decided to take a tour through the Googleplex. These little bikes were everywhere. They’re apparently free to borrow for getting around the campus.
The rest of the ride wasn’t that interesting. I was feeling a bit uncomfortable from riding such a long distance on my commuter, and between back fatigue, leg fatigue and the headwinds, I was ready to be home. I put my head down and pushed through the rest of the ride. I made it back to Union City BART before the sun went down and all in all did about 80 miles. It was definitely an interesting ride but not one of my best.