Wind changes things. For kite surfers, it provides a day of challenging fun.
For Sacramento Valley dwellers trying to escape the heat, the coastal breeze is a lifesaver. It can also give you more of a workout than you bargained for.
This past Saturday my family went for a destination bike ride along the Alameda shoreline and across the bridge to Bay Farm Island. This trail is part of the much longer Bay Area Ridge Trail for walkers, joggers, doggers, and bikers. On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend the trail was predictably busy on the Alameda side, but very lightly traveled on Bay Farm Island.
We arrived about 10:30 am and parked on Shoreline Drive between Park Street and South Shore Center. We saddled up and made our way slowly north to Crown Beach. This was a good chance to teach the kids about bike trail etiquette: staying on the right side, announcing when you are going to pass (i.e., “Bike on your left” or simply “Hello!”). We stopped at the beach for a while before doubling back.
A whole food truck roundup was waiting at the shopping center when we passed by there again. If our trip hadn’t coincided with an Off the Grid food truck happening, we would’ve shopped for picnic items at South Shore Center Safeway. There are also several restaurants and fast food places close by.
We followed the shoreline bike trail south until it turned into a residential sidewalk and then a sand path, sandy enough that we had to get off and walk our bikes. We hopped back on near the entrance to the Bay Farm Island bike bridge.
The bike loop at Bay Farm Island takes you near the Oakland airport, a golf course, and an industrial/health care plaza…sort of “meh” scenery on the two or three miles that are not right by the Bay. But those Bay views are amazing.
In addition to the above-pictured kite surfers we could see San Francisco all cloaked in its fog blanket. The bike loop is only about six miles long but with that fresh wind–well, in the end we all felt a lot more tired than we thought we’d be!
As enjoyable as this day trip was, I think it’s about time to invest in something that could help us take our bikes on even longer trips: a trailer hitch and bike rack for the van. We wasted several precious minutes taking wheels off and fitting all the puzzle pieces in.
Want to put together your own family ride in the Bay Area or Napa? Follow this link for more great ideas.