Sunday, July 30, 2006

Redwood City to Mountain View, the Long Way

My usual commute is: home to Menlo Park CalTrain, by bike, approximately three miles; Menlo Partk to Mountain View, by train, 8 miles; Mountain View CalTrain to work, by bike, two blocks.

Last thursday I did something I've been talking about for a long time, and biked the whole distance. Actually, I did this about three years ago, and had some mechanical issues en route, and ended up making a slow detour to Home Depot in East Palo Alto to pick up some tools to make it the rest of the way. Having been up late wednesday catching up on deferred maintenance on my bike, and with a pretty good assortment of tools in my backpack, I set out hoping for better luck.

My Route

I actually had a bit of a head start, since my wife and daughter were going ice-skating, and I rode along with them with my bike in the van, which cut off about two miles from what I otherwise would have ridden. The rink is near the intersection of Marsh Road and the Dumbarton rail line, perhaps the site of a future station of Dumbarton Commuter Rail.

Stately Marsh Manor

A few blocks away I left the road and started pedalling down the bayfront bike trail.

Along the Bay

The path goes along the Salt Flats for about a mile and a half or so.

If it could rain on the moon, it might look something like this

Eventually you reach the approach to the Dumbarton Bridge, and cut through a bit of East Palo Alto. The route's not clearly marked, but eventually you can work your way through to more marshlands on the other side.

Some of the trails are paved, some are not

Some go through, others are dead ends, but at least the dead ends have nice views

Occasionally you see wildlife

Or other points of interest; this is an abandoned club house from the long-silted-up Palo Alto Yacht Harbor

A truck school was testing students on the back streets of Mountain View

Eventually the trail leads to Shoreline Park in Moutain View, where it connects with the Stevens creek trail. About this time I was starting to get hungry, and noticed a mother and kid picking blackberries. I stopped a ways down the path and followed suit. I must have ridded up a little to close to the bramble, because as I started up again, I noticed my back tire was getting a little squishy. It was a slow leak, but not too slow, and a patch kit was not one of the tools I had in my backpack. I originally planned to take the Stevens Creek trail all the way to downtown, crossing over the tracks on that cool bike bridge, but took the next exit to Moffett Drive, and hoofed it while I still had air. I started hearing the klunk-klunk-klunk that means you're really out of air and need to start walking just about as I reached the Mountain View CalTrain station, and walked the last two blocks to work.

Moffett Blimp Hangar

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