Tuesday, August 27, 2013

8.25.12 Sacramento - Davis - Woodland - Sacramento

The bike lane along Interstate 80 always stands out when I am driving or stuck in traffic on my way to San Francisco.  I decided to check it out this afternoon on the way to Davis for the first time.  Getting to the beginning of the trail along the Yolo Causeway is pretty simple from Sacramento, but I still struck up conversation with another biker along the way and rode alongside him until we hit the path along the highway.  He wanted to beat his last ride time on Strava. The trail is very well maintained and allowed for fast riding most of the way.

Looking south from the bike trail.
Turning off of the trail to the road portion of the ride gave good views of the road structure, built above the ground so it doesn't get covered in water when the flood gates close and the Causeway floods to prevent Sacramento from going under water. The ground around here is very fertile and any plot that can be used to grow crops is fully utilized.

Seventeen miles later and there I was in Davis.  There were ton's of bicycle racks, the nice kind too, and plenty of bikes to go with them.  It seems like the kind of city that is nice if you like to go out to eat often. Unfortunately, I wasn't too hungry so there wasn't really much for me to do in town.  Sticking with the plan, I rode north from the Davis Amtrak station to Power Line Road leading to Highway 102 (the top flat segment on the map).  

Farms, farms, and more farms.  Once again, that's all there is on both sides of the road.  Barely any cars passing in either direction makes it a pleasant ride though.  Trucks leaving the nearby farms leave a trail of squished tomatoes along the road.  Hunger is starting to kick in and I keep an eye out for any tomato that doesn't look too damaged, but they had all seen better days.

Out of nowhere comes the Elkhorn Saloon and I have no choice but to stop for a burger and water refill. Conversation begins when the waitress and the other couple sitting at the bar notices that I biked over and we end up talking about how I ended up in California.  After hanging around for a little while and watching the remainder of the Little League World Series Game, California vs. Japan, I put my credit card on the bill for the waitress to take.  With the card in her hand, the guy sitting a couple seats over tells the waitress to give me back the card and to add my meal to his tab.  "Welcome to California", he said.  First a free night with a bottle of wine in a VW van and now a complimentary meal, not to mention the free ice cream that a different guy bought me and Lauryn a few weekends ago in Sacramento, people in California are really nice.

Fisherman along the river.
Roads turn to paved bike trails, bike trails turn to dirt paths.  Momentum keeps me going and it feels refreshing to be off of a paved surface.  Boats and jet skis whir by as the Sacramento skyline appears from behind the trees.

Hiking trail along the Sacramento River.
I spent longer than expected at the restaurant chatting with my new friends and got a text message from Lauryn asking if I was home safe yet.  Instead of responding with a text, I went ahead and sent over a video. For a moment there I felt like a mix between Aron Ralston in the opening scene to 127 Hours and Fred Armisen in Portlandia.

The dirt trail ends abruptly and drops off right at the River Walkway near the pyramid building.  From here on it's just a few more miles over the golden bridge and then straight past the State Capitol Building to my apartment.

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