A year ago, we ventured into the East Bay to ride the Iron Horse Trail from Walnut Creek south. We managed to ride about 3.5 miles each way with a grand total of 7 miles. We–and our achy knees– were pooped! I blogged about it here.
The Iron Horse Trail is a wonderful bike route because you are mostly separated from traffic and it passes through constantly changing scenery over its 33 miles. The trail is actually on top of former railroad tracks that have been paved. We vowed to go back and start from the bottom and ride our way north.
It has been well over a year but we finally did it last weekend. We started in Dublin– a place I had never been to in all my 15 years in the Bay Area. Who knew there was even a community out there. Apparently, BART knows as there’s a station right where the trail starts which is kinda poetic if you think about it. BART is the new Iron Horse and the old one– is now out to pasture for small iron horses to traverse, aka bicycles!
Anyways, this trip we managed to ride 5.5 miles each way passing through a golf course (with a nice wire grate protecting us from errant balls) as well as the backs of schools, shopping centers and residential neighborhoods. We rode for 11 miles…our best ever!
And that’s the moral of this story. In the past year, we have upped our weekend biking, have taken up biking at the gym (but not spin classes…yet) and increased our endurance. We have friends who’ve gone on exciting bike trips like those offered by Vermont Bike Tours and Backroads that cruise through gorgeous scenery and terrain in Italy, Vietnam, France and more. Those trips routinely require biking 25 miles a day….and I wanna go. Or at least I wanna dream that I can go and keep up.
Biking is great for exercise, for keeping middle age spread from spreading and for fresh air and a major attitude adjustment thanks to the seratonin surge that kicks in after 20 minutes. Biking a new route instead riding by rote also fires up the mental neurons that make you optimistic and mentally sharp. All good things for nobluehair brains.
We haven’t made it to the middle section of the Iron Horse Trail yet but we’ve nibbled off both ends like the crusty end slices of a long baguette. And I am hungry for more. As the Terminator intoned, “I’ll be back.”
- Party on the Iron Horse Trail (waterloobikes.ca)