Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wyatt and I have been invited to attend Walt’s 80th Birthday Celebration Ride that meets up at the Don Edward’s Visitor Center in Fremont. This ride is organized by Lori Sommer of the Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club and is co-listed with the Valley Spokesmen. The ride will take the group around Coyote Hills to accompany Walt on his annual trek up Nike Hill.
Walt is certainly one of a kind and we certainly couldn’t pass up the invitation! Four different bike club members have come out to join in on the festivities; Fremont Freewheelers, Valley Spokemen, Grizzly Peak Cyclists and the Oakland Yellowjackets. That’s quite a showing; everyone just loves Walt! He’s a great inspiration to us all!
We exit the Visitor Center on Marshland Rd and take Thornton Ave/Paseo Padre Pkwy to Patterson Ranch Rd. We stop at an intersection for me to take a video of all the riders passing by. It’s a huge group!
The next left turn on Bayview Trail takes us into the Coyote Hills Regional Park. It’s been awhile since I’ve been out to this park; there are acres of marshland and grassland covered hills, it’s really gorgeous out here!
Everyone opted out on regrouping at the Dairy Glen Restrooms and instead continued straight on up Nike Hill. The stair step climb up Nike Hill is about a mile long; the last section is the steepest, I think it hits 10-12% grades! By the time we get up there, Walt has already made it to the top! WOW-way to go Walt!
The views from the top of the hill are spectacular; the climb is well worth it!
The descent on Nike Hill brings us to the 2.5 miles flat loop round Bayview Trail. The scenic views here are awesome!
The end of the trail leads us to the regroup at the Visitor Center. Porta-potties and water are available.
The best part of the ride is coming up-LUNCH! We exit the park and make a series of turns through Union City to get to Union Landing.
We arrive at Anderson Bakery at Union Landing off Courthouse Dr. There is ample space outdoors to park all the bikes and they even reserved a majority of the indoor seating for Walt’s party.
Walt loves clam chowder, he orders the same thing when he comes to support my Bay Trail ride out to Little Louie’s. Anderson serves it up in a sourdough bread bowl; it looked really appetizing! Everyone is enjoying their lunch and having a great time socializing. Gail and Layla are busy serving up sparkling cider and the party atmosphere here is just wonderful!
The grand finale is the arrival of the birthday cake and the joyous chorus of “Happy Birthday” being sung to Walt. He’s all smiles and you can really feel the genuine love and admiration everyone has for him. Walt has no problem blowing out the candles on the cake since he’s the “man with all the balls” today. Birthday toasts are being made all around and all the ladies line up to give Walt his birthday hug; he’s very popular, it was a long line!
With our bodies and tummies filled with chocolate cake and endorphins, we all head back to the start at Don Edwards Visitor Center.
Thanks to Lori for leading this well-organized ride!
Thanks to Walt for turning 80 years young and providing us with the opportunity to share in on the big occasion! We should all be so fortunate to age as well as him; mellow and smooth with no sour or bitter overtones.
WALT, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”
50 people in attendance with 2 tandems
21 miles with 175′ of elevation gain
Weather: Cool, breezy and overcast in the morning turning to sunny blue skies in the afternoon. Temps ranged from the high 60’s to mid 70’s
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>KEEP AGING GRACEFULLY!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>