Two Bridges-Berkeley to Benicia BART to BART

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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Our tandem ride today begins in Martinez; the plan is to head out to the Zampa Bridge and intercept the Wed group en route to the bridge. We take Alhambra Ave to Franklin Canyon Rd; it’s 4.3 miles long with false flats and a short climb as you near the top. It’s a quiet back road with minimal to no traffic with homes and several ranches along with a vineyard and a nursery. There’s even a miniature outdoor railway train set fully displayed in someone’s front yard. That’s quite a hobby! 

The next several miles on Cummings Skywy take us to the descent on Crockett Blvd. We drop into Crockett on Pomona St and head west towards the Zampa Bridge. With no club members in sight, we just keep going on San Pablo Ave; pass the refineries and continue on Parker Ave into Rodeo.

We spot a number of GPC cyclists coming in the opposite direction and make a U turn to follow suit. We’re on track with the main group up to the Zampa Bridge. There is a regroup at the foot of the bike entrance to the bridge.

The Carquinez Bridge Trail crossing is 1.7 miles; you get fabulous views of San Pablo Bay and beyond! We exit the bridge onto Maritime Academy Dr into Vallejo and ride through the residential neighborhoods on 5th and Lemon Sts.

The next 2+ miles on Benicia Rd takes us through a commercial section of town along with more residential neighborhoods. There are several cemeteries adjacent to each other and on the opposite side of the street you can see the huge campus of St Patrick-St Vincent High School.

The turn on Columbus Pkwy takes us to Rose St; take the fenced Bike/Ped path on the far right, this will lead you to the entrance of the bike path thru the Benicia State Recreation Area on Dillon Point Rd.

The end of the bike path takes us to West K St; the views of Southhampton Bay along the waterfront homes are fantastic! We reach Downtown Benicia on 1st St and the group splits up; there are too many food choices here!

We decide to head out to the Benicia Waterfront and have lunch. Water and restrooms are available at the west end of the pier on 1st St. There is a picnic table placed along the shoreline with scenic views of Carquinez Strait. It’s a fabulous day to be out here; there’s no wind!

Word is that everyone is regrouping near Kinders on 1st St, so we head back out that way. We find a majority of the group at Java Point Cafe and wait til everyone is ready to hit the road again.

David leads the group pass the little boutiques and businesses on 1st St to Military E Hwy.

We head up the short hill on Jefferson St to Park Rd and onto the bike path to cross the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. The 2 miles crossing takes us behind the refinery and onto Mococco Rd and Marina Vista Ave. Watch out for RR tracks!

The next turn on Castro St leads us towards Downtown Martinez as we take Bertola St to Alhambra Ave. The traffic in the area greatly increases as we approach the Hwy 4 on and off ramps.

We split off from the tandem group on John Muir Rd and return to the east end of Martinez.

Thanks to Emily and David for leading today’s ride! What a great way to spend the day!

“HAPPY DECEMBER BIRTHDAY” to Kris and Michi!

~31 people in attendance with 3 tandems

40.58 miles with 2489′ of elevation gain

Weather: FANTASTIC! Sunny and cool with minimal winds. Temps ranged from the high 40’s to the high 50’s

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ALWAYS HAPPY TO BE ON THE BIKE!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Follow this route sheet for today’s ride starting from North Berkeley BART and finishing at Pleasant Hill BART:

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