I was really tired yesterday, still feeling the effects of Thursday’s long day. Saturday’s ride against the wind didn’t help. The second storm brought more wind and rain, so I decided to stay put in Davis. I’m glad I did. Today was a much better day to ride. It was warmer, sunnier and with virtually no wind.
Riding through Davis, I went by the local university. As I passed, I felt a bit like a fish swimming upstream. There were countless students riding to class as I rode away from the university. UC-Davis is an ag school. On the edge of town were many acres of orchards that looked like they were probably part of the ag school’s research.
Once out of Davis, I road along back roads through miles of walnut orchards. With the many trees and short, well maintained grass below, it was like riding through a giant park. It was kind of tempting to have a picnic in the shade of the trees.
I left the Western Express for good today. In Winters, CA, I changed my route a little bit in an attempt to avoid what I thought would be unnecessary miles and possibly a hillier route. I made my own route through Vacaville and Fairfield. Once past Fairfield, I had to figure out how to get onto highway 12, which would take me to the north side of the bay. The problem was that highway 12 starts at interstate 80. Google maps shows a bike path along the interstate that would take me from the city streets to highway 12. Unfortunately, there was highway construction in that area and the bike path was closed. I decided to take my chance on the highway. I did not need to actually ride on interstate 80, just follow an access road from one on-ramp to the next off-ramp, about one mile. I stayed on the shoulder, but there was a grate that was the width of the shoulder with all of its bars running parallel with the highway for about three feet. I didn’t want to go out into the traffic lane, so I stopped my bike and very carefully started crossing the grate, walking my bike while still straddling it. I had just gotten the front wheel across and started to think the gaps in the grate weren’t as wide as I thought when the back of my bike dropped out from under me with a loud “kathunk”. About a third of the rear wheel fell through. It didn’t get wedged in too tight, and I was able to lift it out. Nothing seemed to have been broken, bent or dented and the rest of the ride into Napa was uneventful.