May 29th, 2011

exercise, bike

Biking in Contra Costa

Longish bike ride today (almost 20 miles). We (S and I) biked to Rockridge BART, took BART to Lafayette, had lunch at the Baja Fresh there (since there are none close to our house these days and we miss their food), then headed out onto the trails. First, Lafayette streets, then the off-road Lafayette-Moraga Trail (busy with many of our fellow non-church-going heathen joggers and bicyclists), then onto the familiar Iron Horse Trail for a while, then a very nice and relaxing visit to the wonderful dog park at Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek (which is divided into a small dogs section and a large dogs section -- we much preferred the large dogs, as they seemed to play and interact more -- the small dogs mostly just walked around aimlessly, sniffing things and relieving themselves), then some exploration of the Ygnacio Canal Trail and Contra Costa Canal Trail (both of which run alongside these little concrete canals that are less ugly than they sound), and then back to BART (though the Pleasant Hill station this time, instead of Lafayette) and then home.

I was pretty tired by the end, and my butt was hurting a bit from the bike seat, but it was a beautiful day for a ride -- all blue skies, puffy clouds, warm sun, gentle breezes, shady paths, open fields, and rolling golden hills spotted with oaks -- and our route was mostly level instead of hilly. We also saw a lot of ducks, mostly on the canals. At one point, we saw a mama duck and her two tiny ducklings going for a constitutional way up on the bike path, which was several yards uphill from the nearest water. How did those little babies get up the hill? Maybe their duck mom is a drill sergeant, pushing them to keep their little fluffy bodies in top condition so they won't get eaten by sea gulls. (I was traumatized when I lived in Scotland, because there was a loch on the campus and tons of ducklings in the spring, and every day the number of ducklings went down by huge amounts, and from the dorms I could watch the sea gulls diving down and flying away with the helpless babies, and I knew there was going to be some serious cannibalism going on, and it was horrible. Ducklings now make me look around uneasily for hungry sea gulls.)

Shannon and I noticed that our route today took us through a wider-than-usual variety of other bicycles. We usually see some recumbents, but today we saw all kinds of wacky other stuff. Giant handlebars, three wheels, semi-recumbent, etc. I was wishing we'd taken pictures!

We came home, crashed for a while, then had dinner (I had Trader Joe's new pasta shells w/brie and asparagus, which was amazing.) while watching some "Amazing Race" (season 2 from Netflix).

Tomorrow I'm going to go hang out with Lisa again for a few hours, because she's experiencing a rather distressing dental emergency and she's in a lot of pain and is looking for ways to distract herself. (Because of the timing of this emergency and the holiday weekend, she is not able to get this taken care of as quickly as she would like.) She mostly isn't even able to eat solid food! So I said I could come over and we could watch something, play some Dominion, go for a walk, or whatever. I should still have plenty of time to myself tomorrow (which will be nice, though today's bike ride with S was great), while still hanging out with her for a few hours in the afternoon.

ETA: If you're interested, you can also read Shannon's description of our day in his journal.