Our time in Berkeley allowed us to catch up with friends, take care of bicycle maintenance and equipment warranty issues, and to recover from an unexpected setback.
Spending time with friends Jason, Sujatha, & Sathya was simply wonderful! We had many days and nights filled with engaging conversation, laughter, board games, story-telling and bicycling. And did I mention the food? From Berkeley Bowl’s extravagant offerings, to Ethiopian and Burmese dinners, to Jason & Kai’s fantastic cooking, to Sujatha’s amazing Indian dishes……our bellies were in heaven!
Scenes from our dream grocery store, Berkeley Bowl:
All About Bicycles
We are really loving the bicycle culture in California. For example, Berkeley has an extensive bicycling route system, in which entire streets are designated routes for bicyclists. These Bicycle Boulevards run the entire length of the city, north to south and west to east, making it really easy for people to use the bicycle as their main form of transportation. Sujatha regularly commutes to work, Jason transports Sathya to and from school and soccer practices via bicycle, and we saw many others doing the same each day. It’s wonderful!
While in Berkeley we visited three local bicycle shops, all of which helped us resolve equipment issues. Devin from the Missing Link Bicycle Coop helped us replace Ortlieb gear [a packer plus pannier (compression strap had torn/failed), a map case (had torn), cabling for the handlebar bag attachment (if the cable housing comes off the cable it doesn’t hold the bag tight – you cannot loosen and move the bag attachment once it’s installed!)]. Velo Sport Bicycles lent us their tools and workroom so that we could re-attach Sheila’s back mud flap which had torn off in a fall and while we were there we added a few more rivets to each fender’s mud flaps for good luck. The Wrench Science bicycle shop acted as a Continental representative and received a replacement for a failed Continental tire (which we found out about when trying to install it in Tod’s garage before catching a train west).
Kai and Jason found the time to take a couple of day rides – one into the hills of Berkeley, and another into Walnut Creek to visit the famed Rivendell Bicycle Works, where they met staff members Harry H. Hugel IV, Scott Miller, Vince Nivolo, and Grant Peterson.
Other Things In & Around Berkeley
We spent a sunny day, with Jason and Django, at the East Shore State Park, a landfill turned park, checking out the colorful graffiti, striking sculptures and and views of the Bay and the Bay Bridge.
We meandered up to UC Berkeley to check out the Occupy scene (our visit was made a few days prior to the horrific UC Davis pepper-spray incident).
Sheila had the pleasure of getting a mehndi design via Sujatha’s steady hand.
We were also given a wonderful gift – to see Sujatha in action, speaking about Restorative Lawyering and Restorative Justice, at the UC Davis School of Law. What an inspiration she is to the students and others of us in the world! It was a day in which the hope in our hearts expanded a bit (thank you, Sujatha, for letting us join you that day). [As a side note, parts of Sujatha’s speech and more resources about Restorative Justice will come in a future post of it’s own, as a first in a new series we’ll be starting on this website very soon (exciting, eh?)]
Extended Stay (Or on Getting Sick)
Although we had only planned on staying for a little over a week in Berkeley, Kai and I came down with head colds, so we extended our leaving by a few days. Eventually Kai’s simple cold grew into sinusitis and a fever, putting him in bed over the Thanksgiving holiday and for most of a week. Luckily, we were staying with the most kind-hearted and generous people in the world, and they opened their home up to us indefinitely, their only concern that we fully recover before we headed out on the road again.
Even though Kai was in an awful state until we could get him meds (thank you Sujatha & Moi!), we look upon our extended stay with our Berkeley family as a gift. To be able to spend time with these life-giving, loving, open-hearted, intelligent, and compassionate people was exactly what we needed before heading off into the unknown territory of our future. There is a deep comfort in holding such friendships in your heart as you travel, to know that there is a mutual support of each other as we continue down our own unique paths.
Slideshow of photos highlighting our time in Berkeley:
Kai & Jason : The way they normally look.
Kai & Jason
Sheila & Sathya
Ethiopia Restaurant : Our last night in Berkeley
Our Berkeley Family
Sathya & Kai
Jason & Kai
Jason & Sujatha, Moving in Light & Love
East Shore State Park
Snail on Berkeley Street
Next Stop :: Half Moon Bay