We cycled out of Davis half-heartedly, part of us really wanting to get a room and spend another day exploring the area, but a part of us also wanting to make as much headway as possible, anxious to get to Berkeley and spend time with dear friends we hadn’t seen in years. On our way out of town we thought it only fitting that we passed the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame – what more fitting place for this museum than Davis?!
Soon we were on beautifully paved, flat, and quiet roadways, passing orchards, farms, and cows grazing. It was a pleasant 22 miles to the Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville and we pulled into our site just before sunset. We were the only tent campers there and we had a nice, large swath of green grass to ourselves. Later, we made our way to the “clubhouse”, where we met a large group of RV’ers playing cards. They had seen us pull into the park earlier and once they exhausted all their questions, one white-haired gentleman nodded and said, “Well, I think that’s absolutely wonderful! If I were your age again, I’d do the same thing. To travel by bicycle would be fantastic. I always wished I had done what you’re doing.” And on his way out the door, he patted Kai on the back and added, “Keep living life to the fullest and have no regrets!” Great advice, indeed.
The next morning we decided to make a run for Concord, CA instead of cycling directly to Berkeley. In Concord, a 42ish mile ride away, we would pick up the BART by sunset and be in Berkeley by early evening, spending time with friends we were very excited to see again.
As soon as we crossed the George Miller Jr Memorial Bridge we found ourselves surrounded by the petroleum industry, factories and pipelines lining the roadways for miles. Appropriately, we found ourselves cycling out of Martinez on Shell Avenue! Eventually, we found our way to more scenic trails, hopping on to the Delta de Anza Regional Trail just outside of Concord.
We arrived at the Concord BART station at the heaviest commuting hour – 5 o’clock p.m.. The BART has a roll-on bicycle policy for most of their trains, which is just fantastic when you’re on a loaded touring bicycle and exhausted. No unpacking and repacking of panniers to get on mass transit? Sign us up! We had plenty of room on the first train but at our transfer staion we had to wait about a half an hour before we could squeeze our bikes on to a car. But soon enough, we were in front of Berkeley’s station, laughing as our friends, Jason & Sujatha, came barreling into the lot on their bicycles — yelling, screaming and ringing bells in joyous greeting! Yes, it was good to see these two beautiful people again!!
Next Stop: Our stay in Berkeley, CA