We manage to live our lives almost entirely without direct use of a car. There are some exceptions to this that we can't avoid. Nicole's grandparents live quite far from us, a distance unbikeable in a day. They're getting up there in years and don't wander far from home much these days so we have to go see them. Trips to Gram's house have comprised much of the time we've spent in the car in the past 4 years so as we range further and further out on our bikes we started thinking about how to bike out there.
Our ride from BART to Gram's
BART gets you most of the way there on the Pittsburg line but it's still a good 20 mile ride and the google maps made it look simple, so we packed the kids up on our new 'short bikes', got on BART downtown and took it to the end of the line. The path was actually pretty simple but the terrain was a little intense. The canal trails out in Pittsburg, Antioch and Brentwood are rough riding, they follow a series of large pipes that snake through these cities. The asphalt is pretty thrashed and we rode through pile after pile of broken glass. The thorny weeds were out in full force as well, one of our tires came home with a souvenir , a 1/2" long thorn stuck sideways in the sidewall such that it was firmly in the tire but not actually puncturing the tire.
Our ride back to BART
We made it out to Gram's house, had a nice lunch with them while the kids played. On the way home we had to swing by Auntie's house in Pittsburg to drop Jula off for the weekend. It was going to be dusk soon and knowing that the canal trail was so rough we opted to take another route home that worked pretty well but was also a high-traffic, rough road adventure but turned out to be quite fun. The whole ride back was directly into the setting sun which I enjoyed quite a lot thanks to my helmet visor :)
After Auntie's house we grabbed some dinner in downtown Pittsburg and then made our way back to BART, then into downtown SF and then a short 3.5 mile ride home. Tenzin totally passed out on the ride home. :)