Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thursday Complications On The Bridge to Bridge Ride

The ride on Thursday, May 19, started out from the BART station in Pleasant Hill, not far from Walnut Creek.  It was a warm, sunny day.  There were 9 of us and three rode on ahead of me and five were behind me.  I was riding alone which was not a big problem since I had the ride directions which are quite specific.  I was doing fine until I reached the Zampa Bridge just outside of the small town of Crockett.  The directions to the bike train across the bridge were a bit vague and I took another trail that led me under the bridge instead of to the bridge.  I regrouped and finally found my way to the right bike path and rode across the very ample bike and pedestrian way to Vallejo and headed east off toward the historic town of Benicia. 

At 21.5 miles I was to find Glen Cove Road but it never appeared and I got hopelessly lost.  No one could tell me where this road was located so I just went to the map on my trusty Garmin GPS but it didn't show up there either.  But I found something called the "Bay Trail" and followed that.  Turned out this was the short way to Benicia and I cut off 10 miles from the ride.  Just as I was ready to call the co-ride leader, she called me and said they would meet me in Benicia in about an hour.  This left me with time to explore the town and also visit the historic Episcopal Church in Benicia.  Surprise, surprise, it was unlocked and the doors were wide open to welcome any and all.  Early in California statehood, Benicia was the state capitol and it has mostly preserved its historic downtown buildings.

Four of my fellow riders met up with me.  The rest were delayed by a flat tire.  One other rider and I decided to head out for the Benicia Bridge and BART station in Pleasant Hill as we each had evening commitments.  The new bridge is a lovely structure and we had no problem finding the entrance to the bike and pedestrian trail across the bridge.  On the south side of the bridge there is a complex of petroleum refineries and it was here that disaster struck.  I was riding along minding my own business, when all of a sudden my Garmin GPS popped off my bike and hit the pavement.  I turned around and went back to pick it up.  And this is what I found.

I was bummed but it turned out that it continued to work, giving me all the data it should have.  However the bang on the pavement did confuse it regarding the riding route that day.  I did not ride my bicycle in a straight line in the Pacific Ocean south of the boarder.

All was not lost.  I called Garmin and they will either replace or fix the shattered screen for $50.  Since I think the problem must have been operator error (failing to properly secure the Garmin)...this was a small price to pay.  I went out for a subsequent ride on Friday and the mapping feature seemed to be just fine but it turned out that the Garmin worked some of the time but not all of the time so I decided to send it off to be fixed so I won't have it for the ride after all. Thursday was not my best day of riding but some days are like that.

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