10 February 2011

Flat like a pancake, not a tire

Ride #44
Thursday, February 10th
9 extremely flat miles on the Folsom South Canal

I've been talking for what seems like forever about getting back out on the Folsom South Canal to ride, and I finally got around to it with a friend from one of the bike groups I hang out with. We started out from the temporary dirt parking lot near Nimbus Hatchery and played in mild traffic until we could get on the canal-side path. This ride is horrible on a hot summer day, but with the banks of grass still green it was not so bad. We saw a few pedestrians, more cyclists than I expected, and one (county?) truck using the road for service access.

Phone wires cross the canal in several places and they are usually bedecked with birds looking for their lunch.

We crept up on our 'cycles, waiting to see how close we could get before they took off. We were totally ignored, probably since we did not look like fish.

Although we had planned to go farther on the canal, the small gate at White Rock Road was closed. I suppose we could have hoisted my friend's bike over and slid my trike under the gate, but since we both had other things to do today (yes, I do have more in my life than 'cycling) we turned around and headed back.

When I bought my trike, I interrogated bike-dude if it really truly would fit between the yellow posts at the beginning of bike paths. I guess this was the path I was remembering. If I wiggle my handlebars just so, I can scrape through without leaving a mirror behind. These yellow posts are much narrower than the usual bike path posts.
Not stuck, cautious!

I like this ride, even though it is an industrial landscape, and I think the corridor has potential for a great commuting/recreation route. There was apparently in 2007 some talk of developing the south canal but I don't think anything ever came of it. Probably the housing developers who were part of the proto-planning ran headlong into the housing crisis.

Other challenges to using this path, aside from very narrow gates that are sometimes closed, are several places where the canal path users have to dash across a street through traffic. The Powers that Be added a push-button crossing at Sunrise, and there is a nice echo-y tunnel under US 50 (yes, we made silly sonar noises and sang while in the tunnel)  but some interesting roads (Douglas, for instance) have no access points to the canal path, making it less useful as a recreation and commuting option.

US 50 tunnel on left

Enough social and political maunderings, time to get some stuff around the house done! Riding again this weekend, TTFN

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