Bay Area bicycle commute

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006
By Yokota Fritz

I started work Monday. I found a place to live temporarily, more-or-less moved in, and turned in the rental car last night. Today was my first day of bicycle commuting.

I ran into an old friend that I last saw and heard from eight years ago. I was visiting a church in San Jose and Jerry actually recognized me! He has an RV behind his house in Cupertino that I'm now staying in.

From his home, I biked six miles (in the rain) to the Mountain View Caltrain station by going up Stevens Creek to Foothill Boulevard and made my way to Miramonte then Shoreline.

I got off the train at Menlo Park and biked up Ravenswood, hooked over to Wilbur, negotiated my way past all the merging traffic by Highway 101 and went straight into the Sun campus near the Dumbarton Bridge. That was about three miles.

The rain makes things messy and I hope my lights hold out with all the moisture, but all in all it was a nice commute. The motorists I encountered were courteous and the lanes are wide. I nearly killed myself on the metal stairs off the train with my metal-cleated shoes, but other than that I had no problems.

Even with the rain I saw a large number of bicycle commuters all around. I don't know yet whether I should be amazed or not -- are the number of cyclists at about the same percentage I see in Colorado? Even so, it was nifty to see the volume of cyclists on the roads and on the train.

I'm glad I brought my fixed gear bike because of the rain, but there's a stretch of Stevens Creek I rode that is very steep. I definitely felt the burn there and I wouldn't have been able to do the hill if I was at Colorado altitude. I'll either get very strong or very tired doing this hill every morning.

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If you're going to Menlo Park, you might want to check out the Route 522 Express Bus - all VTA buses have bikeracks:
Thanks Roland. I've used samTrans but I haven't tried VTA yet.
looks like things are going well
the new roads sound inspiring
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