Everyday Adventures: Caltrain Alternatives & East Bay

Those of you who follow Caltrain already know about the track ‘incident’ during the evening commute last night.

I biked the 10 miles from the office to the Mountain View Caltrain station last night. The phone in my pocket buzzed like a Magic Fingers vibrating bed, which this time of day usually means a constant stream of tweets from @Caltrain, which always means bad news. The train stopped on the southbound tracks alongside Central Expressway near Rengstorff Avenue confirmed my fears.

I watched one of my neighbors get hit by a train ten years ago and it’s not something want to see again, so I avert my eyes at disaster scenes, but I hear the aftermath was pretty bad at this one. A man apparently fell or jumped into the path of Caltrain 264 near the San Antonio station. The train was traveling between 73 and 79 mph. I didn’t stop to take photos.

I don’t know how long Caltrain will be out of operation, and I do know the first trains through will be packed to capacity, so I decide to continue biking to San Jose after texting my wife to let her know I’ll be late. The problem is, I’m cooked — I time trialed to Mountain View (on a fixed gear bike) and didn’t have much in reserve. When a fast Middle Eastern kid in American stars and stripes jersey blew past me, I grabbed on and stayed on his tail almost all the way to Santa Clara.

ACE full. No bump. To Fremont the ride to BART. on Twitpic

My pal John Murphy commutes the opposite direction, riding Caltrain from Sunnyvale to San Francisco. He’s the King of transit alternate routing. Last night, he biked to the ACE / Amtrak Great America Station in Santa Clara (which he reported was packed full of bikes — see photo), took ACE to Fremont in the East Bay, and then caught BART to San Francisco.

“The view from this BART train is different than my regular view,” Murph reports. “East Bay Hills represent!”

Which lets me segue to the everyday adventure of Francis with his son from Albany, CA to Point Richmond in the East Bay along the Bay Trail. Francisc shows us the nice views along the Bay, ice cream, industrial trike usage, old factories, yachts, funky smells, historical perspectives, the old Ferry Point landing, and a few yards of cobbles. Francis also tells us how to find this portion of the Bay Trail from El Cerrito Plaza BART and North Berkeley BART at Oceanview Bicycling.

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