Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Sacramento to Dixon, CA
Date: 2006-09-29
Distance: 70 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 3.14 Hours
Average Speed: 22.13 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 4,913 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day



Sacramento is still a Cow Town

    So says Joseph.

  I met Joseph on a Rail-Trail or Bike Path parallel to Russell Road that runs from Davis west towards Winters. I was cycling down a county road and came across this paved rail-trail intersecting the road. There were no signs as to the direction and destination of the trail. I did not have a map that showed the trail.

    So, I stopped a cyclist and enquired about the trail. It appears that the trail runs from Davis towards Winters. While Joseph did not know how to get to Dixon, he suggested some roads that should lead me there. So, I made a decision of cycling on the trial and hope that I would get to my destination without too many diversions.

Joseph waited for me at the end of the trail. I had stopped to take some pictures of a pond where egrets hung put with some sandpipers. Also some photos of the trail and its users were taken. He then cycled with me until we came to an intersection that he did not want me to take. That was nice of him. We talked along the way. It seems that there is a wide wetland area west of Sacramento where only the I-80 goes through. Cyclists are not allowed on the interstate highways in California. He mentioned that at one time they were but now that the population has gone form 20 million to 30 plus, that has changed. Too bad as the interstate has nice wide shoulders.

So I enquired how cyclists were to make their way from Sacramento to Davis and the west. I guess one could take one of the trains which have hooks for bikes. I had cycled double the distance today just to go far enough north to get around the wetlands. In fact, the road I took went through the wetlands and obviously gets flooded from time to time. Both the rail track and the I-5 that parallel this road were on stilts. There was evidence on the railway stilts how high the water gets.

  I had also searched Goggle Earth carefully at low level for any sign of anything parallel to the I-80 that would connect to Davis. Maps are useless in this area. They lack enough detail for proper planning. I had more luck using MS Streets, which means transcribing map information to read on the way. Bike maps for this area are non-existing or of useless quality.

    This is when the cow town comment came out. Apparently there is a raised dike with a paved bike path parallel from Sacramento to a county road that connects to Davis. There is no evidence of this on any map that I had checked or on the City’s web site. Will try this path on the way back to Sacramento on Tuesday.

I was glad that I went the way I did. It gave me a chance to se the countryside. First there was the departure from Sacramento. Quite late it was today. There was a River Road ride for the first 20 or 30 kilometres into Woodlands. There were the bike lanes through most of the town, except right downtown. There were other bike lane and bike routes along the way.

Then there were the county roads through market gardens and sunflower fields. A ridge was becoming visible to the west. That will be passed over tomorrow. The roads, except for Woodlands, were quite quiet of motorized traffic.

    In Woodlands I did find a good road map of the county. It came useful until I cycled south pat the county line. At that point there were no road signs to guide me to my destination.

The road ended at an intersection. Should I go right and continue until I come upon a road signed as 124? Should I go left and then south at the next road that I come to? That would have been the right thing to do. Should I go right and then left at the next road? That I did.

  Later on when I was really unsure where I was, a large tractor trailer was pulling out from a Roma tomato field filled to the brim. The person operating the picker was beside his equipment. So I yelled to him across a large ditch if this road would take me to Dixon. He yelled back in the affirmative. So, I continued. As I was pulling away I saw a spandex cyclist into he rear view mirror. As he came alongside I asked him the same question. His response was different. Just go to the next stop sign, turn left, go to the next stop sign, turn right and go over the I-80 and you are there. As I came to the second stop sign I recognized the street name as it was the destination street. So I had arrived.


I was not pleased with my itinerary for the next few days. Last night I spent till past midnight trying to find roads that would be more conducive to my intentions. Then I tried on a September weekend to find places to stay in the wine country. This morning I tried some more. The only thing that resulted form that was to change my destination for tonight. Tonight I made ore changes and now feel better that I will accomplish what I wanted form this area. So, that feels good and optimistic for a few pleasant days of cycling. Today was great.



Cycling Facilities



West Sacramento    
City fo Davis    

Bike lanes simplify the crossing of the interstate


Approaching Dixon means climbing and crossing the interstate highway with the ramps around it. As the approach to the bridge is reached, so start the bike lanes on the crossing.

A new housing development meant a road reconstruction. WIth it came bike lanes and a street crossing for bikes and pedestrians form a path in a park. What was significant of the design was that the crossing had pedestrian refuges between the traffic lane and the bike lane.



Pedestrian refuge between traffic lane and bike lane

Rural Roads