Executive Bike Commute Saga: Chapter 20 San Gabriel River to El Dorado Park Adventure, (Part 2 of Chapter 18)
Greetings Fellow and Aspiring Cyclists,
Let's see... Where did I leave our story last? Oh yes... I am peddling my bike
into the enchanted El Dorado Regional Park from the San Gabriel River Bike
Route. I am entering a road into a magical forrest. I travel a few hundred
yards and come out at the Park's south entrance at a rangers booth where cars
are paying $7.00 on this a Saturday to enter. As in a dream, bikes enter for
free. This is also near where the Park's Nature Trails begin.
I love nature so I lock up my bike at a very ample bike stable and proceed among
the flora and fauna on foot. I have happy memories of bringing our very young
children here to see the beauties of the woodland. There are several winding
paths that range in distance, according to a wooden map, to a maximum of over 2 miles. I choose a short path that takes me to an enchanted pond with various varieties of basking and swimming turtles, and I imagine frog princes.
I wander a little longer along the path. I see see butterflies among some variety
of flowering plants.
I come to the nature center and take a few minutes to walk through the
wonderful displays of indigenous birds and other wildlife. I am fascinated
by the science project of a child prepared about 50 years ago that asks
the question "Do Barn Owls Reduce the Mice Population"? Reading further
I learn that the boy conducts his research every couple of days over a
few months by collecting the pellet droppings of owls perching in the rafters
of a barn. Dissecting the pellets he removes hundreds of skulls of rats and
mice. As evidence he painstakingly glues the skulls in tiny rows to a poster
board next to the date the pellets were collected and cleaned. The whole effect
is impressive and the scientific conclusion is obvious.
I head back out along the magical path toward my bike and notice a tame and
playful squirrel accompanying me for awhile--hoping for a handout I guess.
As I release my bicycle from the confines of it's stable, I see that I must
cross Spring Street and momentarily face the real world realities of cars and
traffic signals to get to the other side of the park with it's bike trails and
lake. Oh well... I forge on.
Once on the other side of the busy intersection, I wheel right on past the
picnickers in cars waiting to pay their $7.00. I turn onto to a very nice
winding bike path that takes me through the park past a lake with ducks.
Along the way I pass people using the exercise circuit and it's stations with
exercises prescribed at each stop using rustic wooden benches, inclines and
other apparatus designed to enable strengthening.
I bike past picnickers and barbecues. It is a beautiful warm day of nature and
wonder now with the smell of grilled beef and chicken in the air.
It is all too much to bear as I realize I am starving. I head out of the amazing
regional park back to the 5 mile river route ride toward familiar surroundings
and Rivers End Restaurant where I order ice tea and a huge tuna salad.
I must admit that if I am going to be riding 18 mile distances all at once very
often I will have to invest in some of those padded spandex pants. My butt
hurt. One way on my "Executive" bike commute is only 5-1/2 miles.
The ride was an unexpected pleasure and a biking adventure that I highly
recommend and will do again. Next time I will pack a picnic and take John.
Living bike-friendly in sunny Long Beach, California
To read about adventures in between blogs…
Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/biker_chic3
Like on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Executive-Bike-Commute-Saga/161761723888948