Yesterday we decided it was time to overhaul the bikes and today is our first bike ride of the year.
Coyote Creek Parkway is almost on our doorstep and it is 15 miles long. As we did not have far to go, we had breakfast at home, hence no post to the breakfast log.
The weather was a bit overcast first thing but the sun peeked out on our short drive to our starting point at Parkway Lakes. We intended to start from Riverside Drive off Monterey Road but we couldn’t find it. We decided to start in the middle of the cycle path instead of attempting the whole round trip of 30 miles. At 9.15 we pointed our bikes to the south and set off. Although there were a few cars and trailers around, we saw no boats on the water. Maybe it is too early in the day for the water skiers.
Soon we were passing the gently humming pylons at the PG&E substation. On the right is an ugly power generating station which is quite a blot on the landscape,
The cycle path is well marked and there are warnings and stop signs when the path crosses several minor roads. There are quite a few fellow cyclists around, mostly our age but there were some dedicated cyclists with all the proper gear and one or two family groups. After crossing a wooden bridge and a road we ride along Coyote Ranch Road for a short distance and pass a field where there were several horses. This is the edge of Coyote Ranch where they hold corporate picnics and employee days out.
We came to a sign which warned to look out for flooding. As we have not had much rain recently I was not expecting to see any water but we had to ride through a shallow ford across the path. I bet it’s much deeper after rain.
The scenery is gentle. Green hills surround us. They won’t be green for long though. Soon they will don their golden hue for summer. We pass fields of swaying grass studded with wildflowers and one huge patch of California poppies.
The path follows the Coyote Creek and there are several bridges that cross and recross it. I was surprised at the number of lakes we passed. From Highway 101 you cannot see them but they are there. Lots of birds to watch if you take the time. At one point, as we came round a bend, we encountered two ducks crossing the road. We startled them and they flew off, quacking madly. There were no fishermen though. There is no fishing between November 15 and the last week of April.
The only presence to disturb this idyllic ride is Highway 101 which appears and disappears from view the whole time but the sound of the passing traffic is always there.
The crack of a golf club striking a ball alerts us to the fact that we are passing the Coyote Creek Golf Course. Although the path hugs the surrounding fence for a short distance most of the course is hidden from view. It is much more visible from the highway.
We pass a couple of rest areas complete with picnic tables but we don’t stop. Ahead I hear the drone of a model aircraft and look up in the sky to see a tiny plane plunging towards the ground and soring skywards again. Before long we arrive at the Santa Clara County Model Aircraft Skypark. Here we stop and watch the planes for a while. There is a car park and an area to sit and watch. It was fascinating to see the amount of love and attention those models receive.
As we had cycled over six miles, we decided it was time to turn back. We didn’t want to overdo it. On May 18th we have signed up for the Strawberry Fields Forever bike ride around Watsonville so we have to get into shape but we will do it slowly.
April 07 2008 03:31 pm | Special Places