Near the End of the Ride


The natural destinations for cyclists in Berkeley often involve riding up into or crossing the hills that rise behind the city to the east. I went out for a kind of standard short ride late this afternoon: Up the west face of the hills on a gentle ascent (though not so gentle in my current state of fitness) called Spruce Street, through Tilden Park, a big regional open space that covers most of the top of the hills, then down to San Pablo Dam Road, which runs along the eastern base of the hills. It’s about nine and a half miles each way, and each way features a climb of seven hundred to eight hundred feet, a rolling section, then a long fast descent. Riding back into Berkeley, I came down into town on Euclid Avenue; near the top of the street, there’s a vacant lot — maybe it’s a park, though I haven’t seen any signs — with a clear view out to the west. Riding down Euclid near sunset, I often see people who have driven or walked or cycled to the spot to take in the vista. Tonight was the same. The weather has taken a cool turn (not to say cold, out of respect for those who live in places where it really does get cold), so people out in the twilight were kind of bundled up. The view here is across the bay to Mount Tamalpais. I’ll never get tired of seeing our mountains and ridges against the sky, especially against the evening sky.

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