Not a great picture, but this is a drinking fountain up along Skyline Drive, just above Tunnel Road, in the Oakland Hills. Here’s what’s unique about the fountain: It’s set up on the shoulder of the road in a place that seems meant to be of maximum use for cyclists. The road is one of the most popular climbs in the East Bay Hills, an almost leisurely ascent that invites you to spin your way up and then gets a little more serious about halfway up the roughly four-mile climb. I’d guess that hundreds of cyclists ride past this fountain on their way up every day; a few locals may stroll here, too, but the road and shoulders are narrow and you certainly don’t see many of them as you pedal through here.  

I went up here about 2 p.m. or so. A nearby weather station recorded the temperature as 95 degrees. I’ve ridden so little of late that even a relatively relaxed climb like this one has become an index of my lack of fitness. Didn’t hurt too much, though, and the reward came on the fun descent from the top of Grizzly Peak Boulevard back into Berkeley.

Anyway, the fountain: I passed it, then remembered a nice little New York Times feature from a month or so back that talked about public drinking fountains and what they represent. I turned around to use this one, and noticed many sets of bike-tire tracks in the dirt at its base. An oasis on a hot day.

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