The turnout was about double what was expected, perhaps because of the reduced fare, perhaps due to the good reputation this excursion enjoys. Fourteen members showed up, who should all be mentioned for a gutsy ride:
2. Ron Arth
3. Mike Herriot
4. Steve Elias
5. Isabella de Matos
6. Kenneth Jones
7. Jerome de Verrier
8. Russell Blumkin
9. Edward Milhausen
10. Mac McJunkin
11. Stanley Layson
12. Olek Proskurowski
13. Bill Odgers
David McAfee showed up at the Kaiser steps with his own train ticket, since he decided to join us the evening before the ride.
The ride took place in two parts, the cool pleasant, relaxing portion, then, as of Mile Point 56, the warm, endurance stretch, a real test of character and group effort, since the temperature never dipped below 95 and reached a whopping maximum of 105º F.
At our lunch stop at Mile 62, the Safeway in Fairfield, David wisely decided to return home. Consulting the Google Maps on his cell phone, I determined the Suisun City Amtrak train station was only 3.1 miles away. He texted me from the train, then again after he reached his home at 3 that afternoon.
There were were no incidents, except two flats for Olek, that took place about 2 miles apart, and some cramping at the end for Isabella. We made sufficient water- and food stops, reaching Davis just after 1500 for our 1610 train. Just before 1800, everybody was back in Alameda and I asked Olek to accompany Isabella to Bay Farm Island where they both live. This was also Olek's very first century!
On balance, it must be said, morale in the group remained high, as evidenced by the banter and jokes that remained, even in the most oppressive heat.
The suggestion was made, that we might wish to reverse the ride one day. Even though the Oakland Hills would appear late in the ride, one could avoid the inland heat on a summer day, plus not be driven the entire day to meet a specific train departure. Might be worth a try …
TeamAlamedaPO Box 1216Alameda, CA 94501