This route was designed to allow for a route extending beyond Davis that would still constitute a century ride
Too many miles that are boring and will beat you up, especially with the route I chose using the Fairfield Linear Park Pathway and the 4-mile Yolo Causeway into Sacramento.
The route I chose avoided the Oakland hills by cutting through Oakland along Telegraph Avenue and the Ohlone Greenway. The Greenway is well maintained and easy to follow. At Mile 15 it placed me on Key Boulevard and eventually on San Pablo Dam Road. This route had the benefit of passing along the Carquinez Scenic Drive and bike trail before crossing the bridge at Martinez over the Carquinez Strait at Mile 38.
After that, the cross winds prevailed as usual. Once I turned more East at Mile 53, the tail winds or cross tail winds gave me an added boost, my saving grace. This is the point where my ride to Sacramento deviated from my customary route to Davis. The Fairfield Linear Park trail from Mile 55 to 61 is rural and divides into thirds, shaded at first, then something like the Ohlone and finally turns into a blighted urban waste field with trash strewn about.
After that, my ride turned more suburban and quite a few traffic lights to negotiate, before the campus in Davis was reached at Mile 92. There were also stretches of flat farmland that are quite monotonous. It became warmer, well into the 90’s, and I had to slow down a bit to prevent my core temperature from rising too much. The Yolo Causeway at Mile 99, though built for bikes, is interminable and has traffic blasting at you and is best avoided. However, from this direction, it is the only way into town and the Amtrak station.
I had some trouble finding the approach to the bridge into downtown Sacramento, any bridge, also to the train station itself, but asking certainly helped. I did not want to put anybody else through my navigational challenges so rode solo, but, overall, managed quite well at an average speed of 15.6 mph. The delays cost me a few extra miles and time and so I saw my 1555 train depart the Amtrak station, Mile 111.
I felt totally wrung out and just laid down on a bench in the air-conditioned waiting hall. I even felt nauseous and had to use an empty water bottle to retch a bit. After 20 minutes, I felt well enough to buy my train ticket for $ 29. I reached Jack London Square at 1900 and my home, sweet home, at 1930, after a total of 117 miles. Aside from some minor sunburn, I felt okay again.
The best way to reach Sacramento is via the customary route to Davis. This also allows for bailouts at the Suisun City- and Davis Amtrak stations. Only the Yolo Causeway is unavoidable, but you can see the Tower Bridge from there. Using my initial route through Oakland and the Ohlone trail also saves about 1,200 feet of climbing.
Probably the most scenic route is through Antioch, Mile 63, and River Road (Highway 160), but that would be 119 miles long. Google Maps shows it as 109 miles and 3,800 feet elevation gain going over the Oakland hills. Perhaps worth another recce?
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