Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years...

When I began racing bicycles my ambivalence toward New Years became exacerbated. It always seemed like an arbitrary date to begin with. I mean, why December 31/January 1? I guess it is the closest monthly change to the Winter Solstice when the days begin their gradual lengthening, but since racing took over my life (back in the 1980s) October 31/November 1 has seemed a more appropriate date. The racing season has traditionally came to its closure in October, riders might take a little time off, and then begin their winter training and preparations for the new season. There is also some precedence, the autumn harvest marking the end of the growing season, for instance. Of course it is rather meaningless when you are the only one who follows a certain calendar. So HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. I hope you all have a year long series of cycling adventures and trouble-free rides.

a lot of small family sized groups on the Trail

and one large group (Cycling Connection?)

I, as I am sure many of you did, began 2012 with a ride. Mine was with the family and took us along the Pacific Electric Trail through Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, and Fontana, a good 46 mile ride from home, and the longest my son has completed. Normally we would do the SGRT to Seal Beach, but with sections of it closed for repaving, we selected a more local alternate. It felt like summer out, didn't it? Sunscreen was mandatory, and we shared the way with many others, two-wheeled and afoot. This is not a ride I would normally do on my own, and though we turned around before the final Rialto section, it was my first time on the trail since they opened up the Foothill bridge; the trailhead park there, which design I worked on at my previous job, has come along nicely, though still has a way to go before completion (we also designed all the street crossings along the trail through Rancho, Fontana and Rialto). Anyway, it was a nice change of pace and a good first ride of the year.

trailhead park in Rancho Cucamonga has references to Route 66 and the Pacific Electric Railway, note the railway themed walkway, section of the old PE bridge over Foothill, and monument wall in background with plaques noting each stop along the railway through Rancho. The multi-use trail runs up the hillside along the white fence

more families

last of the Pacific Electric stations in Rancho, this one is Etiwanda Station. attractive and in good condition, hopefully it gets rehab'ed as something useful

if you click to enlarge, you might notice the forward bike is an adult tricycle with trail-a-bike attached

other than this portion, which passes by the Steelworkers Auditorium and the Public Library in the civic  center complex, i didn't care much of the section of trail through the City of Fontana

the old Fontana Pacific Electric Station. look closely along the edge of the path - notice the black bumps? they are raised surface lighting. not a good idea for a bike path; a crash waiting to happen, i would say. better to move the lighting completely off-path

the Fontana section, long straights, not especially attractive close up, but great views of the mountains

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