Where is the American River Bike Trail in Old Sacramento?
Have you ever wondered where to find the American Bike Trail in Old Sacramento? It doesn’t matter which direction you come into Old Sacramento, from the North or the South, the bike trail disappears. ?That’s because you’ve got tourist attractions, old wooden boardwalks and cobblestone streets, all of which is hazardous to riding a bike.
Nothing against the broasted-chicken-legged serious bike riders in Sacramento, I’m just a regular old-lady bicyclist with a pink Townie, featuring upright handlebars. Most days I take a bike ride before dinner. It’s a great way to interact with nature, get a little exercise and ponder all of the incredible crap that happens in Sacramento real estate every day; thrusts me into a different environment. Every day I almost kill myself, too.
Why do we have to ride with traffic? That seems so insane. I’d much rather look the driver in the eyes before I am sprawled with my face smushed against his windshield. I don’t like trusting other drivers not to hit me because half of them are morons. So, sometimes I ride on the sidewalks and almost mow down pedestrians. I ride on the wrong side of the street. So, sue me. I’ve ridden on those raised boardwalks in Old Sacramento, too, looking for the bike trail in vain, vibrating like crazy, and almost losing my cellphone, which is attached to my handlebars. I’m lucky my Jawbone didn’t bounce out of my pocket.
For lunch yesterday, it seemed like a good idea to stroll through Old Sacramento with my husband on our collective four feet and look for the bike trail. Old Sacramento is a smaller version of Skagway, Alaska, a town Robin Williams called the End of the World. We discovered a new store there called The Chefs’ Olive Mix. It’s on the corner of Second Street and J. The retail section is set up with stainless steel urns on the top shelves and the bottom shelves are filled with product, mostly balsamics and olive oils from all over the world.
You can sample fabulous olive oils and check the polyphenol percentages, the higher the percentage the more intense the flavor. I tasted the truffle salt. Word of warning, don’t lick a big ol’ handful of truffle salt because the taste will not leave your mouth. Not even after you fork out $1.76 for two pieces of candy at Candyland and carefully suck on that cherry Tootsie Roll Pop. The truffle will linger.
However, Eureka, we did find the bike trail. Because I ride from my home in Land Park, I hop on the American River Bike Trail from Broadway heading north, but you can also pick up the bike trail from Front Street past the Animal Shelter. Either way, once you reach the Tower Bridge, the trail will disappear. This means you’ve got to drive in traffic down Second Street, dodge the horses and little kids, or navigate through the throngs gathered in front of Joe’s Crab Shack and the Delta Queen. Those tourists just stand there and spin around directionless like they can’t believe where they are, watching pigeons poop.
There is no sign for the bike trail until you get there. But from Second Street, if you take a left, head west, at the Railroad Museum and go past the old-timey hardware store, cross the train tracks, there is the American River Bike Trail. If you’re coming from the north, just head toward Tower Bridge and Embassy Suites.
Photos: Elizabeth Weintraub