A good way to get relief from pain is to have a little hair of the dog that bit you. That's why I knew that I'd need to go for a spin when I woke up the morning after scaling Marshall Wall. Larry "Never Half Empty" Rosa suggested the Lake Chabot bike trail. The lake is only a short ride away from the East Bay area from where I was staying.
Within minutes I was pedaling around the lake's pristine greenish blue water. A paved bike path winds along the East and South side of Lake Chabot and sprouts several off-road trails. One can rent a paddle boat or a canoe with which to float out into the lake to go fishing, but a sharp eyed cyclist can spot the fattest and most clever fish hanging out near the shore, where the fishermen can't see them.
This 315-acre anglers oasis sits in the heart of Suburban Castro Valley but, you'd never know it from your surroundings once inside the park. Miles of parkland and trails make Chabot a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hikers can enjoy scenic walks on the 280-acre Fairmont Ridge. Park trails are designed for shared useage. Lake Chabot is well known among the running community. The park hosts Half Marathons, 5K's and the Kids Fun Run. In fact, Trail Runner magazine chose this setting as one of America's Most Scenic Races.
I kept my speed down on some of the short steep descents on the trail because pedestrian traffic awaited at every bend in the trail. This worked out fine since the slower pace allowed me to take a closer look at some of the unique indigenous flora. Occasionally, I would find a quiet spot to pull off and just sit and relax at a scenic overlook that presented a view of the lake and the surrounding mountains. I sat long enough to witness hummingbirds sipping nectar from one of the many wild park plants. Cruising down the last descent I popped out the backside of the park where I had the choice of either continuing on and have to some fat tire fun on Bass Cove Trail or leaving the park and do some casual spinning in San Leandro along the length of a valley.
Since I was on a roadie I chose to ride along the valley complete with clearly marked, separated bike lanes and turn offs that roll out to the mountains to pick up some altitude. I avoided the mountains this day because I had read my fortune which said, "There will be much climbing in my future" and I spent my time on streets lined with palm trees and park trails lined with wild poppies. Tahoe and its mountains linger only a few days off...
As a perfect end to my day of recovery, Rob McClure (Co-Founder of the Back to Life Wellness Center in Alameda) swung by for a visit having just returned from his volunteer work as a massage therapist on the 6-day AIDS Life Cycle Ride. Rob worked his massage magic and gave my legs a bracing rub down to help flush toxins and relieve sore muscles. So, if you're out near Alameda or the Bay Area on adventure travel, look up Rob and the Wellness Center at 1505 Webster Street, Alameda, CA, 94501 or call 510.769.6980.