Jersey Boys & Girls

The simple fact of riding together creates something that no account can adequately describe. Riding your bike, especially when everything clicks—excellent weather, a smooth running machine recently overhauled, the freedom away from work and home responsibilities—is a joy. But riding with friends adds another specialness that compounds the magic of a few hours on two wheels. Such was last month’s Jersey Ride. A wet spring gave way to brilliant sun and a crisp spring air. A beautiful riding day emerged after surprising spring rains and eleven of showed up for the venerable monthly club run to Tiburon.
It was a mixed crowd too—David Gaus and Peter Phares from the South Bay, Roger and I from the East Bay, and the rest from SF. It was mixed in another way too: we had two e-bikes present. For years Roger was the only member sporting an e-bike; a couple of years later the Den Daddy—who is, I believe, turning 87 this year—got one. Now Zach showed up with some uncertainty as to whether he’d be able to “keep up” on his new e-bike. He must have gotten an affirmative because he’s since become a Spoker. (Rumor has it that another Spoker, who lives in the East Bay and will remain nameless, has been gifted an e-bike! That’s make four, but who’s counting?)
It’s apparently becoming more the standard route to Tiburon for the Jersey Ride: we took the Corte Madera-Larkspur Multi-Use Path through Corte Madera instead of the road. That path didn’t exist back in the day and it’s a much more peaceful way to get to Paradise Drive. Everybody kept calling it “Nancy’s way” since she was the first person to take the Jersey Ride there. That and no one knowing its real name.
I guess enough decades have passed that Tiburon has finally decided to pour some cash into road repair because another section of Paradise Drive has been repaved into buttery smooth asphalt. If only the entire length were redone… But the ugly cracks and Frankenstein-like patches are steadily (and slowly) giving way to a more bike-friendly conveyance!
We mostly stayed together until we got to Paradise when Will Bir vanished into the distance and everyone spread out and handled Paradise at their own pace. We regathered at the Woodlands Market for lunch and enjoyed the warm sun on its deck. Did you know you can get pad thai-in-a-box at Woodlands? No one blinked an eye—god, do we live in a bubble. We had a nice, long lunch filled with aimless but enchanting chatter. Someone voiced the idea of going to Belvedere but when an actual vote was taken, almost no one wanted to head out that way either because been-there-done-that or the thought of a feisty climb right after lunch didn’t settle well on the stomach. So we all headed back at a reasonable pace. We rode back on Tiburon Blvd, which isn’t my fave—I prefer heading through Strawberry—and boy, has the car traffic grown. It was bumper-to-bumper from 101 to Camino Alto. We took Ashford and Lomita to get away from the cars and what do we get? Cars cutting that way too and getting pissed that they’re behind cyclists. Life is tough, isn’t it?
As is wont everyone spread out on Alexander, things not being helped by a ferocious wind. The bridge was pretty hectic and crazy as usual but nobody got hit. I did get passed by two groups of freds in full Rapha-mode. Seriously, you pass cyclists on the GG Bridge when there is oncoming traffic?? I’m so done with idiotic risky riding.
The weather was near-perfect, the company delightful, no one got flats or crashed. It’s enough to make you come out even on a Jersey Ride!