We have Bay Area cycling enthusiast, Alex (Big Z) Zuckermann to thank for his leadership role in this project. This trail also links to the Carquinez Strait Scenic Loop Trail, a 50 mile trail that also crosses the Carquinez Bridge in the Crockett/Vallejo areas. The major, or maybe just minor problem is the link on the south side to the Bridge Trail itself. Neither the Iron Horse Trail or Contra Costa Canal Trail links directly. So, I am left to either negotiate busy streets (Marina Vista), including the refinery area filled with heavy trucks and equipment), or drive up to the parking lot on the other (Benicia) side of the bridge. The Martinez or oil refinery side of this trail is definitely the grungier, more industrial (and dangerous) side, while the Benicia side is more inviting, with much to see, do, or eat. The town of Benicia has done a good job making it more of a day time and family destination, or as it should be called, “cute, small town USA”. A former U.S. President was once stationed in Benicia. Who might that be? Answer at the end of this email.
As far as the ride itself, this I know. The Straits are always breezy, which is generally a good thing. The view, as you will see from photos is not bad, but certainly nothing compared to the Golden Gate Bridge or any bridge, anywhere in the country. On a Monday, I was the ONLY cyclist on the bridge. I was the only person on the bridge. The view was okay but the noise was vehicles was overwhelmingly BAD! I would skip this ride unless you have a fondness for oil refineries, or need a decent workout. The trek up to the crest is certainly good cardio.
The little town of Benicia on the other side (Solano County) is a worthy goal for either a coffee or bite break, or a stroll through its many art galleries. BTW, I have never seen any art in Benicia that I would consider buying. We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful and picturesque part of the Bay. Answer: None other than the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. And though his Presidency has uniformly received poor marks, it has significantly improved because of his enforcement of African-American voting and citizenship rights during Reconstruction.