The email came in Monday morning. It was an invite to ride along on a non chapter function from San Ramon to Port Costa for lunch. A quick check with Lynda (the keeper of “all things social” calendar) found us available for this Sunday ride. I replied back that Lyn and I would be in attendance. We were the first to arrive in the Albertson’s parking lot, and after a few minute wait were joined by Alan and Shirley, Bill and Lynda and Rich and Bob.
If you check for Port Costa using your favorite mapping software you will find it located on the Martinez Straight between Crockett and Martinez. Or, about 25 miles from San Ramon. A quick trip? Not today friends. Bob suggested we take the slow way promising no freeway travel at all. We all heartily agree.
A left out of the parking lot put us on San Ramon Valley Blvd heading North. A couple of miles later we turned left onto Bolinger Canyon Road heading west to a left onto Norris Canyon Road which we rode till it dead ends at Crow Canyon Road. Another left onto Crow Canyon takes us into Castro Valley where we wound our way through town to Redwood Road. Turning Right onto Redwood Road we head North toward Oakland. We turned right onto Pinehurst and rode it till we saw the closed sign – we had to wonder why they couldn’t have posted that the road was closed earlier – so we turned around and headed back to Redwood Road. Redwood road finally then dumped us out on Skyline Blvd. in Oakland. Some very fine roads and views in our East Foothills included Skyline, Old Tunnel Road, Grizzly Peak, Bear Valley, Wicked Canyon, Alhambra Valley, before finally arriving in the environs of Crockett and taking the McKewan road into Port Costa.
Port Costa is a great destination for a motorcyclist. Today was no exception. The HOG Chapter from Modesto had gathered a sizeable group and ridden in for lunch. This being my first time to this little town did not know what to expect so I was surprised to find that the lunch was in a warehouse, and it was free as long as you bought two drinks – no, they don’t have to be alcoholic. So a couple of Ice Teas later we were enjoying some Clam Chowder bread and salad.
It’s always fun to go to historic places, and Port Costa is no exception. This little towns’ sole reason for existence resides with the railroad industry. The historic part comes from the fact that in the 1800’s there was a huge demand for goods and services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Getting those goods and services into the bay area was the problem there was no easy way to do so with all of the mountains surrounding the area, not to mention the formidable bay itself. Trains were the fastest, safest and surest method of transport at the time but the bay prevented trains from entering the area, as engineering could not yet support the building of a bridge across the bay. So, to answer the demand and slove the problem trains would come as far as Benecia, where they would be broken apart and moved onto two huge train ferry’s and then moved across the straights and reassembled in Port Costa. The restaurant we ate in was actually the original warehouse where Grain (wheat) was stored while the trains were being processed. Interesting Day!
Leaving Port Costa put us onto Cummings Skyway, to Ca-4 to 680. 2 ˝ hours from San Ramon to Port Costa and 25 minutes from Port Costa to San Ramon.. I think I like the slow way the best.