Reunited, and it feels so good…


OK. Remember when I forgot my helmet in Pleasanton, back in early October? (Seems like forever ago now.) Well, today I got it back!

As you will recall from a few days ago, I took a spill on the sidewalk in Golden Gate Park, and my helmet hit the concrete. I have heard that after any impact—even a relatively minor one like that—it’s not safe to wear the helmet again. So, I was feeling some dread and annoyance that I would have to spend the money, time, and effort to buy a new helmet, yet again. 

But then! I remembered that I was in the Bay Area, and that I had left the previous helmet a manageable BART ride away in Pleasanton. I messaged my Warmshowers host from October, and sure enough, he still had the helmet! He agreed to leave it out for me today when he went to work.

So I got to experience the BART again. I always enjoy light rail. I biked from the home of my Alameda hosts over to the Fruitvale station, and when I disembarked in Pleasanton, the 40-minute ride to the previous host’s house took me along a truly lovely bike path (which I hadn’t known about when I was there before). I actually took a wrong turn, which resulted in about an extra half-mile of beautiful path riding. I even made a point to sit and rest on a bench along the path, to drink in the moment and enjoy some more quiet respite from my recent overwhelm.

I picked up the helmet, and felt the satisfaction of a full-circle experience as I strapped it on.

Then I rode back to Alameda, packed up my things and said goodbye to my Servas hosts, and set a course for north Berkeley, where I am staying with the friend of a friend of a friend, who is a fellow longtime vegan and never-owned-a-car cyclist. He will be hosting a small “friendsgiving” gathering tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to attending. For the past ten years or so I have attended my sister’s friends’ vegan friendsgiving gathering in Seattle. This year I’m delighted to see that I can continue a variation of that tradition, but with new people, and warmer and sunnier weather!

The ride up here to Berkeley took me nearly two hours, but it was almost all flat, and very pleasant except for the harrowing bridge ride out of Alameda. (That grated road surface, yikes! Scary enough on two wheels, but with a trailer added into the mix? Wow.)

Once I got into Oakland, I enjoyed the beautiful waterfront path along Lake Merritt, including those distinctive California trees with the twisty-bark trunks.

I’m looking forward to taking some time to experience Berkeley and Oakland in the next few days, and hopefully connecting with several friends as well as meeting new ones!

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